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Women in slum areas stitch masks to support their families

A Delhi-based NGO, Little India Foundation, is helping women in some slum areas to earn a livelihood and sustain their families by stitching cotton masks.

Updated: Jul 20, 2020, 18:41 IST

By Ruchika Garg, Hindustan Times

Women in some slum areas of Delhi are earning a livelihood by stitching masks with the help of an NGO.

Lending a helping hand to the families living in the slum areas of Delhi, a not profit organisation has come forward to help those who have lost their jobs, through a project. Little India Foundation, a trust that are supporting 26 slums in the Capital, has brought together around 20 women to make affordable cotton masks.

“Earlier, we were distributing food and ration to the families living in slums and then we got to know about them losing jobs due to Covid-19. Then founder Saleem Khan decided to take upon the food project a little further, and extend it to for the cause of employment generation. We thought this would not just make them self-reliant, but confident too! We are teaching them the basics of stitching with help from our managing director, Suman Arya. We have also provided them sewing machines and fabric and in turn for their skills and hard work, we paying are them as well,” informs Harsimar Chawla, additional deputy director of the trust.

“My husband used to work as a bus driver with a school, but due the pandemic he has lost his job... I have learnt to stitch masks and the money I receive in return gives me confidence and a sense of empowerment.”
– Sahnaaz, a beneficiary of the trust

During these testing times, women have come forward to shoulder the responsibility of supporting their families, financially. Sahnaaz, one of the women who has been stitching masks as part of this project, says, “My husband used to work as a bus driver with a school, but due the pandemic he has lost his job. Although we are getting ration but there’s nothing like a job security because we have to look after our kids’ future as well... I have learnt to stitch masks and the money I receive in return gives me confidence and a sense of empowerment to be able to do something for my family.”

Hindustan Times reader, Sujata Aurora, who posted about this initiative on social media, has been bringing smiles on the faces of these women, by buying and distributing their masks. Aurora says, “We need to take collective responsibility to support them. I would also like to request others to support them.”

The masks made by these women can be ordered in bulk. “The cost of each mask is ₹15 and the delivery charges are ₹250. One can call at +91-9560688867 to order these masks, and there should be a minimum order of 100 masks. As we aim to put the lives of these women back on track, any support at this time will help them to live with dignity,” says Saleem Khan.

Author tweets @ruchikagarg271

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