Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has successfully developed a double-layered Khadi mask and has procured orders for supplying it in large quantities. To add to its success, KVIC has recently bagged an order to supply 7.5 lakh pieces of Khadi Masks to Jammu & Kashmir Government alone in which 5 lakh masks will be supplied to Jammu district, one lakh forty thousand to Phulwama district, one lakh to Udhampur district and 10,000 to Kupwara district. These masks will be supplied to assist Development Commissioners of these districts by April 20. Cotton reusable mask will be of 7 inches (length) by 9 inches (breadth) with three pleats, four strips at the corner for tying.
Chairman KVIC Shri V.K. Saxena said that “KVIC is specifically using Double Twisted Khadi fabric for manufacturing of these masks as it helps retain 70% of the moisture content inside, while providing easy passage for the air to pass through, hence proving to be the best easily available, pocket-friendly alternative Face Masks.”
Shri Saxena further said, “These masks are more special because they are made of hand-spun handwoven khadi fabric which is breathable, can easily be reused, washable and biodegradable.”
Currently, the Khadi Stitching Center at Nagrotta near Jammu has been turned into a Mask stitching center, which is producing 10,000 masks per day, while the rest of the orders are being distributed amongst various Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Khadi institutions in and around Srinagar.
In one-meter Khadi fabric 10 double-layered masks will be made. In order to make 7.5 Lakh masks, around 75,000 meters of Khadi fabric will be used, this will further enhance livelihoods opportunities to the Khadi Artisans. Since J&K khadi institutions are producing only woolen fabric, cotton fabric for masks is procured from Haryana and UP khadi institutions and being despatched by taking special permission from the district authorities.
Meanwhile, to support local administration across the country, an appeal has been issued by the Chairman KVIC to all Khadi Institutions to provide at least 500 masks free to the District Collectors of their respective districts for further use and circulation. KVIC has 2400 active khadi institutions and this action alone will provide 12 lakh masks across the country. After the appeal, many khadi institutions have started providing 500 masks to DCs. Shri Saxena further added, “Face Masks are the most critical tools to fight the Corona Pandemic. These masks prepared from DT fabric are India’s only solution that can meet the quality and scale of demand while precisely matching medical guidelines.”