SHGs In Odisha Manufacture A Million Masks

When the world is battling with a shortage of protective gear, self-help groups (SHGs) in Odisha have joined hands to manufacture and distribute one million masks for the use of the general public. This initiative was taken by the 400 SHGs under the state government’s Mission Shakti program. Together, they have been making around 50,000 masks every day to help the government in its fight against the dreaded coronavirus.

“SHGs in the state have risen to the occasion to supply masks at affordable rates. Despite unfavourable circumstances, these women continue to contribute towards public health”, said a senior official. Apart from mask making, the groups are also visiting villages to spread awareness and distribute cooked food among the poor. “With the help of district officials, these self-help groups have also set up temporary outlets to ensure a steady supply of food grains, vegetables, and fruits to common people”, the official added.

Commending their novel efforts, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently said that “it was heartening to see the all-round response of women, especially members of Mission Shakti self-help groups, during this critical time”.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has also lauded their efforts. “Our #NariShakti in Odisha is working round the clock to ensure the state emerges out of this crisis in quick time,” he tweeted.

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