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Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has received a repeat order and the biggest order so far for supply of 10.5 lakh high quality face masks to the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS). The new purchase order comes less than a month after its previous order for 1.80 lakh face masks out of which KVIC has already supplied 1.60 lakh face masks to the IRCS, Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) has said today.
According to the ministry, the new purchase order worth Rs 3.30 crore have been received recently and the supply will begin this week only. KVIC will complete the supply of the first order in a couple of days. The face masks will be similar to the ones being supplied as per the first order. The fresh order from IRCS is a result of the excellent quality and timely supply of masks by KVIC.
Union Minister for MSME, Nitin Gadkari lauded the efforts of KVIC in creating sustainable employment in the country through mask-making activities. He said while face masks became the most effective protective gear against the Coronavirus; its production created large-scale employment for the artisans.
The development comes as a big push to the local production as it will create nearly 50,000 additional man days for Khadi artisans. The execution of this order will require over one lakh meters of handmade cotton Khadi fabric which will be supplied by various Khadi institutions from different states. This will give an impetus to the spinning and weaving activities and thus create employment for the artisans, the ministry has said.
KVIC Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena welcomed the new purchase order from IRCS and said, “Charkha is the tool of economic freedom. Such big orders during these difficult times will ensure that spinning and weaving activities keep going on and bringing economic sustainability to our Khadi artisans.
Notably, this is the biggest order for supply of Khadi face masks received by KVIC so far. Earlier, the Jammu & Kashmir government had purchased seven lakh masks during the lockdown. KVIC has also received repeat orders from Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister’s Office, Central government ministries and orders from general public through KVIC’s E-portal.
The IRCS masks are made of 100 percent double-twisted handcrafted cotton fabric in brown colour with red piping. KVIC has especially designed these double-layered cotton masks for the Indian Red Cross Society as per the samples provided by them. The masks have a suitably printed IRCS logo on the left side and the Khadi India tag on the right side. Like other Khadi face masks, the masks made for IRCS are also washable, reusable, skin-friendly and biodegradable.