Free Saree and dhoti scheme in Tamil Nadu
The Pongal is a very important celebration that marks the oncoming of a harvest time. During this time, the spirit of those who reside in Tamil Nadu is raised to greater levels. However the below poverty level individuals are the ones that do not get benefitted from this to any great extent. Therefore to aid the male and female belonging to the below poverty level, the free Saree and dhoti scheme was brought into place.
Key features of the free Saree and dhoti scheme
- 30 million people including several families will be directly benefitted from this scheme. The scheme was launched earlier and since then has benefitted several of the downtrodden classes.
- Around 486.36 crore rupees have been allocated to carry out this scheme with perfection. Hence we can guess that a lot of families can expect to be benefitted in future.
- This scheme will be chain wise benefit for the poor people and those belonging to the downtrodden sections will largely be benefitted economically.
Why will they be benefitted?
The idea is that the economically backward sections are majorly employed in the handloom and weaving industries. Hence they will receive the direct benefits of this scheme. They will have a contract with the government to give them the number of handlooms necessary to carry out this scheme. Therefore with this, comes the possibility of getting economic benefit.
Hence, while there will be one section of the society that will be benefitted with the provision of clothes, there will be another section that will receive financial benefits. Economically speaking, this is a great move that will help people bring forth the outcomes of their harvest in the true sense of the festivities.
Aims and targets of the government
The government is at present aiming towards providing a better opportunity to the BPL individuals. Therefore it is aiming to give a push to the handloom and power loom sections. One of the key aspects of this scheme is that if the handloom and the power loom sections are generating more revenue then it will also have a higher availability of personnel, that is, more number of people will be employed in these areas.
The people who are employed in these sections do not need any specific skill set but majorly they are women and men of BPL categories. Hence, indirectly, this scheme will be creating jobs for the downtrodden sections.
While the government is noticing the condition of the agricultural sector the handloom and power loom sector is the one that is getting slowly closed down. However if this part was to be maintained by this scheme then more number of people could have been employed at their jobs.
Things to note about this scheme
- With the sole aim of distributing Sarees among the poor, the poly cotton Sarees were first introduced in the year 2003 in the state.
- Since Pongal was taking place at the same time the government took it upon itself to distribute the Sarees and Dhotis to all during this time since the year 2005. Hence it is only a new custom that has come into place.
- The people belonging to the BPL categories have been introduced in this scheme since 2005. So all the BPL category families living in the rural and urban areas can apply for this scheme.
- It was only in the year 2012 when the scheme was renamed as Priceless Sarees and Dhoti scheme. Earlier it used to be known as Free Sarees and Dhotis scheme. Even now many people know it by this name only.
- In the Pongal of 2013 alone, nearly 1.73 crore Sarees and 1.72 crore Dhotis were distributed in the state among all the economically backward sections.
So, why was Pongal chosen?
Pongal was chosen as the time to give these clothes because Pongal is a very special time and holds a special memory in the hearts of those who live in Tamil Nadu. It is a custom in India to wear new clothes during the festive season. While the economically upward sections can do that, the economically backward sections remain devoid of this simple pleasure.
The government of Tamil Nadu noticing this plight of the citizens has decided to give away new clothes as a sign of good luck and auspiciousness to the downtrodden. Clothing is considered to be a basic need which can be fulfilled with money. Hence not only during this time of the year but so that the individuals can fulfill their need throughout the year, the scheme was put in place.
This year Pongal is going to be held on January 14th 2017 which also coincides with the global event of meridian solar transit.
Implementation of the scheme
Nearly 30 million people will get free Sarees and Dhotis. For this reason 74 lakh poly cot Dhotis and 81 lakh poly cot Sarees have been manufactured this year. For this reason the budget allocated to this cause is nearly 256 billion rupees this year.
The Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Karunanidhi has already inaugurated the scheme.