Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha
Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha (KKGSS) (Kannada: ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಖಾದಿ ಗ್ರಾಮೊದ್ಯೋಗ ಸಂಯುಕ್ತ ಸಂಘ) is a manufacturing federation located in the Bengeri area of the city of Hubli in the Karnataka, state of India. It is the only unit in India that is authorized to manufacture and supply the Flag of India.
KKGSS was founded on 1 November 1957 by a group consisting of H. A. Pai, Anant Bhat, Jayadev Rao Kulkarni, B. J. Gokhale, Vasudev Rao and B. H. Inamdar, who wanted to create a federation to cater to the need for growth of khadi and other village industries. Another aim of the federation was to provide employment opportunities to the rural youth in these sectors. The federation was started with an initial investment of Rs. 10,500 ($260) and Venkatesh T. Magadi and Sriranga Kamat were chosen as the first Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. About 58 institutions around the state were brought under the aegis of this federation. The head office is located in Hubli and is spread over an area of 17 acres (69,000 m2) of land. The production of khadi began in the year 1982. A training college to train students in textile chemistry is also run by this federation. The goal of this college is to produce technicians who will improve the quality of fabrics.
The main product of the KKGSS is the Indian flag. Apart from this, it also manufactures khadi clothes, khadi carpets, khadi bags, khadi caps, khadi bedsheets, soaps, handmade paper and processed honey. KKGSS also manufactures tools needed for carpentry, dyeing and blacksmithy and also has a naturopathy hospital in its premises.
The flag is manufactured by the khadi unit of KKGSS. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission has certified KKGSS as the sole manufacturer and supplier of the Indian flag to the entire country. There are 100 specialist spinners and 100 weavers employed in making the flag. The flag is manufactured conforming to the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The cloth needed for the flag is sourced from KKGSS's unit in Bagalkot and divided into three lots, each of the lots to be dyed with one of the three major colors in the Indian flag. After dyeing, the cloth is cut in the required size and shape and the blue chakra (wheel) with 24 equally spaced spokes is printed on the white cloth. Finally, the three pieces are stitched together to make the Indian flag. About 60 Japanese sewing machines are used to maintain precision while stitching. Some of the critical confirmation criteria include that the width and length of the entire flag should be in the ratio 2:3 and that the chakra needs to be printed on both the sides of the flag with both of these prints perfectly matched, like two hands joined palm to palm. Each lot shipped is subjected to an inspection by BIS and any issue with a single flag could result in the whole lot being rejected. The flags are manufactured in nine sizes, with the smallest one being 6 × 4 inches (150 X 100 mm) and the biggest one being 21 X 14 feet (6300 X 4200 mm).
KKGSS's annual turnover is about Rs. 15 million ($375,000). The major customers of KKGSS are politicians and people associated with politics. This is because Khadi symbolised self-reliance during the Indian independence movement and was worn by Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders. In the year 2007, KKGSS has sold flags worth Rs. 6 million ($150,000).
- Aruna Chandaraju (15 August 2004). "The flag town". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 2004-08-15. Chennai, India. Retrieved 9 August 2007.
- "Introduction". Webpage of Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
- K R Chakrapani (30 October 2001). "Khadi Gramodyog will keep Kannada flag flying high". Online Edition of The Times of India, dated 2001-10-30. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
- "Products". Webpage of Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
- Vicky Nanjappa. "I-Day fever: Rs 60 lakhs flags sold!". Online webpage of Rediff.com, dated 2007-08-09. Retrieved 10 August 2007.