Assam rural women combat COVID-19 with handmade masks, sanitizers
Guwahati: To tackle issues like shortage of hand sanitizers, liquid disinfectants and face masks, Rural Women Technology Park (RWTP) under CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat is engaging rural women to prepare these products to help combat COVID-19 pandemic.
Supported by SEED division, department of science and technology (DST) hand sanitizer, homemade mask, and liquid disinfectants are to be distributed freely among family members and the underprivileged in the nearby villages.
Rural women from the region were trained to produce homemade masks from traditional gamochas by RWTP, Jorhat. After finalising the design of the homemade masks, around 150 gamochas were purchased and two sewing machines were also arranged. As many as six homemade masks can be prepared from one gamocha. The women instrumental in making the masks are paid Rs 15 per mask. Apart from this, 200 litres of liquid disinfectant produced produced by them will also be distributed free among the family members and the needy in the nearby villages.
"Meeting a challenge such as COVID-19 needs strong community participation and support. Self-help groups and dedicated NGOs are perfect vehicles in the current scenario for awareness creation, introducing relevant solutions, making and distributing the low tech items such as masks and disinfectants,” said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, DST.
The women of RWTP were trained before closing down on March 24. The participants (women) prepared about 50 litres of hand sanitize and 160 liters of liquid disinfectant which have been distributed among the 60 women participants and their family members. The RWTP also prepared posters and leaflets on ‘COVID19: Do’s and Don’ts’ in the Assamese language for making people aware of the coronavirus pandemic and precautionary measures to be taken during the present situation.