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States » North

COVID: Women headed Self Help Groups manufacture over 9 lakh face masks in J&K UT

Jammu, May 29 (UNI) Amid the growing concern over the dearth of face-masks to stop the spread of Coronavirus pandemic, the female-only self-help groups (SHGs) in Jammu and Kashmir have risen to the extraordinary challenge by manufacturing more than 9 lakh face masks, lending a helping hand to the government to combat the deadly virus.
Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, the members of SHGs of Jammu and Kashmir State Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKSRLM) were stitching shirts, bags and uniforms. Today, to help the government to combat this contagion, their sewing machines are roaring furiously only to manufacture face-masks.
These women — all of whom have escaped the abject poverty through the intervention of JKSRLM— have once again displayed their grit and determination in fighting against all odds.
This time not only for self-help but for entire community.
As per details provided by the government department, in Block Gool, District Ramban, Naseema Akhtar, mother of two, is busy making cotton based face-masks in her small home to help fight the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
For past one month, Naseema has been making around 50 masks a day. She is one of about 60 SHG members in the sub-division involved in stitching face masks.
Around 50-60 women from several SHGs in the Sub-Division Gool are involved in making masks and have thus far produced more than 7000 masks with the support of the district administration and Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, J&K.
The district has manufactured a total number of 54890 face masks.
Similarly, Aasifa, 25, member of Khoobsurat SHG in District Kupwara walks more than 10 kilometres daily — wearing face mask and gloves — to reach her centre where she along with other women of her Cluster make around 900 masks a day.
The production of these face masks by the self help group have not only ensured the supply of face masks in the UT, but has also provided employment to thousands of women during this lockdown.
Anjum and Khoobsoorat are not the only SHGs on the job.
Around 2000 women from several SHGs across the JK UT have joined the fight against the COVID 19 who have, thus far, successfully produced more than 9 lakh 73 thousand face masks, with Kashmir division producing as many as 5 lakh 63 thousand face masks and Jammu Division sewing more than 4 lakh face masks and they are still on the job in some districts.
Importantly, the first consignment of 12200 masks was made available within just 36 hours and handed over to the respective district administrations.
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