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With Little Safety for Themselves, Kashmir’s Young Women Are Stitching Masks, PPEs for Health Workers

Srinagar: The toes appear unstoppable, arms transfer sooner than the machine and the eyes are glued on the thread. When all of Kashmir is underneath a lockdown pressured by the COVID-19 pandemic, the thrumming of the stitching machine is the one sound that’s being heard in Anantnag district. Here, some ladies have volunteered to make masks and different protecting gears for frontline well being employees and customary people who find themselves dealing with a scarcity of masks in occasions of the pandemic.

While the follow of social distancing is on and most keep at dwelling, Sakiba, a resident of Kehribal space of Anantnag district, leaves her dwelling at 9 within the morning. Her face lined with a dupatta, she walks to Kashgar Public Charitable Trust, a kilometer away from her dwelling, the place she sews the protecting gears.

Settling herself on a chair, the 23-year-old begins the stitching machine to sew handmade masks and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for the medical doctors and paramedics on the forefront of the combat in opposition to Covid -19 in Kashmir. The Valley reported 152 instances of the virus an infection until Thursday afternoon.

“This is my contribution to society. We all know that there’s a shortage of masks and PPEs in Kashmir. So, I am working hard to ensure we don’t face a shortage of masks here and everything goes smoothly,” mentioned Sakiba who alongside together with her colleagues have revamped 2,000 masks since March 31.

However, it wasn’t straightforward for Sakiba to persuade her household to permit her to depart dwelling throughout the pandemic state of affairs.

“They were reluctant to send me out. They feared that I might contract the virus,” mentioned Sakiba who has been constantly working for over every week, and not using a break.

Recent pointers of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentioned, “Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”

Like Sakiba, many women – small-time tailors and a few outstanding ladies entrepreneurs – have come ahead to assist the group with their abilities.

“I am happy that I am able to use my skills and serve my people in these tough times when the entire world has been devastated by the virus. We work from 9 in the morning till 5 in the evening,” mentioned Saima Hayat, one other volunteer from Kashgar Trust. The belief has now acquired consignments from the native district administration to make Personal Protective Equipments.

“We are giving all the masks and PPEs that we are making for free,” mentioned Syed Bilal, administrator of the Kashgar Trust, including, “I am amazed to see the dedication of these girls. They leave their homes risking their lives, come here walking and ensure the masks reach the people.”

Lack of Masks and PPEs

As the instances of Covid-19 in Kashmir crossed the 100 mark, medical doctors and paramedics took to their social media accounts to point out resentment in opposition to the federal government for not offering them with protecting gears.

The information concerning the scarcity of masks and private protecting gears in hospitals unfold. Malik Arif Noor, who runs an NGO referred to as ‘We Volunteers’ assembled a bunch of women and requested them to make use of their abilities for the nice of the society.

Tabasum and her colleagues instantly agreed and began stitching masks and surgical robes.

Working for over 12 hours a day, Tabasum together with different ladies, have made virtually 2,000 masks and 250 robes since March. Tabasum, who has completed her Masters in Sociology, is promoting all these handmade masks freed from price.

“When Adil sir asked me to make masks for people, I was more than happy to do it because this is the time when we can do something for the people. The thought of getting infected didn’t even occur to us. We just wanted to be of some use to the people, health workers and everyone who is fighting this virus.”

From distributing masks to hospitals in Budgam and Pulwama, the NGO has additionally supplied masks to individuals who had been saved in quarantine centres and had been wanting masks.

Dr Yasir Wani, a paediatrician at District hospital, Budgam, whereas appreciating the efforts of the ladies making masks, mentioned, “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that everyone should wear masks now. So taking that into consideration, the fabric-based masks can be good. They can be worn during the day and washed in the evening with a disinfectant. This will help reduce community transmission.”

He also said that since the flu season is coming, the handmade masks are the need of the hour.

However, Dr Salim Khan, Head of Department of Community Medicine, who is also the nodal officer for the COVID-19, said, “The mask can help us in not touching our face and nose, but the quality of the mask should be good and the maintenance of the mask is also important.”

Considering all the recommendations of the health workers, Mehwish Zargar (name changed) makes masks after consulting the doctors.

“I first sewed a few masks and showed them to a few doctors who I know. Only after their approval, I started making more masks,” said Mehwish, who lives in Srinagar and is a seamstress by profession.

“I have been stitching clothes for five years and a few days ago a few neighbours requested me to make masks for them and for their children,” she mentioned.

“In the process, I started getting more request and eventually I decided to make masks in bulk and distribute them among people. Today, I have distributed over 1,000 masks among people,” the 25-year-old mentioned.

On March 18, when Kashmir reported its first case of Coronavirus, Aayat Tanveer noticed her father and uncle leaving dwelling with out sporting a masks. Worried concerning the security of her members of the family, she went on YouTube and noticed tutorials about making home made masks.

“Since there was a shortage of masks in the market, I thought of making a mask at home for my family members. I watched a YouTube video and made a mask,” mentioned Aayat, a category 6 pupil.

The 10-year-old has revamped 100 masks and has distributed them amongst her neighbours.

“I wanted my neighbours to be safe as well. Now I am making masks for my relatives,” she mentioned.

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