New Delhi: Within only 6 weeks after launching the highly protective and affordable “Make in India” mask ‘KAWACH’, the IIT Delhi startup ETEX has scaled up production to ensure that the mask reaches the masses to protect them against COVID-19. So far, over a million masks have been served to the country across all states.
Inventors of KAWACH, Prof. Bipin Kumar and his team from the Dept. of Textile and Fibre Engineering, IIT Delhi are of the view that India has the potential to reform textile industry all over the world through innovation.
KAWACH mask is a multi-layer textile innovation for optimum protection at an affordable rate (45/- only); 98% Filtration protection against 3 µm (micron) and 90% against 0.3 µm (micron). Ultra-soft fibrous lightweight material (<15 g) and advanced knitting technology have been used to give extra comfort to the wearer. 3D fit design, as par with N95, allows maximum face covering for protection. Mask is also tested and approved by the NABL accredited lab using international standards (ASTM F2299, ASTM F2101, IS 16289:2014, ASTM F1862/F1862M-13, 16 CFR Part-1610). Further, KAWACH is primarily made from biodegradable materials to save the environment.
While doing so ETEX has created over 2000 jobs in the textile industry in the country at a time when there is a tough employment scenario due to the pandemic. The startup has organized several training sessions for garment houses for the quality mask development.
Moreover, the startup is empowering different sections of the society like Persons with Disabilities (PwD), underprivileged women, senior citizens, BPL, self-help groups through several NGOs including ECOTATV, ASSOCIATION FOR DISABLE PEOPLE, NEEV and UDBHAVA. Over 200 PwD community members are actively participating in technological skill development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing through KAWACH.
Popular international para-athlete and PwD activist, Ms. Suvarna Raj recently handed over a KAWACH mask manufactured by the PwD community to IIT Delhi Director. Speaking on the occasion she said, “The support of IIT Delhi startup ETEX is uplifting the PwD community, both financially and technically, creating many PwD warriors for the country in the fight against COVID-19”.
Speaking about the mission of IIT Delhi’s startup to empower various sections of the society, Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “It is indeed a proud moment for IIT Delhi to see their technologies impacting and creating job opportunities amidst this pandemic. The true purpose of any technological innovation must be inclusive in nature and should have strong social impact”.
KAWACH has been acknowledged by different sectors like EDUCATION, SPORTS, KHADI, NGO, TEXTILE INDUSTRY, ENVIRONMENT, MEDICAL, DEFENSE and many other organizations, promoting the message of MAKE IN INDIA, SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT, BE INDIAN BUY INDIAN, AATM NIRBHARTA, and VOICE FOR LOCAL. KAWACH mask is now listed in KENDRIYA POLICE KALYAN BHANDAR across the country.
Prof Bipin Kumar said, “While not resting on the laurels of merely developing mask technology, we are on our next mission to introduce the historic and popular Indian brand “KAWACH” on the international forum. We wish to see Indian brands getting equally acknowledged by the international community, similar to mask type, N95, FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3.”
KAWACH mask is now available across all major online platforms like Flipkart, Amazon, TataQLiQ, ETEX.in, and other online platforms.