The devotees visiting the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi and hundreds of temple workers will no longer need to enter the temple premises barefoot. Starting 14th January, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is beginning the sale of Khadi handmade paper “Use & Throw” slippers for the use of the devotees and the workers. The Khadi handmade paper slippers will be sold from the Khadi sales outlet located at the parking lot of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor. The handmade paper slippers can be purchased at a nominal price of Rs 50 per pair. The slippers will be sold by Kashi Hastkala Pratisthan, a registered Khadi Institution in Varanasi. The handmade paper slipper manufacturing unit will be inaugurated by the Mahant of Kashi Vishwanath Temple on Makar Sankranti; i.e. on 14th January, 2022.
The development comes in wake of the jute slippers sent by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the workers of Kashi Vishwanath Temple after he learnt that most of the people working at the temple performed their duty barefoot. It is forbidden to wear footwear made of leather or rubber on the temple premises. The entire workforce of the temple including the priests, security guards, sanitation workers and people performing seva have to abide by this rule.
Chairman KVIC, Vinai Kumar Saxena said the “use & throw” slippers made of handmade paper will maintain the sanctity of the temple and at the same time will also save devotees from heat and cold during harsh weather conditions. Also, these slippers will prevent any kind of pollution as they are made of natural fibres. “These handmade paper slippers will uphold the sanctity of the temple. These slippers are made of 100% eco-friendly material. The use of these slippers in temple premises will also create sustainable employment for Khadi artisans. KVIC will be selling these slippers from 14th January,” Saxena said.
Notably, Khadi’s handmade paper “use & throw” slippers have been developed for the first time in India. These handmade paper slippers are 100% eco-friendly and cost-effective. The Handmade paper used in making these slippers is completely wood-free and made of natural fibres like Cotton & Silk rags and agro waste and hence, suitable for use in places of worship. It is also effective from the hygiene point of view. These slippers have been developed by KVIC with the objective of supporting the handmade paper industry and creating sustainable employment for artisans.