Melkote, an idyllic tenth century town in the South Indian state of Karnataka, is popular among the fervent devotees of Lord Vishnu as a sacred pilgrim town. While the town’s distinguished Vaishnavite tradition has inspired many seers, saints, and devotees, its distinction as a hub of rural industries and livelihoods, remained arcane. Among those who were attracted to Melkote’s profoundness was the young couple Smt. Girija Koulagi and Sri. Surendra Koulagi who established the Janapada Seva Trust (JST) in 1960. Inspired by the ideals of swaraj (self-rule) as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi, and his associate, economist J C Kumarappa, the Trust has been actively working from the day of its inception towards creating a non-violent social order.
One of the key activities of the Trust is the production of Khadi fabric under the brand name of Janapada Khadi. The activity is recognized by KVIC, Govt of India with the certificate number KNT/3452. Janapada Khadi seeks to resuscitate Khadi not only an aspirational choice of clothing, but as a tool for creating a non-violent social order for a sustainable and equitable future. Janapada Khadi evinces the spirit of swaraj (self-rule), a philosophy that centers freedom of individuals to regulate their own lives without harming one another. With human energy (the energy expended by the human body that enables manual work) at its core, Janapada Khadi ensures negligible harm to the environment and the humans in its supply-chain. The brand also strives to rearticulate the fabric in the form of versatile, contemporary and timeless pieces that are non-violent in letter and spirit. You can now wear this spirit on your sleeve.