94-year-old khadi activist on Rajasthan Heritage Week ramp

Jaipur, Dec 6 (IANS) While fashion designers generally opt for celebs and page-three personalities as showstoppers, the Rajasthan Heritage Week saw Bhagwan Sahay Kanungo, a 94-year-old freedom fighter and khadi proponent, taking to the ramp, humbly folding his hands in response to a rousing standing ovation.

Kanungo, who lives in Jaipur, came for the event at the invitation of Abhishek of the Rohit & Abhishek designer duo.

Aided by a walker and a team of people, the veteran stood at the beginning of the ramp and received a standing ovation which applauded not just his work to save khadi through the years, but also his spirit.

Kanungo was honoured with a tie-and-dye stole by Abhishek, and folded his hands as a mark of respect for the audience and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who was present at the venue.

Talking about Kanungo’s contribution to the world of khadi, Abhishek told the media here: “He is 94. He was (perhaps) the youngest freedom fighter. He was below 18 years old back then and participated in the Satyagraha.”

“The police used to release him as he was a juvenile. He joined the Khadi movement after the Satyagraha and tried to give it an organised structure.”

Kanungo lives in Jaipur and his family is still into sustaining Khadi, Abhishek said, and added that honouring the nonagenarian at a stage that is celebrating indigenous Indian fabrics was only apt.

Prasad Bidapa, organiser of RHW — which celebrated the textile artisans of the state — couldn’t agree more.

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