It was 19th March, 2020. The Hon’ble PM, Mr. Narendra Modi, would be appearing live in a few moments, you were told. He appeared and made what back then sounded like a slightly odd announcement. He urged and appealed every Indian to follow a “Janata Curfew” the following Sunday, 22nd March, 2020. While signing off, he dropped a hint - perhaps a massive one - mentioning that this was just the beginning of a long battle against Corona. However, none of us, not even in the wildest of our dreams, would have imagined or anticipated what actually was in store. The Hon’ble PM appeared live once again, after another couple of days and announced that the whole Country was going on a complete lockdown for the next three weeks. A bolt out of the blue, you might have wondered. Another fortnight later, the lockdown stood extended, for a second time, and then again, a third time, before finally extending it for a fourth time recently - albeit with quite a few relaxations depending on where you are located - Green, Orange, Red or Containment Zone. Containment Zones, of course, are still totally locked down whereas the other three have seen a few reasonable reactions.
First things first - We, Royaleway, thank the Central and State Governments for all the efforts they have put in and have been putting in, to fight against this surreal, unprecedented situation the whole World is facing. We will continue to stand as tall as we can, as a Company, and follow every single rule laid down by the Government in a bid to defeat the deadly virus.
Coming back to the Covid Situation, the lockdown, in the first few days of its first phase, felt great. For optimists, it was as if life was finally coming a full circle - we were all on one big holiday, like we used to after our annual school exams concluded. Realists, on the other hand, had already started quantifying how their respective businesses or job profiles or professions would be affected and had already commenced their classes on Economics. Opportunists resorted to creative online activities whereas the pessimists had already started backlashing the respective Governments, in different capacities and severities, for bringing an economy, already arguably in doldrums, to a complete standstill.
By the time we entered the Lockdown 2.0, the severity of the situation had started creeping in, into our lives, as the Numbers kept coming. The optimism, pessimism, realism and opportunism took a backseat and we gradually realised how radically the Covid was going to change our lives and daily habits, at least for the next couple of years. The Hon’ble PM, in one of his decorated speeches, spelt put how social distancing and masks would be an integral part of our lives.
At Royaleway, during our Zoom Meetings / Concalls, we kept discussing how we could lend a helping hand, or do our bit. We did work with a local NGO briefly to help Daily Wage workers with groceries. We wanted to go beyond that; do something on a larger scale, considering the bigger picture and the fact that it was going to be an ongoing challenge. The Covid situation, realistically speaking, is not going to end within a specific time frame. Slowly, even the current restrictions will be relaxed and our professional lives will gradually start coming back to normal, with social distancing and masks being compulsory. We wanted to sincerely contribute somewhere in the longer battle against Covid.
As a Team, we realized we could put our state-of-the-art, class leading equipments to help produce top quality and safe Masks and make them available to people at cheapest rates possible, by operating at an almost no profit-no loss ratio. Our research and development Team worked in tandem with the authorities and studied all norms and rules laid down by the WHO as far as the quality of the Masks is concerned. With all research and development done, we stitched together our first batch of Masks and sent them for approval. With all production and hygiene standards followed strictly, the quality looked quite good and we got instant approvals from the authorities and before we knew it, we had already began distributing them professionally, to all nearby hospitals and Covid Care Centres, following which, our next batch went to daily wage workers.
We continued our research and came up with Masks in various sizes and customizations, considering how varied market requirements generally are. Currently, we have had to ramp up our production exponentially since the demand has gone up very quickly and will continue to, since we are supposed to use them on a daily basis - and rightly so. We are already catering to more than 15000 users every week, and we wish to take this to the next level and make customized, washable and reusable masks available, at the same affordable rates. Recently, we have also come up with Family Packs, where we pack 5 masks of different sizes, to try and make it more convenient for people to buy them.