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Startups and Initiatives That Would've Made Gandhiji Proud

Team YS
2nd Oct 2012
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Yes, it's that day of the year when we'll wake up and feel good about truth, non-violence and pledge to have an internal cleanse. Happy Gandhi Jayanti! The father of the nation, Gandhiji was born on October 2nd, 1869. An introduction to the man would fall short and also be very much redundant, so we'll start off straight to the point. Many say that the current state of the nation would have saddened Gandhiji, the rife corruption, many regions within India where anarchy reigns, economic disparities, the list is endless. What did Gandhiji value and propagate the most? Truth and Non-violence. Here, we look at some of the ventures that stand true to these principles and would have made Gandhiji proud had he still been present.

1) Online Khadi Shops

I believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is God also. I see God in every thread that I draw on the spinning wheel.

Mahatma Gandhi said this once and was one of the biggest proponents of Khadi- home spun cloth (here are Gandhi's notes on Khadi). However numbers aren't in the favour of Khadi; the production is down and net employment in the sector in Gujarat has went down from 12,136 people in 2009-10 to 8,883 people in 2010-11, says the State Socio-Economic Review. To turn this around, consumption should increase and online can be a great way to do this. We brings you some of the ventures that dedicatedly sell Khadi garments.


Khadi Online: khadi online is an online marketplace that facilitates sale of handmade items supplied by the khadi online vendors. The various khadi online vendors are social enterprises from around the world which enable people to make a living making things.KhadiNatural: KhadiNatural is a certified Khadi institution under the Khadi Village Industries Commission (Govt. Of India) named as 'Gramodaya Ashram' established in 1963. For it to keep on functioning, buying needs to increase.

There are the more mainstream players like Myntra and Fabindia that delve into Khadi clothes but the positioning needs to be better.

2) Gandhigiri Shop; The Unmanned Shop

We've written about the Gandhigiri shop before but the concept is just so moving and human that you don't want it to die out. What is it? It is an unmanned shop started by a MBA graduate where there is no shopkeeper. You come, take what you like and leave back the money by yourself. Initiatives like these make you think how better life could have been. Taking into account that there are more than 7 billion of us and each claiming to be unique, there is no way this model can be a practical reality but just the existence of something like this is a solace.

3) Anti Corruption Movements; iPaidABribe

Corruption has been rampant in India- and enough noise has been made around it. The Anna Hazare camp which itself has turned into a brawl and NGOs fighting a lost battle, the situation is rather glum. iPaidABribe is a catalogue of all the bribes paid in the country that are reported. A very optimistic number of 2% of all paid bribes also leads to a humongous number. iPaidABribe lets one slice and dice bribe data and brings forth a very shameful face embroiled in corruption. This venture brings out the dirt from under the rug.

These are just some of the amazing things people of India have been doing to keep alive the Gandhian philosophy (even Munna Bhai played a huge role here). We'll keep fighting and hope one day we'll have a more tolerant co-operative society. All we need to do is be true to ourselves maybe our boats shall be safely parked ashore. Happy Gandhi Jayanthi!

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