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Dawn of Industries

     A person who judges the economic well-being of Gondal by setting the value of goods imported into the state against that of the merchandise exported is likely to be misled. The balance of visible trade is seldom in favour of Bhagvatsinhji’s subjects. So it has been ever since the present economic era began in India.

     The currency with which Gondal pays for import and export is different. Therefore there is no loss or gain on account of exchange to be considered. To make a correct idea of economic it is therefore becomes necessary to take into account of Imports. His Highness made a rigid economic ever since he came to power.

     The profit earned by the state was not kept idle in the Treasury, but have been invested in the various economic such as building of railways, railway track and electricity by providing this state receives revenue from the people.

     The amount then received in this shape was external dividends. It was used to carry the business with the British India, including Burma, East India and South Africa. Further to have more income a ginning factory was established at Dhoraji in 1871 and little later a press too. In the eighties the main business and the income of the state was production of cotton and woolen cloths, gold embroidery, and woodwork, brass and copper utensils. Progress was such that in 1886 there were 835 cotton and 75 wool-weaving had-loom establishments.

     The major export of that time was yarn, oils, molasses, wool, cereals, hides and skins; and the imports of timber, cotton, woolen and silken cloth, gold, silver and other metals. He was confident that expansion if Railway would bring the expansion of business in future.

     Revival of confidence led a company of merchants next year to establish a ginning factory near Railway Station. Other factory such as foundry, iron and brass factories, manufacturing ornamental railings, brackets, staircases, garden benches, trunks, teapoys were developed.

     In additions to advancing loans and using other means to encourage industry, His Highness provided technical training for young men interested in such activities. He sent three boys, dyers by caste, to learn modern methods of dying and kindred subjects and at the Kala-Bhavan (Technical institute) at Baroda.

     Young men in receipt of scholarships were also sent to the railway workshops at Ghadechi to receive practical training in mechanics.

     In 1920 a factory for manufacturing small articles such as nut-crackers, knives, razors and water-tape was established at Gondal.

     With the establishment of industries there has been a drift of populations towards the towns and rise in wages. The Great War particularly strengthened this tendency.

Sir Bhagvatsinhji

The Maker of Modern Gondal



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