With schools, colleges and a majority of other private establishments still closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there was an uncertainty over Independence Day functions which has had a direct impact on the sale of Tricolours by the Khadi Gram Udyog.
“Every year, we witness a rise in the sale of the national flag. But this year, there is almost no demand. Except for government offices, most private establishments are not holding the flag hoisting ceremony. They say that since everyone is working from home, there is no point is calling employees for I-Day celebrations,” said an employee of the Khadi Ashram in Lucknow.
He further said that nearly 70 per cent of the sale come from schools, colleges and other educational institutes but this year, there are hardly any orders from them. Business is down by 90 per cent.
Another factor that is contributing to dipping sales is the online sale of national flags on e-commerce websites like Amazon.
“People are buying online because they are wary of moving out into the markets. This has also dented our sales,” the employee said.
Dyeing and printing department manager of the Khadi unit in Meerut, Bhupinder Kumar Upadhyay, said: “The influx of cheap synthetic flags too has spoiled our business. The Constitution of India has specifically mentioned that the tricolour should be made of cotton Khadi. That is the only authentic Indian flag.
“There was a time when 800 workers used to work here. Today, there are about seven workers and total strength of the unit is less than 20.”
Production of national flags in most Khadi units used to begin from March but due to the lockdown, production has been stalled for almost four months.