Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 27 (IANS) Kerala's sagging handloom industry has reason to smile with the government planning to introduce handloom-made uniforms once a week from next year in state-run schools.
But Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem says no one will be compelled to wear khadi.
Initially the scheme will be confined to the nearly 1.7 million students in government schools. 'Later we hope to be joined by government-aided schools that have more than three million students,' he said.
If this becomes a reality, then the handloom sector, which with 200,000 people is the second biggest employer in the state, need not worry any more.
The overall annual production in the handloom industry has been hovering around 60 million meters for a few years. There are 50,200 looms in the state, mostly concentrated in Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur districts.
Most are in the cooperative sector. Of the total production, 54 percent comes from south Kerala, 32 percent from north Kerala and the rest from other parts of the state.