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Entrepreneurs in rural belts switch to making face masks amid COVID-19 crisis

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500 rural entrepreneurs have so far produced and sold 3.5 lakh such masks under the Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme

A number of entrepreneurs based in rural areas of the country have taken to manufacturing face masks amid dwindling demand for their regular produce in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Around, 500 rural entrepreneurs have so far produced and sold 3.5 lakh such masks under the Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP).

2,500 masks are produced per day for the health professionals, policemen, media personnel and cleaning staff.

In West Bengal, 38 entrepreneurs manufacture nearly 600 masks a day in blocks of Dinhata, Pathar Pratima and Manikchak in different districts of the state.

The entrepreneurs, trained under SVEP — under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) — have sold 49,000 masks in the state till date.

Apart from West Bengal, the programme is active in the rural belts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Haryana.

The masks are made in hygienic conditions and under the supervision of district authorities, SVEP-EDII Project Head Rajesh Gupta said.

“They have been trained to innovate and adapt to the changing environment. Their actions in the present scenario prove that the training has been successful,” Gupta said.

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