Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: With the Textile department ensuring the supply of 2.7 crore dhotis and saris to the districts under the Pongal gift scheme, the stage is set for the distribution of dhotis and saris to beneficiaries of the old age pension scheme and the supply of uniforms to school students.

Ten lakh saris and two lakh dhotis will be distributed to old age pensioners and this will be completed in a week, according to a senior official of the Textiles department.

As for the distribution of uniforms, a high-level meeting is likely to be held next week to chalk out the modalities. Sixty-two lakh students, studying in first standard to eighth standard, will benefit.

For the Pongal scheme, the Government had decided to provide 3.28 crore saris and dhotis. Apart from ordering the production of 2.7 crore dhotis and saris, authorities made use of the existing stock to meet the total requirement. The distribution, which began on January 1, is almost over, says the official.

The scheme provides continuous employment to about 11,000 handloom weavers and 23,000 powerloom weavers.