Khadi School Uniform
"The wearer of Khadi is like a man making use of his lungs. A natural and obligatory act has got to be performed, whether others do it out of impure motives or refrain altogether because they do not believe in its necessity or utility."
- M. K. Gandhi
With deference to the Mahatma's wishes, we at Shishuvan include a Khadi curriculum to enable students to understand and appreciate the production of Khadi cloth from which their uniform is made. The aim of the curriculum is to inculcate a respect for skilled labour and develop a meditative focus and attention in our students, in line withe Gandhi's nai talim". The teachers are from a voluntary Gandhian group : the Mumbai Sarvodaya Mandal. The unique corollary of teachers from this group is that it enables children to learn from elders that are the age of their grandparents or even older!
The Khadi curriculum of Shishuvan includes the learning of two skills :
Level 1: Every student has to spin 1000 metres of good quality thread on the Takli, before getting to level 2, which is the charkha.
Level 2: At the second level, the student spins 1000 metres of thread on the charkha
Weaving :Every student weaves a towel-size cloth on a table-loom. Shishuvan is proud of its Khadi uniform in yellow and green, relating with our school symbol, the sunflower that turns its bright face to the sun at all times.
Highlights of our School Uniform
Unisex: The pant and kurta are worn by boys and girls, establishing their status as a STUDENT rather than emphasising their gender and giving the girls the same sense of freedom as the boys in their ability to sit, exercise, run and climb.
Design: The design of the uniform provides maximum coverage to the body, keeping away harsh sunlight, mosquitoes, and lending itself to rural field visits wherein children walk through grass. Over time, there develops a certain comfort with looking and feeling Indian.
Durable: To provide ease of maintenance to parents, 30% polyester was accepted as the minimal requirement to ensure colour fast cloth that is easy to wash and iron. Also, parents are advised on the detergents to be used and the process of washing and drying the uniform.
Climate appropriate: The uniform is 70% cotton thus making it sweat absorbent and making it easy for the skin to 'breathe'.
Supporting women's livelihood: The uniform is manufactured by a women's cooperative - “Udyog Bharati” at Gondal. The school has a unique relationship with the women who spin and weave the uniform cloth. Std V students visit Gondal every year, to meet these women, visit their homes and develop a social consciousness of how their uniform contributes to the monthly income of these economically deprived homes.
Quality focus: The choice of Udyog Bharati was based on its drive for quality as one of India's largest exporters of Khadi.
Teamwork: The uniform celebrates the coming together of Shishuvan, Udyog Bharati, TexLab - Ahmedabad and the Textiles department of Nirmala Niketan College, Mumbai, all driven by a strong determination and working on each ones' strengths and core competencies.