During Deepavali, the most discussed topic among workers in Tirupur knitwear and other adjoining industrial clusters in the district is the scale of ‘bonus’ that comes along with salary as perk. But, towards the end of the month it has been the same story of cash shortage and dependency on usurers to meet even the immediate financial needs in the case of majority of workers as mentality of ‘saving’ for the future is yet to creep into their lifestyle.

“Despite explaining the worker population the need to conserve cash for overall welfare of the family, almost 60 per cent of the workers continue spending festival perks on ‘expensive’ clothes and a large portion on liquor,” said P.R.Natarajan, a senior trade unionist in the district and state council member of All India Trade Union Congress.

Sources in Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), the main ‘beneficiary’ of the lavish spending habit nurtured by the workers, said that there was a 25 per cent increase in the sale of liquor on the day ahead of Deepavali, on the festival day, and the day after it, in the district.

“On the Deepavali day, Rs. 3.5 crore worth of liquor was sold through the TASMAC outlets in the district this year,” the sources added.

Nagaraj, a textile worker, sees the festival perks as an ‘incentive’ to revelry that comes once in a year.

K. Sakthivel, psychiatrist at District Headquarters Hospital, said the tendency to economise the salaries should be developed by every section of population as debt was found to be a main reason for the high suicide rate in the district for the last few years.

“The high spenders should take professional help to control the impulsivity in them, which is the primary reason for them not able to save much,” he added.

Many workers are forced to depend on usurers to make ends meet