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.
What our clients say?
"The temple town of Melkote near Bangalore attracts a lot of pilgrims. My visit to Melkote this summer however, was a pilgrimage of sorts - I went to the Janapada Seva Trust. Blessed with a rich history, the Trust is one of the most authentic efforts that I can think of, in building communities around Khadi. The campus exudes a certain warmth and genuine affection that one rarely finds today. Perhaps this is because their work runs on the same principles that this country was born out of- self reliance, honesty and a quiet perseverance. I wore a sari that was woven by them and the looks of pride and delight on the women weavers’ faces was as humbling as it was heart warming. Curious about how ‘city women’ perceive their work, what their aesthetics are like and how they can leverage that learning were among the many things we spoke of. I ended up learning much more from them. If I were you, I’d visit them once. To bask in the shade of the large tamarind tree or for a long amble in the untamed campus. Especially if you are in Bengaluru. And if you aren’t, make that trip. It will be well worth your time and effort"
- Savitha Suri, a textile enthusiast, India
"I am an admirer of Janapada Khadi for more than a decade now. Apart from their beautiful creations what strikes most about this organization is the amount of value they bring for every rupee I spend with them. Their true empathetic approach towards the well being of all makes their khadi fabric desirable"
- Ravi Kiran, Metaphor Racha boutique store, India
"I can't recommend Janapada Khadi highly enough. The khadi they weave is beautiful and the natural dyes they produce are extraordinary, rich in color and completely unique. It is a pleasure to do business with them. They truly embody the spirit of khadi"
- Emily Dymond, a textile enthusiast, UK