How India Started Making Masks & Why Made in India

It was only two months ago that the world saw what is perhaps one of its greatest challenges – The Coronavirus.

The virus has encompassed cities, countries, and even continents for that matter.

As the infected cases rose across India, fear surmounted every street, building, and person. Grappled with an invisible, ultra-microscopic, minuscule deadly opponent was the country down to heel with. Amidst chaos, fear, devastation, there was one thing we all wanted – protection.

Although COVID19 might not be the first pandemic to obliterate the valleys of our Earth, it has made us realize the harsh realities about modern lifestyle, our un-preparedness, and perhaps even our incompetence.

Worldwide, there was a drastic shortage and imminent need for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and face masks. In a country like India with close proximity amongst people, their houses and work meant that India needed these masks more than any other country. With an early lockdown, this was a nightmare to overcome.

With businesses shut and roads closed, it was only another ingredient that fed on peoples’ fear.

Then, at home, came a purely ‘Desi’ idea of making home-made masks. Thanks to India’s ‘Jugaadu’ (make-shit) nature, this idea of making homemade masks seemed triumphant.

A movement led by women and many other volunteers all over the country then became the talk of the town. This included making easy, homemade masks using t-shirts and another cotton to provide to those in need. Although OEMs ramped up the production of medical-grade masks, other clothing companies were inspired by the idea of making simple cotton masks that are both effective and affordable. These masks were colorful and came in all sizes.

As these masks gained popularity, they became the obvious choice for what was on the minds of everybody – protection. The production of these masks then gave work opportunities to those under-privileged workers that were gravely affected by COVID19. The best part about these masks was the fact that it allowed smooth availability of N95 masks to those front-line warriors risking their lives on a daily basis. As more and more people purchased cloth masks, the doctors, policemen, and other workers had easy access to much more protective N95 masks which were otherwise, unavailable as everyone bought these masks in bulk.

Affordable manufacturing, purchase-price, work opportunity, and most importantly, ample protection then gave rise to perhaps the world’s biggest mask manufacturing industry. As more and more governments and authorities recommend covering your nose and mouth, the trend of face masks is here to stay. Rightly so, these masks can help protect one another from COVID19 and ultimately put an end to this deadly virus.

As they say, the invention is the mother of necessity, India has emerged undoubtedly victorious in both fighting the pandemic and managing the aftermath of this obliteration. ‘Make in India’ during this time of crisis has given life-lines and employment to millions of people across the country, a feat which many developed countries failed to achieve.

While we still fight the pandemic, India will soon become one of the largest exporters of masks and other PPE. As the world seeks demand, the country has the skill, competence, and the workforce, at the least.

We urge you to stay safe, stay home, and take care of yourselves during these difficult times.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published