Charkha – Gandhiji’s message of Self Reliance

The Charkha or the Spinning Wheel, popularised by Gandhiji, was at the centre of the freedom struggle of India. Firstly it preached self-reliance, where people would spin their own thread and not depend on foreign clothes imported from Britain, made with Indian cotton. Secondly, it brought together all kinds of people into the movement teaching them interdependence, because the wheel was at the centre of a network of cotton growers, weavers, distributors, and users. It also signified the dignity of labour, equality, unity, as all volunteers were to spin each day,

Let’s celebrate Gandhi Jayanti this year by making a model of a charkha. Collect simple things around your home and you are good to go.


Icecream sticks

Brush pens



Some barbeque sticks


  • Colour or make patterns on three sets of icecream sticks
  • Combine them as shown below and make holes on the two ends and the centre of each stick.
  • Pass a barbeque stick through the pairs and put a dot of glue to strengthen them.
  • When this dries thoroughly, assemble the sticks and the stands – made as two ‘V’s on the cardboard.
  • Assemble the entire structure on the cardboard, add a piece of folded cardboard on the other side.
  • Pass the string around the carousel and over to the other side and see your wheel spin.



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