Hoshiarpur: In Gugwaal Haar village in Hajipur Block of District Hoshiarpur, Punjab, a group of young women, are working tirelessly making and distributing face masks free of cost. Their only concern is to safeguard the residents of their village and those in the vicinity, from Coronavirus pandemic.
Besides the villagers, these women are also making masks for the vulnerable migrant workers and ration and food supply distributors, and distributing them without charging anything.
The group is led by the village Sarpanch, Narinder Singh. The initiative started on 6 April 2020 as the women participated stitching and making homemade cloth masks as per the instructions issued in the manual released by the office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. The Punjab State S&T Council, Chandigarh (PSCST) supported this group by providing necessary raw material for this initiative.
The (PSCST), supported by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) under the societal programme for women had launched a project under initiatives for the community in the scenario of Pandemic COVID-19.
Within ten days, the group of women supplied more than 2000 good quality masks in four villages near Gugwaal Haar to migrant labourers, villagers, small-time shopkeepers.
“The crowd sourcing of home-made masks for the general population is fast catching up as the awareness about the mask making and its use, aided by the local leadership, has become widespread. This will prove to be a vital action in slowing and breaking the chain of transmission,” said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.
The PSCST has also created a Whatsapp Group for Sarpanches, local SHGs, women & adopted farmers from about 30 villages of Talwara Block. The members of Whatsapp group are being sensitized about the various advisories being issued by State/Central Government.