Women playing Bathukamma around Bathukamma sarees at Jangaon
Women playing Bathukamma around Bathukamma sarees at Jangaon

Warangal: The distribution of Bathukamma sarees is marred by protests and burning of sarees at several places in erstwhile Warangal district by women, who were irked at the poor quality of sarees given to them. The distribution of sarees has been launched in a grand manner across the district by local elected representatives.

Deputy Chief Minister K Srihari on Monday launched the programme at Wardhannapet along with local MLA Aroori Ramesh. 

However, the distribution of sarees is not launched in Jayashanker Bhupalpally district. It is learnt that the sarees have arrived at distribution points from the civil supplies warehouses. At Mulug, the programme is deferred to September 20 owing to the reported illness of Tribal Welfare Minister A Chandulal, sources said.

The State government has promised to distribute handloom sarees procuring them from Sircilla, Surat and other places. But even before the launch of distribution, complaints surfaced over the poor quality of the sarees that are procured from Surat in Gujarat. The government is said to have paid Rs 172 per saree.

Most of the women, who received the sarees from fair price shops and other distribution points, alleged that sarees are not handloom sarees but cheap quality printed sarees. This resulted in protests by the beneficiaries at Jangaon, Parkal, Mahabubabad, Gudur, Kesamudram, Dornakal and other places.

At Beeruwada village in Kesamudram mandal and at Mahabubabad district headquarters, the women burnt the sarees. At Jangaon district headquarters, women have rejected the sarees and some piled the sarees on the ground and played Bathukamma.

‘The government promised to give handloom sarees. But it failed to keep the promise as the sarees given to us doesn’t cost even Rs 50,’ said an aged woman called S Narsamma of Parkal. The same is the complaint of women at Jangaon and Mahabubabad.

At Budagonda village in Mahabubabad district, the sarpanch and the Mahila Congress president Guguloth Suchitra burnt the sarees along with local women as a mark of protest. In turn TRS ranks have burnt an effigy of TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy alleging that Congress leaders are instigating women.

Responding on the issue, BJP assembly floor leader G Kishan Reddy felt that the TRS government is insulting the women in Telangana by offering poor quality sarees. ‘None asked the government to distribute sarees, as it chose to gift them it should have given good quality sarees,’ he told The Hans India. 

The TRS MLA Konda Surekha accused the opposition parties of triggering protests with an intention to malign the government. ‘The opposition leaders are unable to digest the good work being done by the government,’ she noted. It is planned to distribute about 22 lakh sarees across erstwhile Warangal district.