Not far from the hosiery exports hub of Tiruppur, in small-town Pollachi, 80-year-old tailor Vishwanathan has come up with an ingenious Gandhian way to touch the heart of US President Barak Obama.
Vishwanathan, a little known tailor from the State’s textile belt, has chosen to send this symbolic message of love, by stitching a special “kurta” to be presented to Obama through the US Consulate during the President's visit to India early November.
Viswanathan, who has been at the sewing machine since age 20, had even sought to impress Jawaharlal Nehru, the then prime minister, when he visited Pollachi some 50 years ago, gifting him a similar “kurta” he had specially made and which is popularly known as “Galli Jibba” in Tamil. “I learnt that Nehru liked that type of 'Jibba' and I presented one to him,” the tailor said.
“I had also stitched shirts in 'khadi' for the late Chief Minister, K Kamaraj, and DMK founder-leader Annadurai, years ago,” Viswanathan added.
“When I heard Obama was coming to India, I decided to make the special 'Jibba' for him and want to present it to him by sending it through the American Consulate,” Viswanathan said. This time he only hopes that Obama’s magic touch and winsome smile would help boost sagging apparel exports from the Coimbatore-Tiruppur belt.