The indelible ink, a staple in Indian elections of all shapes and sizes, is back in action. But this time, it is for a different purpose, that of ensuring those identified for home quarantine after returning from a trip abroad, can be easily identified if they step out of their homes before the completion of their mandatory 14-day home quarantine.
All passengers who are international arrivals are being stamped on their hand identifying them as home quarantine bound. It was because of these stamps that several individuals who preferred to leave quarantine and go elsewhere were identified and placed back in isolation.
The indelible ink is manufactured by only two firms in India - Hyderabad-based Rayudu Labs, and the Mysore-based public sector unit, Mysore Paints & Varnish Ltd. The stamping of quarantine bound individuals that began in Maharashtra is now being replicated by several other states including Telagnana.
“We received some orders from a few states. Officials from the Telagnana health department also placed an order with us. Each bottle of indelible ink contains 10 ml of ink,” VVS Rayudu, CEO, Rayudu Laboratories Limited, told Deccan Chronicle.
Bulk orders, he said, were coming in from Maharashtra, especially around Pune, where a 15 litre container was sent.
Meanwhile, officials from Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd, told Deccan Chronicle that they had not received any orders for the ink. “The officials must be using the leftover ink that was sent to them during the last elections,” C Hara Kumar,a general manager at the firm said.