Sunday, October 25, 2015

Commemorative Stamps on Charkha – 15th October 2015.

The Charkha or spinning wheel is a device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibres. Spinning wheels appeared in Asia, probably in the 11th century, and very gradually replaced hand spinning with spindle and distaff. The earliest clear illustrations of the spinning wheel come from Baghdad (drawn in 1234), China (c. 1270) and Europe (c. 1280), and there is evidence that spinning wheels had already come into use in both China and the Islamic world during the eleventh century.
Bardoli CharkhaThe charkha, or spinning wheel, was the physical embodiment and symbol of Gandhi’s constructive program. It represents Swadeshi, self-sufficiency, and at the same time interdependence, because the wheel is at the center of a network of cotton growers, carders, weavers, distributors, and users. It also embodied the dignity of labor, equality, unity, as all volunteers were to spin each day, and finally independence, as British control of India was rooted in control of indigenous industries such as textiles. The tabletop or floor charkha is one of the oldest known forms of the spinning wheel. The charkha works similarly to the great wheel, with a drive wheel being turned by hand, while the yarn is spun off the tip of the spindle. The floor charkha and the great wheel closely resemble each other. With both, the spinning must stop in order to wind the yarn onto the spindle.
Peti CharkhaIndia Post issued two commemorative stamps in denomination of Rs. 5 each and a Miniature Sheet on two popular types of Charkha, Peti charkha and Bardoli charkha on 15th October 2015.
Peti charkha is an efficient, portable and foldable spinning wheel. Since the traditional charkha was bulky and difficult to move, Mahatma Gandhi needed an instrument that could be transported easily. During his imprisonment in Yerwada jail, he had devised the portable spinning wheel that folds and has a handle for carrying. It is compact and folds into a wooden box. Bardoli charkha is a bigger size charkha in regular traditional form which one gets to see in many weavers house. Gandhiji often mentioned that his daily spinning was a form of meditation.
Charkha Miniature Sheet

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