Women across the world have been in the frontline to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In HPPI’s entrepreneurship, education and community development projects, too, women have been contributing in fighting the spread of the coronavirus. From creating awareness posters to producing life-saving face masks — a very essential means of protection from the infection, women are being resourceful in this time of crisis. Hundreds of masks are being produced every day for free community distribution, and some to make a small living.
In line with the government guidelines, since the lockdown was announced, HPPI’s skills and training centres have been closed. However, beneficiaries from these projects have been working from home and making masks that can be used as protective gear during the pandemic. In HPPI’s women entrepreneurship programme, Jeevika, in Haryana, Business Sakhis
have been stitching masks and have so far distributed 1,150 of these home-made masks in the community.
Two entrepreneurs under the Jeevika Project, Ms. Indra and Ms. Reena from Dabchana, Rewari, have also received an order to stitch 1,000 face masks for Rs 4 per piece for the company MTF Neemrana. In HPPI’s Total Control of Epidemic (TCE) Project -Narela in New Delhi, staff members are continuing to work with the community to stop the spread of COVID19 and are giving special attention to People Living with HIV/AIDS to make sure they get their Antiretroviral therapy (ART) medicine and proper diet. The team has also mobilised staff to make masks and has till now produced 126 masks which they have distributed among the community members.
Similarly, in Nipun Skills Development Programme in Gurugram, Haryana, 250 students who were learning to stitch at the Manesar and Khandsa Centres, were days away from completing their 3-month training course and were waiting to start their jobs or own enterprises shortly when the lockdown was announced. Despite their disappointment, the students came together and are now using their skills to contribute towards the need of producing masks, which were in short supply in the area.
The Nipun Skill Development Programme, supported by Sympany, also received an order by a local manufacturer to produce 25,000 masks. The Project’s skills teacher continued to provide instructions through video calls on mobile phones on how to prepare the cloth masks.
The students have made a small profit from this order and have also distributed as many as 500 masks to their family and community members free of cost.