THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The khadi industry that has been hit by Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown is trying to revive its fortune by manufacturing masks, which have become an instant hit among users due to its quality and comfort.
The Kerala Khadi and Village Industries Board that is spearheading the khadi promotion in the state has so far sold about five lakh khadi masks and is eying more sales, including in international markets.
The recent decision of the state government directing the government departments to buy khadi masks has also contributed to the surge in its popularity, said Khadi Board vice-chairperson Shobhana George. The khadi mask stands out due to its durability, comfort and attractive low price, said Shobhana. The Khadi Board brings out linen and khadi masks, which cost Rs 15 per piece. For bulk buyers, the price goes down to as much as Rs 12. “The khadi masks have a special demand since they do not fog the eyeglasses. Unlike other materials, the khadi shrinks on washing, and because of that, the masks can be used for a long period,” said Shobhana.
Khadi Board said each mask could be washed 100 times, and that makes it one of the most durable brand. “The sweat absorption capacity of khadi mask is very high,” a source said. The masks are manufactured in village industry units across the state. For the weavers and tailors of these units, who were severely affected by the lockdown, the mask manufacturing offers some relief. The Khadi Board pays the workers Rs 4 for a mask.
Among various government departments, the police have been the most steady client as they purchased about three lakh masks for the cops engaged in Covid duty. The health department and the local self-government bodies have also purchased the masks in bulk quantities.