Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra on Tuesday unveiled the world's largest charkha (spinning wheel) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.In his message on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "The charkha is a symbol of our glorious heritage, and an inspiring reminder of our freedom struggle, led by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi." Unveiling the charkha at Terminal 3 of IGI Airport, Mishra said it is a symbol of the Gandhian values and "shows the government's priority for khadi and village industries in the country". "The idea behind displaying the world's biggest spinning wheel at the country’s busiest airport is to highlight India’s quest to foster an egalitarian society as demonstrated by the Father of our Nation," the minister said. He said the positioning of the spinning wheel at the departure lounge forecourt will help promote India’s rich cultural heritage.
The four-tonne charkha made of high-quality Burma teak wood, is nine feet wide, 17 feet tall and 30 feet long. It was built in 55 days by a team of 42 carpenters hailing from Ahmedabad in Gujarat. "The charkha represents Swadeshi, self-sufficiency, and at the same time interdependence, because the wheel is at the centre of a network of cotton growers, carders, weavers, distributors and end-users," Mishra said.On the occasion, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which manages the IGI airport here, announced that it will adopt Khadi for the summer and winter uniforms for its staff at Delhi airport.The announcement was made by G.M. Rao, Group Chairman, GMR Group. The GMR Group leads a consortium that owns DIAL.