COIMBATORE: The whole world would be closely watching India during US President Donald Trump and First Lady of the US Melania Trump’s visit to the country on February 24 and 25.
While political analysts and economists expect a striking deal by Trump during his visit to India, an 84-year-old man from a nondescript village in Coimbatore's Pollachi chose to express his talent amidst this tornado.
V S Vishwanathan, the handloom weaver from Vettaikaranpudur in Pollachi taluk weaved a Khadi kurta for Donald Trump. The reason: To sensitise the citizens of India to use Khadi clothes, accomplishing the vision of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.
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The weaver had parceled the Khadi kurta to Prime Minister's Office, seeking to present the same by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Donald Trump during his visit to the national capital.
Nevertheless, Vishwanathan had presented handcrafted Khadi kurta to notable figures who had visited Coimbatore notably former presidents VV Giri and R Venkataraman, veteran Tamil actor Sivaji Ganesan. He also previously presented the Khadi kurta to PM Narendra Modi and former US president Barack Obama.
Speaking with TNIE, Vishwanathan said, “Whenever the political leaders are visiting Coimbatore, I would weave a Khadi kurta to them. This is to create awareness about the need to use Khadi clothes.”
He recalled that he first presented the Khadi kurta to former president VV Giri during the latter's visit to Coimbatore in 1969. "Later, I made it a practice to weave Khadi cloth to the famous leaders," he added.
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By calculating the height of a person, Vishwanathan said he could weave a kurta for them. For Donald Trump, he weaved 42-inch sized kurta.
According to Vishwanathan, the handloom field has slightly lost its sheen. Most people are fond of western outfits but not Khadi clothes, he said.
The 84-year-old man also provides free tailoring classes to the married women in his locality to make them self-sustainable.
"I don't know whether the Khadi kurta would be presented to Donald Trump. But, I will not be disappointed if it did not happen," he concludes.