Jaipur: The humble khadi may not have the same global appeal as its patron who saw it as a symbol of strength and self-reliance, creating a contemporary story for the iconic fabric would be a topic for the frontline designers from India, UK, Japan and other countries at an event to be held for marking the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. While lack of branding, designing that is fashionable to the youth, capacity building for increasing production volume and incentives to make the products cheaper is attributed to khadi losing out to competition, the fallout has also not helped the rural artisans and workers engaged in the sector. Additional chief secretary, Industries, Subodh Agarwal said the two-day international conference will seek to address these challenges. “There is a sense of urgency for addressing issues of poverty eradication, community empowerment, social justice, gender equality and environmental concerns. Discussions will revolve around production capacity, quality designing, export potential, employment and livelihood at the conference,” said Agarwal about the two-day event that starts from January 30. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, whose government extended 50% discount on khadi products as part of its celebrations of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s, will inaugurate the event. Anand Mishra, chairman of CII-Rajasthan, said, “More than 250 delegates have already registered, out of which more than 150 are from out of Jaipur.” Issues like ethical and sustainable fashion concept, natural organic fibers, innovation and new technology will be subjects of main discussion during the event. Stakeholder groups like international agencies, corporates, and representatives from NGOs will participate in the conference.