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Covid-19: Small businesses in khadi, village industries plug mask shortage; make reusable face masks.

Date: 13-04-2020
Subject: Covid-19: Small businesses in khadi, village industries plug mask shortage; make reusable face masks
Trade, Import and Export for MSMEs: Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has also joined the country’s fight against the deadly Coronavirus. KVIC has developed double-layered khadi masks and also procured orders for supplying them in large numbers, MSME Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. KVIC recently received the order for 7.5 lakh khadi masks from Jammu & Kashmir government. The cotton reusable masks would be 7 inches in length and 9 inches in breadth with three pleats and four strips at corners for tying. “KVIC is specifically using double twisted khadi fabric for manufacturing of these masks as it helps retain 70 per cent of the moisture content inside, while providing an easy passage for the air to pass through, hence proving to be the best easily available, pocket-friendly alternative face masks,” said VK Saxena, Chairman, KVIC.

This gains significance as India is reportedly facing a shortage of masks along with other necessary equipment such as ventilators and personal protective equipment to tackle Coronavirus. KVIC will provide 5 lakh masks to Jammu district, 1.40 lakh masks to Pulwama district, 1 lakh to Udhampur district and 10,000 to Kupwara district. 10 double-layered masks will be manufactured in one-meter khadi fabric. Around 75,000 meters of khadi fabric will be used to make 7.5 lakh masks which in turn would help in the livelihood of khadi artisans. Saxena had recently appealed to all khadi institutions in the country to supply at least 500 masks free to the district collectors of their respective districts for use and circulation. KVIC has 2,400 active khadi institutions that would supply 12 lakh masks across India.

MSME ministry had last week put its technology centres also in action to contribute to the fight against Covid-19. The ministry had tweeted that 18 technology centres for MSMEs, earlier known as tool rooms or technology development centres, across the country will make masks, sanitizers, ventilators etc. These centres are based in Agra, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Kolkata etc. Earlier this month, the ministry had urged MSMEs in manufacturing or supply of medical and related equipment to register as a supplier on the government’s e-commerce portal GeM.

Source:- financialexpress.com

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