A group of women at Vidarbha in Maharashtra have shrugged off their sleep and resting hours and racing against time to make face masks for thousands of people who stand at the risk of getting contracted with coronavirus.
Punam’s Instinct proved to be of immense help
It was in December last year when Punam Bang who runs a non-profit at Vidarbha in Maharashtra witnessed on television rising cases of coronavirus in China.
Punam apprehended that time was not far when similar situation may arise in India because the virus spreads from human to human and people travelled frequently between both the countries. Punam felt the first tremors when India was yet to fully understand the magnitude of the danger that was coming towards them.
Dhyas immediately swung into action
Punam who runs the non-profit dhyas(determination in English) immediately ordered a group of ten women working under her to start making the face masks on urgency basis, “I felt that we might have to face similar situation because of the contagious nature of the coronavirus. We swung into action and started manufacturing human masks to save people from the deadly virus.”
Salute to Women Empowerment
Her fears proved to be correct as India is facing its worst time in dealing with the coronavirus with several people infected with it. Dhyas has been working continuously and the group of ten women have already made over 5000 masks in the past three months.
Masks sold at cheap rates to prevent black marketing
The masks are of six varieties made from pure cotton, polyster and mixture of polyster and cotton. Dhyas is supplying the masks to the local medical shops and even doctors, “Our aim is to serve the society and stop the hoarding of masks. We have kept the price from Rs 20-30 for face masks. We are strictly against illegal activities. We want to make our contribution in the hour of crisis.”
Dhyas offering livelihood for women
Dhyas was founded by Punam in 2015 to create employment to women who despite being well qualified fail to find a proper job or family restrictions do not allow them to travel to big cities for jobs.
Dhyas has been making cotton bags and other items before they started making face masks realizing the seriousness of the situation. At present 25 women are engaged with dhyas. They want a co-operation from Maharashtra government to take their work forward and create more livelihood opportunities for women.
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Keywords: Coronavirus, Dhyas, face masks, Vidarbha, Maharashtra
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