Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has received an order from the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) to supply 1.80 lakh face masks.
The face masks for IRCS will be made out of 100 per cent double-twisted handcrafted cotton fabric in brown colour with red piping.
KVIC has specially designed these double-layered cotton masks for the Indian Red Cross Society, according to a statement issued on Thursday (July 30) by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The mask will have the IRCS logo printed on the left side and the Khadi India tag on the right side. Supply of these masks to the IRCS will begin next month.
The statement issued by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises said the popularity of Khadi face masks has grown across the country due to its fine quality and affordable price. KVIC has so far sold over 10 lakh face masks, which include double-layered cotton masks and triple-layered silk masks. The biggest order for face masks that the KVIC has received so far was from the Jammu and Kashmir government for 7 lakh masks, which have already been delivered.
Approximately 1 lakh meter of cotton fabric worth over ₹1 crore and nearly 2,000 meter of silk fabric of different colors and prints have been used by the KVIC in making these masks.
The KVIC received repeat orders from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister’s Office, Central Government ministries and orders from general public through KVIC’s e-portal. The KVIC has supplied over 20,000 face masks to the Indian Railways too.
Apart from sale of masks after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the KVIC has distributed nearly 10 lakh Khadi masks for free to the District Authorities though its Khadi Institutions across the country.
Execution of the IRCS order will require over 20,000 meter of fabric, which will generate 9,000 additional man days of employment for the Khadi artisans, the statement said. KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena welcomed the purchase order from the Indian Red Cross Society and said the massive demand of Khadi face masks is a major step in the direction of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
“This order will help our Khadi artisans produce more yarn and fabric and will further add to their income in these difficult times,” Saxena added.
“Face masks are the most critical tool to fight the corona pandemic. These masks prepared from double-twisted Khadi fabric not only meet the quality and scale of demand but are cost-effective, breathable, washable, reusable and bio-degradable,” Saxena added.
Since wearing of masks has been highly recommended for prevention of the spread of COVID-19 and many states have been levying a penalty on those not wearing masks at public places, the sale of masks has been brisk since April in most parts of the country.