The photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that recently featured in the Khadi Village Industries Commission's (KVIC) 2017 calendar and led to a big controversy, was reportedly taken at an event in Ludhiana in October last year.
According to a report in the Times Of India, many charkhas that were distributed during the event are not functional anymore.
The picture was snapped on 18 October, when Modi posed with women at an event organised by the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME). Around 500 charkhas were distributed to women living in rural areas to help them become self sufficient.
About 20 of the 500 women presented with the charkhas were from Littran village in Jalandhar. Among them was Kulwinder Kaur who said that she preferred her 20-year-old charkha to the new one. "Hun dasso, ehda achaar pana? [What should I do with this, make pickle out of it?]," she told TOI. "Wouldn't it have been better to give us some money instead? The charkhas given to us in Ludhiana during the programme looked the same but were of superior quality. This one seems to be a cheaper version."
According to the event organisers, the charkha was meant to add about ₹150 to the women's daily income. But at least four of the recipients interviewed said that their charkhas and those of others were faulty and couldn't be used to spin anything.
"This one works, but I don't use it as the wheels are not aligned, making it difficult to spin it," another women in Littran complained. "I prefer to work on my old charkha."
"We can spin only about three kilos of yarn in 15 days," Kulwinder Kaur added. "Earlier, we got ₹45 per kg. That has been hiked to ₹57 now. So, you can add for yourself how much we earn. Twenty ladies of our village got these charkhas but no one works on them."
"The wheel is defective as it is made of damp wood," Nanjo, another Littran resident who received the charkha said. "If we will operate it, it will break into pieces."
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