Among many consistent pitches that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making since coming to the top post in 2014, popularising Khadi products is an unmissable one. Khadi and Village Industries Corporation (KVIC) has been seeing a significant growth in terms of number of outlets and the sales post-2014. Now, Khadi has risen to the occasion in times of pandemic as well.
Face masks have become the basic and critical tool in the prevention of pandemic spread. This is where KVIC pitched in.
- It has received a purchase order from Indian Red Cross Society to supply 1.80 lakh face masks.
- As on July 30, 2020, KVIC has 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 received was from the Jammu & Kashmir government for 7 lakh masks that has been delivered on time.
- It distributed nearly 10 lakh Khadi masks free to the District Authorities though its Khadi Institutions across the country.
- Over 20,000 face masks have been given to the Indian Railways.
- It received repeat orders from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister’s Office, Central Government ministries.
- All these gave work to Khadi artisans. For example, the recent order from the Red Cross itself will require over 20,000 meter of fabric which will generate 9,000 additional man days for the Khadi artisans.
The Cotton face masks are priced nominally at ₹30 per piece, and the Silk masks are available for ₹100 per piece. Buyers have the option of choosing from four types of masks available – white cotton masks with black piping, white cotton masks with tri-colour piping, silk masks in solid colours, and printed silk masks in multiple colours. KVIC delivers the masks within 5 days from the date of purchase.
KVIC is using Double Twisted Khadi fabric for manufacturing of these masks as it helps retains moisture content inside, while providing an easy passage for the air to pass through. What makes these masks more special is the hand-spun and hand-woven cotton and Silk fabrics. Cotton acts as a mechanical barrier while silk is an electrostatic barrier.