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In Kerala, masks are not only saving people’s lives but also helping women in earning livelihood

Women in Kerala are engaging themselves in producing masks to ensure protection against the deadly coronavirus and simultaneously making money to support their families during this tough period of lockdown. The state has 375 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 179 of them already recovered and having 2 casualties.
A number of self help groups, NGOs and local managing bodies have come forward to make sure that no one is devoid of masks- an indispensable way to protect oneself from getting infected by the virus.

This little initiative is not only safeguarding others from the virus but also has become the source of income for many since most people from unorganised sector no longer have their jobs.

Kudumbashree, the State Poverty Eradication Mission in Kerala, has over 300 micro-enterprises headed by women. A member of the Gram Panchayat of Veeyapuram reported that they have produced more than 14.50 lakh masks. The cost of the masks have been fixed between RS. 10-15 based on their layerings. These enterprises earned almost Rs. 2 crore by supplying masks at the time of dire crisis and coming up with the idea of cloth that can be reused more than once.

Anindit Roy Choudhury, Director Programmes, Save the Children- a child rights organisation- said that women in these centres were coached, supported with daily necessities and now they have led their helping hands in the mass manufacturing of masks. Women are stitching about 200 masks each day. This in turn has become the source of daily bread for the marginalised section of the society, especially the women. They have also received orders in bulk from the Govt and local distributors.
India is facing the biggest lockdown with 1.3 billion people being requested to stay at home due to the outburst of COVID-19 pandemic. India, now, has more than 7000 active cases with 273 deaths and 764 recoveries.

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