Raipur: With the demand for face masks and hand sanitisers going up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 853 women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in 24 districts of Chhattisgarh are working on a war footing to manufacture these items and ensure their supply at affordable prices, officials said. The SHGs, particularly from rural areas, are also going around the villages and creating awareness about COVID-19 through various means, including wall writing.
Around 2,516 women of the 853 SHGs associated with Chhattisgarh State Rural Livelihood Mission (CSRLM), have produced around 5.13 lakh masks till Wednesday, Chief Operating Officer (CSRLM) Alice Lakra told PTI on Thursday.
Of these, 4,22,387 masks worth Rs 60.70 lakh were supplied to the health department, municipal corporation and other government departments and also sold in open markets, she said. She added,
The enthusiasm and hard work of these women can be known from the fact that 87,544 masks were prepared just in a day on April 1.
These are three-layered fabric masks as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard and are washable. They are being sold at Rs 15 to Rs 20 each, she said. “We are also exploring possibilities to make its availability more in the open market,” Ms. Lakra added.
So far, maximum number of masks were manufactured by the SHGs in Rajnandgaon district (72,111) followed by Kabirdham (45,286), Sarguja (44,330) and Korba (44,101).
Similarly, sanitisers are being produced by 23 SHGs in nine districts of the state. Till Wednesday, they manufactured 602.4 litres of sanitiser, of which, 581.4 litre worth Rs 2.88 lakh, has been sold, she said. Moreover, in some districts, fabric hand gloves are also being made by SHGs and provided to the traffic police and gradually its manufacturing will be expanded in other districts as well, she said. She added,
SHGs have penetration till village level and roping them in the battle against coronavirus will yield better results. They are also running awareness drives about coronavirus in their vicinity and informing people about the importance of staying sanitised and maintaining social distancing.