COVID-19 pandemic has played a havoc role for humans across the globe. The first line of defense against the prevailing situation has been sanitisers, face masks and COVID appropriate behaviour. Masks have been recommended by the World Health Organization as well to protect against and limit the spread of COVID-19. N95 face masks, especially, have been considered more effective in reducing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus from an infected person to a non-infected one. But the usage of N95 face masks proves to be uncomfortable for many and is mostly unwashable.
Parisodhana Technologies Pvt. Ltd. was supported partly by BIRAC and IKP Knowledge Park, under the Fast-Track COVID-19 fund to develop hybrid multiply face masks, SHG-95 (Billion Social Masks). These ‘Made in India’ face masks provide high particulate (>90%) and bacterial filtration efficiency (>99%). The face masks so developed ensure high breathability, have comfortable ear loops and are convenient to be used even in tropical conditions since they are prepared from purely hand weaved cotton contact materials. A special filtration layer is an added advantage. The cost of these hand washable and reusable face masks has been estimated as INR 50-75 per piece by the company, making it affordable for the general public as well.
With around 145000+ units sold, this initiative, which is also funded by Grand Challenges Canada, has been designed to meet the demands in times of COVID-19, while improving the livelihoods of many Self-Help Groups (SHGs).