An advert apparently by Khadi India is being shared on social media platforms with the claim that three masks are being sold at Rs 999. The poster has distinct features such as the image of Prime Minister Modi, the 'Make in India' logo and seemingly the Khadi India trademark 'Charkha'.
Netizens are criticising the government for setting "high prices of masks", and for "replacing" Mahatma Gandhi's picture with that of PM Modi in the advert.
"As institution upon institution caves in, what virus are you looking to protect ourselves from? Here's the virus. Gandhi gone?! And, replaced by Modi??? As someone asked, what next? The charkha? To be replaced by a Ram Mandir silhouette? One is not even wondering at the efficacy and the pricing of these masks," reads the caption of one such post.
Khadi India is selling 3 masks for 999 and has replaced Mahatma Gandhi's Image with PM Modi.
The claim is false.
Government Issues Clarification
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in a series of tweets, clarified that a Chandigarh resident Ms Khushboo was selling masks under the brand name Khadi.
"#KVIC has filed a police complaint against Chandigarh resident Ms Khushboo for selling face masks in the name of Khadi with Hon'ble PM's photograph. Any misuse of brand name Khadi will be strictly dealt with," the tweet reads.
Vinai Kumar Saxena, KVIC chairperson also confirmed the same.
Masks By Khadi India Costs Rs. 30/100
Khadi India sells face masks made of khadi cotton and silk. The price of facemasks ranges between Rs 30 and Rs 100.
Below is a screenshot of the Khadi India website:
Earlier Scam Under Khadi India Brand Name
In May of this year, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) had sent legal notices to three firms in Delhi. These firms had illegally used Khadi's brand name and registered trademark logo ''Khadi India'' to sell personal protective equipment (PPE). KVIC has claimed Rs 150 crore in damages from them.
The Delhi-based firms were Nachia Corporations, Pest Cure Incorporation and Ved Prakash Mithal and Sons. The KVIC had asked them to pay Rs 50 crore each for fraudulent use of the name and logo.
The KVIC had directed them to stop selling, marketing or distributing any such product bearing the "Khadi India" logo and surrender all such items to it immediately.
"This is a serious violation. No individual or firm will be allowed to misuse the brand name of Khadi. Even in the past, we have taken strict legal action against violators, including some big companies," KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena was quoted as saying.
Reportedly, PPE kits developed by the KVIC made of khadi fabric are not for medical staff and it is at the testing stage.
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