Kondhawe-Dhawade, a village near Maharashtra’s Pune, has claimed to be the first village in India to officially ban the use of Chinese products in its jurisdiction.
The village passed a unanimous resolution on June 23 to stop the use and sale of Chinese products as much as possible, starting from July 1.
Gram Panchayat (GP) member Snehal Dhawade, who had tabled the resolution, told The Federal, “After the cowardly attack by Chinese soldiers on the Indian side, the discussion on the ban on Chinese products began. But, we (the villagers) chose to act instead of just sloganeering against them. So, I officially tabled the resolution in the GPs’ monthly meeting.”
According to the resolution, electronic items like computers, and stationery items used in government offices will strictly be Indian-made products only. The resolution also states that no product manufactured in China should be used in any government-funded public work or even for GP-level public work.
All shopkeepers and traders in the village have been requested to do the same.
“It’s not that we can’t do anything sitting here. This is our small share in the attack against the Chinese economy. This is the best we can do,” asserted Snehal Dhawade.
Akash Gore, a mobile shop owner, said he too was looking at the ban in a positive light. He said, “I will finish selling off the current stock and will not buy any China-made products after this. I used to sell both Indian-made and Chinese products previously.”
He feels that this would be the best tribute to all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on the Sino-Indian border.
He further said, “There is a price difference, but still, I have decided to stop Chinese products.”
Haribhau Pawar, an administrative officer of the Kondhawe-Dhawade Gram Panchayat, said this was a small step from their side. He added, “We have also started an awareness campaign in the village. We have distributed thousands of pamphlets and put up hoardings (on this issue) across the village.”
Talking about their village’s contribution to the country, Suneet Limbore, another Gram Panchayat member, said, “Our village had donated 2,700 acres of land to the National Defence Academy back in the 1950s. Also, we have a glorious history of serving the great Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj.”
He also said, “Even today, more than 200 families are serving in armed forces. We are only taking up the baton of patriotism with this move (to ban Chinese products).”
Pradeep, a young boy from the village, said, “I don’t care if the Indian product has a higher price. I will not buy any other product except for Indian products.” To further reinforce his point, he bought an Indian-made bulb at a shop there while speaking to The Federal.
The villagers said they were happy with the decision taken by the administration. Nikhil Dhawade, another panchayat member, said, “We urge all the other Gram Panchayats in the country to follow our move to create a greater impact across India.”