Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Madhya Pradesh has increased the demand for Modi Jackets in the state by 10%, as per traders stitching them in Shivpuri district.
Badarwas, a tehsil headquarter town of around 17,000 residents in Shivpuri district, has emerged as a manufacturing hub for bandhgala, sleeveless jackets that Prime Minister wears. About 75 units manufacturing Modi Jackets are operational in Badarwas and adjoining rural areas. More than 5,000 people have received employment in Modi Jackets industry.
Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, 63, the biggest and oldest manufacturer of Modi Jackets in Badarwas, says that 15,000 jackets are made in the town every day. “My unit, Betu Jackets, alone manufactures around 1,500 jackets a day,” he says.
Mostly men work in the units while women work from their homes. Modi Jackets have transformed the small town. “Enter any lane and you will hear the sound of sewing machines,” says the manufacturer.
According to Agarwal, Modi Jackets are same as Nehru Jackets. “It is just a new name,” he said. Earlier, they mainly came in black and white colours but now they are available in blue, red and other dark and light colours in plain and check designs. The fabric used is cotton, polyester and mixed. The price range is Rs 80 to Rs 300 per piece.
Agarwal began manufacturing jackets in 2002. "At that time, they were not called Modi Jackets. As demand increased, the production grew,” he said, adding that they get orders from as far as Assam, Punjab, Haryana and J&K, besides Bihar, UP, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
Agarwal says that his high-profile customers include chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The jacket presented to Prime Minister during his visit to Bhopal was also manufactured at his unit. “Before his visit, there was such a surge in demand for the jackets that the wholesalers in Bhopal exhausted their stocks within days and were back to us with fresh orders,” he says.
The Modi Jackets stall of Agarwal’s firm at the International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan in Delhi was awarded second prize for Best Display in private sector category. Modi Jackets have been selected under Ek Zila, Ek Utpad scheme of the Central Government for Shivpuri district.
Owner of Sankatmochan Vastra Bhandar, Manoj Agrawal, says the demand for Modi jackets has grown by 10% after the PM’s visit to Bhopal.
One reason for their popularity is they are affordable and can be worn in any season, says owner of Pari Jackets Bhandar, Vipin Chaudhary.
Sanket Vastralaya owner Suresh Gupta says the sales of the jackets had reduced because of Covid-19 but it has increased due to PM’s visit.