Ordinarily, Pramod Chandurkar’s factory produces thousands of bows and arrows.
But the secretary general of the Archery Association of India has dedicated his factory for good use – Chandurkar and his staff are now devoted in manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits on a war-footing.
The 56-year-old has about 30 employees on the job who work to mass produce face masks, gloves and gowns for frontline workers. They manufacture about 1000 PPE gowns, which are supplied to his friend's company for wholesale distribution.
Chandurkar, who coached India to the Asian Cup gold in 1989, also owns a company, Ruth India, which manufactures archery equipment and sportswear.
"Everyone has been doing their bit to serve the country since the lockdown started. I had a full-fledged stitching set-up so I thought why not use this infrastructure in making PPE gowns," Chandurkar, who participated in the 1976 National Games and the 1982 Asian Games, told PTI.
"I got in touch with my friend (who is a medical kit supplier) and his company provided us the guidelines on how to make PPE gowns from plastic-laminated non-woven cloth. The raw materials are being supplied by him. We have been working non-stop since then. This is my way of serving the country in these trying times."
His factory is about one and half kilometre from his residence and to ensure the safety of his workers, he has personally arranged accommodation for his outstation employees.
"We knew we had a big task on hand. So I ensured safety for our outstation workers numbering about 15. I put them in my place and arranging their food as well. We are also following the safety protocols by maintaining a strict sanitisation programme," he said.
Manufacturing PPEs is not the only thing that keeps Chandurkar busy. He starts his day by co-ordinating online classes for archers and coaches that the AAI had started on April 16.
"I've to ensure that the speakers are ready, and I send them the guidelines well in advance. I've to constantly monitor and ensure a smooth conduct," the former India archer said.
Chandurkar, who passed out as coach from SAI-Kolkata, was posted in Shillong in the 1990s and he was working in tandem with the Army Boys Sports Company that later got disintegrated to Army Sports Institute in Pune.
"It was during my Shillong days that I was intrigued with the tribal archery competitions. There would be huge gambling and all. I took the idea of manufacturing the archery equipment for Indian Round and started my company in 2000," he recalled.
Chandurkar wants to take the sport into the grassroots.
"You are looked after well after you become a national archer. But what happens to the youngsters and younger talents? So, my objective is to prepare one trainer and coach for every village. Then only there will be a constant and healthy flow to the top. Archery will always remain my first passion," he concluded.