New Delhi: The Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) announced on Sunday, 20th December, that the Arunachal Pradesh Government is procuring another 1 lakh tri-color khadi face masks for its school children. As the State Government prepares to re-open schools for class VIII students from January 4th, 2021, it has placed a repeat purchase order for 1 lakh cotton masks, stated the Ministry in a press communication, adding that the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) will deliver the masks by December 27th. The repeat order comes just over a month after KVIC supplied 60,000 face masks to the Arunachal Pradesh Government in November this year.
The MSME Ministry said that the State Government also received positive feedback from the students of class 10th and 12th who have been wearing khadi masks in schools. Arunachal Pradesh is the first state government in North East India that has purchased such a huge quantity of khadi face masks for its students, the Ministry said, adding that the second purchase order for khadi masks was issued on December 17th, citing urgency as classes for VIII standard are set to restart in the new year.
The press communication explained that the KVIC will provide double-layered, tri-colour cotton face masks to the Arunachal Pradesh Government with its logo suitably placed on the masks, adding that the face masks in tri-colour also aim at instilling a sense of nationalism among the students.
KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said the repeat order for the supply of khadi face masks is a prestigious order which manifests khadi’s growing popularity and also acceptance of khadi in various government departments. “Such big orders create an additional job for khadi artisans. Since this order concerns school children, KVIC will accord top priority to the order and deliver the consignment before December 27th,” Chairman Saxena said.
“The Government of Arunachal Pradesh has decided to open schools for class 8th from 4th January 2021, and also accorded approval for procurement of 1,00,000 khadi cotton face masks from KVIC for the school children,” the purchase order issued by the State Government said.
KVIC has used double twisted khadi fabric for manufacturing these masks as it helps retain 70% of the moisture content inside, while providing an easy passage for the air to pass through, the press note said, adding that these masks are, therefore, skin-friendly and suitable for long duration use, and that khadi cotton face masks are washable, reusable and biodegradable.
Notably, KVIC has sold over 25 lakh face masks in just 8 months since they were launched in April this year. The Ministry said that owing to the comfort and high quality of face masks, KVIC has received several bulk orders including 12.3 lakh face masks from the Indian Red Cross Society, adding that it has also received repeat orders from Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister’s Office, several State Governments and Central Government Ministries, and PSUs, apart from the general public.
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