12/01/2015 7:51 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Belt Tightening: <em>The Hindu</em> Discontinues Long Tradition Of Gifting Sarees And Dhotis For Pongal

PUNIT PARANJPE via Getty Images
An Indian Hindu devotee reacts to smoke as a traditional sweet dish is cooked on open fires during the community function on the occasion of Pongal in Mumbai on January 14, 2014. Pongal is a thanksgiving or harvest festival celebrated by people hailing from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Pongal coincides with the Hindu festival Makara Sankranthi and is celebrated throughout India as the winter harvest. AFP PHOTO/ PUNIT PARANJPE (Photo credit should read PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

In a move that has surprised employees, The Hindu is doing away with the long-standing tradition of gifting dhoties and sarees to staff to mark the Tamil harvest festival Pongal.

In a circular issued on Monday to all its employees, the vice president of The Hindu's human resource department announced that the practice would no longer be followed as the company was going through "a challenging financial position."

"From a financial standpoint, we need to take a hard look at our long tradition of issuing pongal dhothies/saree to employees," it said. "Equally, we need to keep in mind the sentiments of our employees."

According to the circular, the organisation had taken into account "employees who sentimentally would like to continue the tradition," by encouraging them to buy their own sarees/dhothies, which the company would reimburse subject to a limit of Rs250 for men and Rs500 for women employees.

Employees are now expected to submit claims for these purchases to the HR department.

In the circular, employees have also been requested to "balance sentiments with KSL's (Kasturi & Sons Limited, which owns the newspaper) financial position in deciding your actions."

KSL CEO Rajiv Lochan declined comment.



Kasturi Buildings, 859 860, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600002,

January 12, 2015.


We wish all employees a happy and prosperous new year! As you well know, the company is going through a challenging financial position and austerity is the call of the day. However, KSL also has a reputation for benevolence and employee-centricity. From a financial standpoint, we need to take a hard look at our long tradition of issuing pongal dhothies/saree to employees. Equally, we need to keep in mind the sentiments of our employees. In view of both these viewpoints, we would like employees who sentimentally would like to continue the tradition to purchase the Pongal Dholhies/ saree on their own and et it reimbursed, subject to a maximum as per the details below:

Rs.250/- for Male Employees for purchasing dhothies and Rs.500/- for Female Employees for purchasing saree.

The claims need to be submitted to HR department, along with bill on or before 20th January 2015.

We request employees to balance sentiments with KSL's financial position In deciding your actions. We are thankful for your understanding and cooperation.

Vice President —

Human Resources

Disclaimer: HuffPost India is published in collaboration with The Times of India Group, whose newspapers compete with The Hindu in several markets.