Fights, Angry Protests Over Bad Quality Spoil Telangana Government's Free Saree Drive

Cheryl Sanders
September 19, 2017

At Jagitial, women staged protests against supplying poor quality sarees by burning them on road within hours of distribution of Bathukamma sarees. Launching the distribution of Bathukamma sarees in Manakondur mandal on Monday, he said that the State Government was paying back to the womenfolk, who were part of the statehood movement, by providing sarees as gift for the festival.

As leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) started distributing the sarees, trouble erupted in some towns. "KCR should not have taken up the scheme at all, rather than insulting us with this poor quality of sarees", a woman said.

The gifting of free sarees were announced by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Independence Day for the festival of Bathukamma that is celebrated during Navratri. The KCR government spent Rs 222 crore on 1.04 crore saris. "The sarees are similar to the ones that are tied to wood in the fields to scare away birds", said a women working as SHG.

According to Telugu Desam Party legislator A Revanth Reddy, the government had fooled the woman saying that each saree would cost around Rs 200, but what was distributed to them was a saree worth not even Rs 50.

Telangana IT Minister KT Rama said that the government targeted to distribute about 1.04 crore sarees at over 8,000 centres in the state. Officials said the sarees are being distributed through special counters, PDS outlets and designated government buildings in villages. Many even allegedly burnt the sarees over poor quality. She said around 52 lakh sarees were procured from Telangana weavers whereas the remaining were procured from Surat and other cities due to shortage of time. Almost 1.04 crore sarees are being distributed to women starting from Monday to Wednesday. Police arrested Junnu Rajender, Baddela Mallaiah, Shafiuddin, Chittapelli Sampath and Mosali Laxmi.The five people allegedly snatched the sarees from a distributor and set them on fire. "They were all polyester sarees made on power looms and are durable", she said. There is no truth in the allegations that the sarees lacked quality.

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