Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government’s announcement that it will commence the production of Pongal sarees and dhotis soon has brought relief to the weavers of Erode and other districts of the state where weavers depend mainly on the order from the state government.
The Tamil Nadu Federation of Power Loom Association had gone on a one-day hunger strike after the state government had not begun the process of ordering sarees and dhotis for the Pongal celebrations.
The state government has earmarked Rs 487.92 crore in the 2022-23 budget for the production and supply of dhotis and saris for Pongal.
The sarees and dhotis will be distributed to the Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries during the Tamil New Year day, Pongal which is generally celebrated between January 14 to January 17.
Pongal is the biggest festival in Tamil Nadu and successive state governments have been providing gift hampers along with rice and other household essentials to people through the ration shops.
However, Power Loom owners and workers are worried that the orders from the state government have been delayed as generally the orders are given by the first week of July.
Power Loom federation organising secretary P. Kanthivel, while speaking to media persons said, “The orders of saree and dhotis for Pongal by the state government was delayed beyond a point this year and hence to bring this to the attention of those responsible, we conducted a one-day hunger strike. The government has immediately acted and we are happy at the announcement that orders would be given soon.”
Tamil Nadu Handloom and Textiles minister R. Gandhi in a statement said, “The policy level orders of the government will be issued soon for continuing to implement the dhoti, saree scheme in the current year (2022-23) and carry out production in power loom and handloom cooperative societies.”
According to the textiles ministry of Tamil Nadu, around 1.8 crore sets of saree and dhotis would be distributed during the Pongal festival to the below poverty line people in the state.