Saturday, April 1

NGOs come together to make masks; Kolkata youths raise funds for needy neighbours

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Project Karuna, an initiative by SwitchON Foundation, Active Citizens Together for Sustainability (ACTS) and JITO, focuses on ensuring that everyone in the city has access to two cotton masks each.

In collaboration with the district rural development cells, the project started ‘Women Cotton Mask Ventures’ where over 200 women entrepreneurs from various self-help groups (SHG) are making masks across the districts. These women are being provided with entrepreneur kits, comprising fabric and other equipment needed to stitch masks. The process is taught via WhatsApp or by a resource person at the spot.

“As use of masks have become compulsory, we are happy to partner with district offices to work with SHGs and create a market for their masks, both locally and for company CSRs and donors. We are thankful to the German Consulate General for supporting this project. Now, people can get high-quality masks at very low prices,” said Vinay Jaju, MD of SwitchON Foundation and co-founder of ACTS

The project has started work in five districts and there are plans to expand. “The target is to train 1,000 women to make 10,00,000 masks. Till date, 45,000 masks have been made. Each woman can make up to Rs 15,000 a month from stitching masks. The products are being sold at Rs 20 in retail and Rs 15 in bulk,” Jaju said.

In Kolkata, NSIC, Howrah, employee Sujit Kumar Shaha has distributed more than 2,500 masks among the needy around Dum Dum Cantonment. A group of college and high school students in Metiabruz have raised funds for more than 13,000 poor neighbours over the past 15 days. The Metiabruz Youths are giving each family 5kg rice, 2kg atta, 500g dal, 2kg potato, 1kg onion, 2 packets of instant noodles, 1kg salt, a packet of oil and a bar of soap. And locals on Sukeas Street have set up a kitchen and have been feeding around 200 daily wagers and pavement dwellers in the area over the past 20 days. Both Metiabruz Youths and the Sukeas Street locals plan to distribute masks as well.

Also on Wednesday, Dum Dum Nagorik Samonnoy Mancha started a community kitchen to help 380 families suffering from food crisis.


Source: Times of India

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