THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the state government is yet to decide on the school reopening date for regular classes, the free handloom uniforms for students in government and aided schools are being readied for distribution. The handloom societies in the state have woven 53 lakh metres of cloth for the purpose. With around 8.5 lakh students set to benefit, the uniforms are planned to be distributed before the beginning of regular classes.
Government school students from Classes I to VII and aided school students from Classes I to IV will be given free uniforms. Students in other classes will be given money to buy uniforms. They are being woven at a cost of Rs 106 crore at seven handloom units - Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad.
Sources said only some finishing touches are remaining and the uniforms will be shifted to schools by the end of this month. The uniform distribution is part of the ‘Free Handloom Uniform Scheme’ mooted by the state government. “Usually, the uniforms would be ready by May, before the beginning of the academic year on June 1. But this year, weaving began only in May due to the lockdown,” said an officer with the general education department.