The Telangana government’s free saree drive took an ugly turn on Monday when recipients of the government freebies began to fight with each other, with some videos showing that they were pulling each others hair and beating each other up.
The reason? Really long queues and bad quality sarees.
Hindustan Times reported that while the women had expected good quality sarees, they were very unhappy. The report said some women rejected the sarees while others burnt them on the road, cleaned vehicles with them and some even threw them in dustbins.
The gifting of free sarees were announced by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Independence Day for the festival of Bathukamma that is celebrated during Navratri. The festival is nine-day long and women usually dance around flower arrangements to celebrate.
NDTV reported that senior bureaucrats had chosen more than 500 designs, some from Gujarat and some from the power looms of Telangana.
However, instead of making the women of the state happy, it clearly went down hill this morning.
The NDTV report said trouble began right after Telangana Rashtra Samiti began distributing the sarees with some women hitting each other and pulling each others hair and the police had a tough time controlling the crowd.
Video from one centre showed a few women hitting each other.
— T S Sudhir (@Iamtssudhir) September 18, 2017
Some women had not gone to work in the hope of receiving good sarees during festival season.
A woman told Hindustan Times, “We skipped today’s work, which would have fetched us a daily wage of over Rs 400, and stood in queues before the fair price shops for hours hoping to get some nice sarees for the Bathukamma festival. But we were thoroughly disappointed over the quality of the polyester sarees, which does not cost even Rs 50-Rs 60 each. It is not worth even for cleaning floors. KCR should not have taken up the scheme at all, rather than insulting us with the poor quality of sarees.”
Mumbai Mirror reported that Rs 222 crore on 1.04 crore saris
In Nalgonda town, the women told Mirror, “Let KCR gift this saree to his daughter Kavitha (who is a Lok Sabha MP from Nizamabad) and ask her to play Bathukamma”.