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Few takers for handloom dress code

Few takers for handloom dress code
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Handloom dress code for government employees every Monday has gone for a toss with seriousness and enthusiasm seen in the initial days lacking for the...

Hyderabad: Handloom dress code for government employees every Monday has gone for a toss with seriousness and enthusiasm seen in the initial days lacking for the last few months. It is only the Minister K T Rama Rao, IAS officers and HoDs of different government wings wearing hand-woven attire without fail most of the times.

While the intent of K T Rama Rao to bring in Monday dress code with an aim to give fillip to handloom industry and thereby help weavers’ families has been appreciated by one and all, the implementation part has not been successful as anticipated, according to weavers’ community.

"There are nearly four lakh State government employees in Telangana. If all these employees wear handloom clothes at least once a week, it would create good business to the struggling handloom sector," K T Rama Rao explained about the initiative launched one and half year ago. There are several Khadi shops in Lakdikapul area and shopkeepers say government employees are rarely dropping by to buy or have a look at hand-woven shirts, shirt material and saris in case of women.

"After the Minister direction to all Heads of line department to ensure staff wears handloom wear every Monday, scores of employees made a beeline to our shops to buy dresses. There was continuous rush for few months. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm has gone away and now there are only fewer enquiries and shopping of Khadi dresses by employees," a shop keeper said.

Earlier there used to be only cloth material. But off late ready-made shirts (mostly priced Rs 600 each) are also made available in most of the shops. Stocks of cotton and silk saris from Pochampally, Gadwal, Gollabhama (Siddipet) were procured especially keeping in mind women employees.

Although, staff at the ground level are not strictly following the Monday dress code, Collectors in all districts, including women, are turning up to Grievance Day programmes wearing handloom clothes to set up an example for their sub-ordinates. KTR has been successful in spreading the message to celebrities and VIPs like actress Samantha, Sania Mirza, PV Sindhu, Katherine Hadda (US Consul General in Hyderabad) etc. to promote handloom and they obliged on different occasions.

More recently, K T Rama Rao shared the stage with actor Mahesh Babu and Director Koratala Siva of "Bharat Ane Nenu" team and they both turned up wearing handloom shirts and pledged their support to the initiative.

Although the minister has been successful in getting support of elite sections as well as bureaucrats and senior government officials, the attitude of the middle and lower level government staff is a lot to be desired.

A government official, who did not wish to be named, recalled how N Chandrababu Naidu, during his tenure as CM in combined state, issued a Government Order (G.O) making it compulsory for employees to participate in "clean and green" programme once in a week. G.O directing all government staff to wear Khadi and indigenous fabric once a week or inclusion in District Office Manual (DOM), which contains compendium of instructions to all government employees about work timings, attendance, general discipline, office system etc. are the suggestions coming for the administration to bring a change.

With National Handloom Day (August 7) just about a month away, this is the appropriate time for TRS government to make required changes so that intent of providing livelihood to by way of more work to lakhs of weaver families across the State could be served, it is felt.

Former APCO chairman G Jagannadham urged government to make it mandatory for employees to wear handloom attire once in a week and appealed to Minister KTR to conduct the ensuing national handloom day (August 7) on a big scale.

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