The Odra Foundation and designer Manish Tripathi, in collaboration with Uttar Pradesh Khadi & Village Industries Board (UPKVIB), are on a mission to make the World’s Largest Mask, a Guinness World Record attempt.
The team is collecting the fabric for the mask from 10 different states, covering 10,000 kilometres. UPKVIB has also handed over 2 meters of the Khadi cloth from each of 75 districts.
The collected cloth will be sewn together to make the mask measuring more than 100 sq. meters to beat the present world record of 72.29 sq. meters.
The raw material used for making the mask will subsequently be upcycled to make alternate products with the Self Help Groups which will be provided forward linkage to the market. The endeavour is in consonance with the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s mantra of ‘Khadi for Nation, Khadi for fashion’ and his vision of a self-reliant India and would contribute to the national movement of ‘Vocal For Local’ and ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’.
At an event held in Mumbai on 22 December, Satish Kaushik said,” It is so nice to see people like Manish Tripathi who has been spreading awareness and doing their bit during pandemic while we were all locked up inside. Getting rural women to come together to make masks, is such a wonderful way to empower them. This also is a wonderful way to get people together during such difficult times.”
Talking about the importance of wearing a mask, Kaushik added, “One needs to remember that by wearing a mask you are not only saving yourself but also the ones around you. We all should behave responsibly.”
Talking about the effect of the pandemic on the film industry, Kaushik said, the pandemic has affected all of us, even our Hindi Film Industry. Apart from being out of jobs since the films were not releasing, we have lost so many people from our industry. People couldn’t even attend the funerals because of restrictions. It was very disheartening. We actors have tried in a small way to do things to cheer people by making content that would bring a smile on faces.”
Designer Manish Tripathi said, “We started distributing free masks to community helpers during the lockdown. We then realised we also need to support people with their livelihood since pandemic had affected everyone especially people below the poverty line. Hence we started our journey with rural women where we gave them the training to stitch masks and other products. The largest mask is a tribute to these women who connected with us and are proudly contributing to their family income today”.
Actress Ishita Raj who was also present added, “At times when people especially women felt so powerless, it is heartening to see that such initiatives made them feel powerful.”
Mask has become a necessary part of our lives and has played a vital role in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Since the onset of COVID-19 outbreak India, designer Manish Tripathi has employed and trained thousands of rural women for sewing the masks under his initiative ‘Sheher Se Gaon Tak’.
UP CM Shri Yogi Adityanath would be attending an event on 2nd January in Lucknow to unveil the mask for the world record.