On Friday, several social media users took to Twitter to share images of an advertisement put out by a certain seller, who claims to be selling three Khadi masks for Rs 999.
The advertisement promotes Khadi masks, which has images of Prime Minister Modi alongside ‘Make in India’ logo. The masks which are priced at Rs 999 for a pack of three were soon passed off as the official masks being sold by the KVIC themselves.
Various social media users, sharing these images of masks, accused the government of selling Khadi masks at a higher price. The trolls associated with the Congress party even mocked Prime Minister Modi as his image was on the advertisement and called him ‘virus’.
हद्द हो गई..— EpicRoflDon™ (@EpicRoflDon) July 23, 2020
गाँधी जी का फोटो हटा के.. “वायरस” का फोटो लगा दिया पैकिंग पे खादी वालों ने !
घनघोर बेइज़्ज़ती !!!
स्वदेशी खादी मास्क, 999 रुपए में 3। मास्क का महत्व बताने के लिए वायरस के खतरे को भी दर्शाया गया है। pic.twitter.com/Bnkwa4oscI— Rofl Gandhi 2.0 (@RoflGandhi_) July 24, 2020
Few other social media users said that it was an unacceptable act by the government to sell the Khadi masks at Rs 999. Claiming that safety of Khadi masks was not even guaranteed, another user claimed that the government was using pandemic to promote Khadi.
Things unacceptable here:— Md Enayet Ullah Ansari (@EnayetSpeaks) July 23, 2020
999 rs for 3 masks
Khadi used- Safety not guaranteed
Use of a pandemic to promote khandi
Uses political slogan as an advertising strategy
Uses political leader’s image for promotion
Political marketing and affiliation, includes endorsement of scheme too. pic.twitter.com/ECi02Kd0M6
Trolls, associated with Aam Aadmi Party too jumped on to the scene to ask why would someone buy three masks for such a high price.
who the hell will buy 3 masks at a price of Rs999 just to promote local? https://t.co/jGa1yZN37K— Kapil (@kapsology) July 24, 2020
As rumours began to circulate that the government was selling masks at a higher price, the Khadi India themselves clarified on Twitter stating that the masks that are being sold at a higher price as ‘Khadi masks’, were not official masks which are being distributed across the country by KVIC.
These are not the official Khadi Masks, the manufacturers of these masks are fraudulently using the name of Khadi. Our legal team is looking in to this matter and will take strict action against such promotions.— Khadi India (@kvicindia) July 24, 2020
The Khadi India also said that the manufacturers of these masks were fraudulently using the name of Khadi, to sell their products. “Our legal team is looking into this matter and will take strict action against such promotions,” said Khadi India confirming that these maks did not belong to them.
With an increase in demand for masks amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) had recently launched online sales of khadi face masks for affordable rates.
The online sales of masks, which was to be sold at a nominal rate of Rs 30, was started as to benefit people in the remotest parts of the country, particularly those who cannot afford to move out of their houses or visit Khadi India outlets due to various constraints.