Chandni Chowk to Paharganj, RSS affiliates flood Delhi with swadeshi rakhis

By Anindya Banerjee

New Delhi, Jul 27 (IANS): This Raksha Bandhan, sisters across India will tie Made in India rakhis on their brothers' wrist. To ensure that the boycott of Chinese rakhis does not affect the availability of rakhis, RSS offshoot Swadeshi Jagran Manch has actively engaged Sevika Samity, Seva Bharati and Durga Vahini in Delhi-NCR to flood the market with desi rakhis. Self help groups are being used in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Mumbai to mass produce swadeshi rakhis.

However, many of these rakhis may not be available in your local supermarket. "Our microfinance ecosystem and self help groups have their own distribution system. The idea is that rakhis reach sisters before Raksha Bandhan, and at a cheaper price," said Swadeshi Jagran Manch's Ashwani Mahajan, while speaking to IANS.

Activists of Sevika Samity, Seva Bharati and Durga Vahini have been pressed into service in Delhi-NCR, says SJM's Delhi and Haryana in-charge Kamal Jit. "They have put up stalls across Delhi-NCR to sell these indigenous rakhis. At least 5-7 stalls are there in every district of the national capital. For instance, there are stalls in Paharganj, Moti Nagar, Chandni Chowk areas," he says.

But are there enough 'Swadeshi' rakhis to meet the demand. Kamal Jit insists that there is enough supply of it. "I have just come back from one such stall in Rajokri, where they have sought 5000 rakhis. In one day alone, 500 were sold," he said, adding that any stall can requisition more rakhis.

However, a part of the rakhis from all these stalls will be distributed free of cost to those under financial strain.

Some may complain that the glitz of the Chinese rakhis may be missing in Swadeshi rakhis, but that is not entirely true. Individual leaders like BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi are also spearheading a swadeshi but funky rakhi distribution campaign whereby rakhis with "Jai Swadeshi" inscribed metal plate or map of India are being used to add that extra flavour to the campaign.

Earlier, during her rakhi distribution campaign, Lekhi justified the movement saying, "Rakhsha Bandhan is an Indian festival. Then why should we be importing items for this festival from abroad? It's time, we stand for our ethos."

With a multi pronged supply chain in place, trendy rakhis too in supply and free distribution simultaneously taking place, this Raksha Bandhan on August 3 is all set to be an Indian affair, sans Chinese products.


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