Covid 19 fallout: ‘Namaste’ replacing handshake as mode of greeting

LN Revathy | Updated on March 11, 2020

The Indian way of greeting ― the Namaste gesture is now catching up, with people politely declining to extend their hand to greet, a practise that has been in vogue for decades.

The impact of Covid 19 seems to have brought in this change ― be it at weddings or even a chance meeting with a friend or relative. While people try and refrain from shaking hands, sooner or later as they bid adieu, they share a warm hug.

When this correspondent asked a knitwear garment exporter in Tirupur if he was ready to shake hands with foreign buyers, the exporter said, “Buyer-seller meets are only through video conferencing these days.”

Asked if the industry suffered a setback because of travel restrictions, the exporter source said, “There’s been no major impact.”

Meanwhile it is reliably learnt that the rising cost of dyes and chemicals is hurting the exporting community. “The industry here is largely dependent on Gujarat and they, in turn, import such stuff. The recent happenings around the world have resulted in huge escalation in cost, of around 30-35 per cent. It is expected to increase further by another 15 to 20 per cent by the end of this month,” said S Sakthivel, Executive Secretary, Tirupur Exporters’ Association.

On import of accessories such as zips, tags, hangers, and labels, among others, from China, TEA President Raja Shanmugham said, “There is some respite now. Shipments have started, but are fumigated at entry, so there is a delay of two to three days. Close to 70 per cent of the sector’s accessory requirements is from China. Now, a good number of factories in China have resumed operations.”

“We have in the process forgotten the source (China, the carrier of the virus). An importer called this morning, voicing apprehension about lifting stuff from India after reports of Coronavirus casualties here. The situation appears grave, we have to wait and see.”

Published on March 11, 2020

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