A group of young women in Gugwaal Haar village situated in Hajipur Block of Hoshiarpur are working tirelessly to safeguard the residents of their village and those residing in the vicinity from COVID-19 infection by making and distributing face masks free of cost. The group is led by Narinder Singh, Sarpanch of the village.
The Punjab State S&T Council (PSCST) Chandigarh supported by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) under the societal programme for women which works on ‘Technological Empowerment Of Women On Energy From Rural Biomass’ being implemented in the Talwara block of the Hoshiarpur district has launched a project as an initiative for the community in the scenario of COVID-19.
“The crowdsourcing of home-made masks for the general population is fast catching up as the awareness about the mask making and its use has become widespread. The move will prove to be a vital action in slowing and breaking the chain of transmission”, said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.
The initiative started on April 6, 2020, as the women participated in stitching and making homemade cloth masks as per the instructions issued in the manual released by the office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India. PSCST supported this group by providing necessary raw material for this noble initiative. Within ten days, the group of women supplied more than 2000 good quality masks in four villages near Gugwaal Haar to migrant labour, villagers, small-time shopkeepers.
Further, PSCST has also created a Whatsapp Group for Sarpanches, local SHGs, women & adopted farmers from about 30 villages of Talwara Block. The members of the Whatsapp group are being sensitized about the various advisories being issued by State/Central Government. The local population has welcomed the initiative, and sarpanches of these villages are ensuring that people adhere to guidelines issued by the Government from time to time.