Politics in Tamil Nadu is never complete without the leaders clad in crisp white veshti or dhoti. It has barely been 10 days since the dates for the Lok Sabha elections were announced, and the dhoti-makers and sellers have already been witnessing a spurt in sale. The demand is particularly for party colour-bordered dhotis (karai veshti).
Compared to the previous month, wholesalers have seen an increase of about 40 per cent in the sales this month. Weavers too have been receiving orders directly for the local party offices for colour-bordered dhotis and towels (karai thundu).
“We have received orders four times more than usual. We get orders for colour-bordered ones from almost all parties,” said a weaver.
Workers in mills such as those in Tirupur, Salem and Erode districts have been working extra time in an attempt to deliver on time. Nevertheless, they have to put up with power cuts.
“We are getting orders anywhere between 50,000 and one lakh in powerlooms while there is also demand for handloom dhotis. But of course, we do have power cuts and we have no choice but to work for more hours,” said a worker.
There is also a 50 per cent increase in the orders placed for T-shirts emblazoned with the faces of the party leaders in Tirupur district. Weavers in Tirupur district said they have been receiving more orders for T-shirts with prints of party leaders Narendra Modi, J Jayalalithaa and M K Stalin.
Even government-run Co-optex and Khadi Kraft have seen an increase in sales, of handloom dhotis. Khadi Kraft, which usually witnesses dull business this time of the year when it comes to dhotis, has seen as much as 21 per cent spike in sales. “We sold about 14,000 this month. Usually we sell only 1000 or 2000 a month and the sales will be usually dull around this time of the year,” a senior official from Khadi Kraft said.
Co-optex too have sold about three lakh handloom dhotis in three months as officials said they would also prepare themselves to face the demand with about 7,000 colour- bordered ones.