Urging the State government to release order for manufacturing free dhotis and saris so that they are ready for distribution in time for the Pongal festival in 2023, members of the Tamil Nadu Federation of Power Looms Associations observed one day fast at Veerappanchatiram here on Wednesday.
Led by federation president L.K.M. Suresh, members said the government releases orders for making dhotis and saris in June every year to the 223 power loom weavers’ cooperative societies in Erode, Salem, Namakkal and Tiruvannamalai. The society in turn distributes yarn to 67,000 power looms in the State for producing 1.80 crore sets of dhotis and saris. While 30 lakh sets are manufactured at pedal looms and handlooms, 1.50 crore sets are manufactured at the power looms, they said. “But, we are into the second week of August and the government is yet to place release orders,” they added.
Members said that in the last 10 years, production of free dhotis and saris provided jobs to over a lakh workers and the delay in issue of orders would delay the production and distribution for Pongal. “Even if orders are issued now, there could be a slight delay in delivery by the end of December,” they said. The sector had been facing many challenges in the last six years and further delay would make the workers jobless, they added.