The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm. It has asked us tougher questions day by day, straining our resources and making us question our strategies. Because lots of data and expert opinion has flooded in through various channels, it has been doubly difficult to keep track of all that is happening. One good example is the opinion about wearing masks. Initially the informed opinion was that only those who had symptoms should wear masks, but later it was suggested that everyone should wear a mask as it decreases the overall viral load and the possibility of transmission. Now, the availability of masks had already been facing a supply glut since the start of the pandemic. Hence, it was suggested to make one’s own mask – the efficacy of which could be lesser than high quality masks but it would still be useful in keeping the virus out. Barabanki under the leadership of its District Magistrate Dr. Adarsh Singh came up with an idea that was to shape the district’s fight against the virus in a big way.
The district is known for fabric knitting through handloom. Owing to the high demand of cotton clothing, there is also a huge demand for handloom products prepared using traditional technology. Weaving is done in urban as well as rural areas of the district. Presently, about 11200 weavers are engaged in textile weaving in the district. This is the reason Barabanki’s “One District One Product” is a stole, made locally and of high quality.
This was adopted as a symbol of the fight against the virus. The District Magistrate not only encouraged people to use this product to cover their mouths and faces, he promoted this in a big way by donning the stole himself on several occasions. This sent out a clear message that we were not waiting for help, but were helping ourselves by using our strengths to our advantage. This strategy has had the dual impact of promoting this industry further, making people aware of this indigenous solution and helping them stay safe from the threats of the virus spreading.
The stole was also used to felicitate the ‘corona warriors’ in the district, who had worked in tandem with the administration to deliver essential goods and services to the people in times of need. This model was widely appreciated.