Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlights modest gamchha

NEW DELHI: Saturday PM Narendra Modi brought the modest multipurpose gamchha to the spotlight. While videoconferencing with top ministers from across India at Covid-19, the prime minister covered his face in theft to highlight and underline its use as an affordable and readily available protective equipment for millions of ordinary people.

The prime minister, in his recent conversations, has repeatedly spoken about using homemade options to cover faces as mask replacements.

Gamchha, best described as a thin cotton towel, is popular in various avatars in states such as Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, and where it is also offered as a gift for guests of honor. Farmers, landowners, contractors, daily bets, rickshaw shooters, and porters - the accessory is used by both the wealthy and the lower class as a makeshift and makeshift defense against extreme heat and biting cold.

In Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan he used the gamchha with gusto in Coolie's (1983). Director Anurag Kashyap made him an object of mobile genius in The Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). He took it to the Festival.

The Indian Times has been actively spearheading a campaign, #Mask India, to encourage people to wear homemade face masks as a preventive measure against Covid-19.

Shortly after the Prime Minister's interaction with top state ministers, the Union government issued a notice on the use of homemade masks, emphasizing the importance of regular cleaning and clarifying that homemade masks were recommended for ordinary people but not for those involved in medical care.

In a phone conversation with BJP President Hansraj Vishwakarma on Thursday Modi suggested using a towel or scarf (gamchha) instead of masks as a precaution against the virus. Modi is MP Lok Sabha from Varanasi.

Instead of masks, use of gamchha will be more effective. There is no point wasting time and money on masks, which are required for doctors and the medical staff, ”Modi suggested and asked the BJP politician to inspire others do so.

A day after Modi's council, the district administration allowed the use of gamchha in its constituency and now several states have allowed it.

Referring to the prime minister's advice, District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma circulated a message in a WhatsApp group to officials and the media that no action would be taken against those who wear gamchha (in public places). The Prime Minister has emphasized the use of the scarf and has encouraged people to the maximum use of gamchha. It would be treated like a mask, said the DM.

In recent days, several state governments have made it compulsory for people to cover their faces as they venture out of their homes.