Lungi, Finance and Inflation

A few days back I bought two Lungis. For those do not know, Lungi is a traditional pan Indian costume worn by males (almost). Actually it is a long piece of cloth which is rolled around waist just like sari. It is wrongly presumed that it is worn only in southern India. The fabric, print, colors and style of knotting change from one language pocket to another but it is the traditional relax-wear (in some States it is the Formal-wear. Ever seen P. Chidambaram?). I discovered the comfort of Lungi about a decade back when due to a surgical procedure I started using it. But I fell in love of it ever since.”]

This is not an advisable use of Lungi. Click pic to reach source.

The issue here is not of my taste in menswear but inflation rather disparity in prices of goods. I purchased the (southern) Lungi for Rs.99/- a piece (approx $2/-). I distinctly remember that in 2008-2010 it used to cost Rs.80/-. While popular beer at that time used to cost Rs. 35/- and now it costs about Rs.70/- i.e. double. Milk which used to cost Rs. 19/- per litre now costs Rs. 40/- per litre. Similarly vegetables, pulses and fruits all have doubled in just 4 years. This is the ground reality. If some one differs I can give prices of all these items.  Lungi is manufactured  at a very small level. Artisans from villages work up and dye these Lungis. By it’s very nature it is not a factory produced corporate product but a kind of household trade.

My question is: How come that price of Lungi has risen only by 25% when everything else has risen by 100%? And how those artisans whose livelihood is dependent on this product, are going to meet the inflation with just 25% increase in the price?

The statistics of poverty given by United nation at this link is meaningless, because it measures it statistically not realistically. Rising income can not comfort unless the Food Prices do not rise in higher proportion than rest of the products. If this trend does not stop, it is extremely dangerous for the poor section already on fringe of malnutrition.

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