Mission against COVID 19 
Kudumbashree, Kerala State Poverty Eradication Mission once again proved its community strength to overcome tough situation. During the middle of the March 2020 anticipated possibilities of COVID-19 outbreak caused unprecedented challenges to government and society which includes the scarcity and production constrains of life saving resources. This led to a surge in demand for such products and when demand exceeded the supply, acceleration of price of personal protective equipments occurred. In this circumstances, Kudumbashree took charge of the situation and done a quick analysis of our tailoring as well as toiletry production units across the state. Identified 306 potential units out of 3680 tailoring units for producing cloth mask with an estimated production capacity of 1,26,000 masks per day. 21 toiletry making units were also identified exclusively for the production of sanitizer.

Our units started production of cloth masks from 15.03.2020 onwards and rapidly increased their production and started to support frontline institutions such as Medical Service Corporation, District medical Offices, Private as well as government hospitals and PHCs, District administration, District panchayats, Airport authority, Tourism Department, Food corporation of India, Indian oil corporation etc. Various Residence associations, apartments,Pharmacy shops also became our stake holders within a short span of time.

 

Product specification and cost
Kudumbashree produced Single layer as well as double layer cloth masks with cotton fabric. Centaury cotton is mostly used for the production of single layer masks and poplin cotton used for double layer masks. Cost of single layer mask is Rs.10 and that of double layer is Rs.15. Length of the mask is 19 cm breadth 12 cm and each thread is about 27 cm in length.

 

Significance
Cloth masks produced by Kudumbashree units are reusable. Household can sterilise it easily by washing it using carbolic soap, putting it in hot water and ironing after drying. The disposable masks available in the market can be used for a couple of hours and after that it needs to be discarded. Repeated use of disposable masks are not advisable. Disposable mask contain non-woven material which may adversely affect the environment when it starts to accumulate in abundance. 2-3 reusable cloth mask will be enough for a person during the entire course of epidemic threat. Cloth masks are environment friendly as well as economically suitable for such situations.

 

Challenges
Production of simple hygiene and protection products like mask and sanitizer was a key challenge in some point of time where the enterprises encountered with shortage of raw materials abrupt price hike of raw materials and huge demand to be met with in a short time. However units tactically overcome all these difficulties with the help of district management teams by finding new vendors, sourcing raw materials from other part of the state and also working in shifts.

 

 

Mask production and supply (15.03.2020 to 2.08.2020)
Sl No Districts Total work order received Total Production Supply + Direct Sales
1 Trivandrum 280,475 256,525 281,245
2 Kollam 1,169,101 1,171,851 1,170,502
3 Pathanamthitta 225,348 229,928 223,668
4 Alappuzha 914,744 902,013 899,709
5 Kottayam 427,906 401,056 431,207
6 Idukki 612,830 625,830 333,030
7 Ernakulam 570,679 581,212 578,611
8 Thrissur 180,485 211,372 175,657
9 Palakkad 182,870 212,462 192,121
10 Malappuram 134,961 143,980 139,433
11 Kozhikode 158,485 257,950 248,425
12 Wayanad 213,350 275,654 228,229
13 Kannur 1,095,150 1,253,488 1,094,704
14 Kasaragod 111,365 298,394 141,940
Total 62,77,749 68,21,715 61,38,481

 

 

 

Sanitizer production and supply in Litre (18.03.2020 to 2.08.2020)
Sl No Districts order received Total Production Supply + Direct Sales
1 Trivandrum 2153 2168 2153
2 Kollam 1866 1866 1866
3 Pathanamthitta 0 0 0
4 Alappuzha 108.75 108.75 108.75
5 Kottayam 0 0 0
6 Idukki 600 640 600
7 Ernakulam 1489 1492 1489
8 Thrissur 441.5 442.05 441.5
9 Palakkad 299.5 299.25 287.05
10 Malappuram 164 165 165
11 Kozhikode 125.75 115.55 118.75
12 Wayanad 742 760 742
13 Kannur 709 508 759
14 Kasaragod 233 367 268.8
Total 8931.5 8931.6 8998.85