Udhagamandalam: To keep alive the `swadeshi` spirit of father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, people in three villages of Nilgiris district still use `Khadi` even after 66 years of independence.
From village elders to children, residing in the picturesque Mynalai, 15 km from here, still use khadi, shunning other fabric. Similar is the case with two other villages-- Madathurai and Kundakaparai.
In 1905, during the Swadeshi (self-sufficiency) movement, as a part of Indian Independence movement, nationalists decided to boycott British products and focused on reviving domestic products and production processes.
The villagers, who participated in the movement, never returned to using other fabrics. And so was the case for the last three generations, locals said, barring a handful, who used garments made of other fabrics while going for duty to other towns, but wore only khadi while in the village.
This was the kind of commitment the villagers had to the call given by Indian leaders, particularly Mahatma Gandhi, said 80-year-old Vishwanathan, the village head of Mynalai. He has been wearing `Indian khadi` for the last 60 years, he said proudly.
There are about 4,500 people in the three villages, with 500 houses. Curtains and upholstery are also made of khadi, indicating the commitment of the villagers to keep the Swadeshi spirit alive.