New Delhi: Amid the ongoing spread of the COVID-19, or coronavirus, across India, eight training centres under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) have started producing cloth masks.
“Owing to the increasing demand of masks, we decided to make cloth masks a week back,” said Yogesh Kumar, who runs these training centres.
With a production capacity of 500 masks a day, these eight centres have been able to produce 28,000 cloth masks in the past week. The raw materials for these masks are being sourced from markets in Chandni Chowk and Gandhinagar.
Kumar told ThePrint that since the availability of “paper cloth” — the main material used to make the masks — is low, a team of five persons has been deployed to procure it from local markets.
These masks will be commercially sold for Rs 10 a piece. “Since these masks are hand-made, their cost has been kept low. Additionally, this is a great way to teach our students the spirit of entrepreneurship,” said Kumar.
Work incentives for training centres
In a bid to improve the quality of their masks, these training centres are also being provided with work incentives. Additionally, the company has also applied for a licence to start manufacturing hand sanitisers.
These eight training centres exist across the National Capital Region, including in the areas of Greater Noida, Mithapur, Karavalnagar, Nangloi, Seemapuri, and Brahmpuri.
JITM Skills Private Limited, a registered private training centre affiliated to the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, is engaged in apparel training for 4,000 students aged 18-35 years.
Yogesh, who owns 48 centres across the country, also plans to start the production of masks at training centres in the Northeast, if the centres in Delhi receive a positive response.
The MSDE lauded the effort put in by the training partner and has promised to promote centres that are taking lead with such initiatives.
The MSDE has also issued a statement detailing that “all skill development training centres, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Jan Sikshan Sansthans (JSS) under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, will operate in adherence to the advisory issued by respective States and remain closed as per directions from the local government”.