Angry women threw sarees onto bonfires in Telangana on Monday, claiming that the free garments handed out by the state government were of inferior quality, according to media reports.
The Telangana government spent Rs222 crore on sarees as gifts for female residents for Bathukamma, a floral festival celebrated by the Hindu women of Telangana that begins on Tuesday.
The polyester garments were handed out at special counters at designated government buildings in villages, The Indian Express reported. The sarees were distributed to more than 100,000 women, irrespective of their religion, across the 31 districts of the state.
Telangana Handlooms Commissioner Shailaja Ramaiyer said, “The Bathukamma gift is a 100% polyester saree produced in power looms. This year, we were able to procure 50% of the total requirement of 1.04 crore sarees from Telangana weavers. The remaining were procured from Surat.”
At some distribution sites, angry women burned their free sarees, complaining that they were given inferior ones instead of the much-publicised handloom ones they had been promised, The Hindu reported.