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Saturday Dressing: Kerala govt staff opt for khadi

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

A large number of government employees in today turned up in offices wearing handloom and khadi clothes to boost the market for the crisis-gripped traditional textile sector.

While men mostly wore the traditional mundu (dhoti) and shirt, women reported to offices in saris or churidar and top made of handloom or khadi responding to the LDF government's appeal to support the traditional sector by using hand-woven clothes on Saturdays.

"There is no dress code. There is only an appeal and the response is quite encouraging," an official in the industries department said.

"The number of people changing over to handloom and khadi in the coming weeks are expected to go up as the message goes down," an employee in the secretariat here said.

The employees requiring to wear uniform have been exempted from the purview of the plea.

The handloom sector alone employs about 1.5 lakh in the state, and record sales of Rs 50 crore a year. This was expected to be taken to Rs 200 crore a year if over five lakh employees switch to handloom clothes once-a-week, he said.

The sale of handloom and khadi sectors now rely heavily on state-provided rebate to customers during important fesitvals like Onam.

A similar idea has been mooted by the education department also by encouraging use of uniform made of hand-woven clothes from the next academic year.

The plea enjoys support from the entire political spectrum with staff unions of all hues backing the move.

First Published: Sat, January 06 2007. 11:00 IST