The four-tonne charkha (spinning wheel), representing “Swadeshi, self-sufficiency, and at the same time interdependence”, was recently unveiled at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi. Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Kalraj Mishra unveiled the world's largest charkha.
At the unveiling ceremony, Union MSME minister Kalraj Mishra said charkha is a symbol of Gandhian values and shows government's priority towards khadi and village industries.
The “wheel is at the centre of a network of cotton growers, carders, weavers, distributors and end-users," said the minister.
According to an official statement, the thought behind displaying the world's biggest charkha at the India’s busiest airport is to highlight India's quest to foster an egalitarian society as demonstrated by the great Mahatma Gandhi. Even, in his message on the occasion, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "The charkha is a symbol of our glorious heritage, and an inspiring reminder of our freedom struggle, led by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi".
This spinning wheel, made from high-quality Burma teakwood, estimated to last over 50 years, is 9 ft wide, 17 ft tall and 30 ft long. It was built in 55 days by a team of 42 skilled carpenters hailing from Ahmedabad.
All the existing artworks at the IGI terminal - Mudras, Regal procession, Elephant statues, Surya Sculpture, Suryanamaskar and Worli Art among others - depict and showcase Indian heritage globally.