Cotton mask production in Ekal tailoring training centres
-Dr. Pramod Kumar
New Delhi: Suspending all its field activities including Ekal Vidyalayas, Sanskar Kendras, skill development classes, training camps, Ekal on Wheels, e-Shiksha, Eye Van, etc., the Ekal Abhiyan joined the fight against coronavirus in the second week of March. The focus of all its health activities is now coronavirus. Ekal’s Arogya Sahayikas have been joined by Ekal teachers and volunteers to educate the people about hygiene through different activities. They are also stressing on the need for maintaining physical distancing and precautions in cases of fever, sneeze, cough, and breathlessness.
The Gram Panchayats and local administration were supported to quarantining the people returning from cities and towns. To support volunteers and public servants engaged in fighting the crisis, Ekal started producing face masks and sanitizers through its GRC centres primarily for Ekal volunteers and distributing balance through District Health authorities, from the third week of March. This has covered by now 11 tailoring training centres in seven states and would cover 24 such centres in the next couple of weeks. Capacity of making such masks is around 10,000 and 1000 litres of sanitizers per day. Ekal has a presence in 1,03,000 hamlets in tribal areas and till April 13, 2020 around 75 lakh cotton masks were produced. There is a demand for such masks from paramilitary forces including CRPF, CISF, and BSF. The Ekal workers are working round the clock to meet this demand for masks. All the masks area bring provided with free of cost.
Talking to Organiser, Shri Bajrang Lal Bagra, president of Ekal Abhiyan, the umbrella organisation of all Ekal endeavours, said the Ekal workers are in the process of producing one million cotton masks by the end of April 2020. These two-ply masks are being made to WHO’s stringent specifications. Also, Ekal plans to keep on producing the masks as long as there is a need. As part of empowerment and to reduce dependency on ‘outside food’ Ekal Villages have actively started harvesting nutritional food items for the people in their own vicinity on a cooperative basis. In some places, walls in the villages have been painted with healthcare slogans. What is interesting is that villagers have enthusiastically endorsed this campaign in the current crisis.
Swift Sewa without any Strings
Meerut: The late Shri Bala Sahab Devras, the third Sarsanghachalak of RSS once gave six meanings to the RSS Shakha. One of the meanings put Shakha this way: It is a place where the society can receive swift (tvarit) and strings-less (nirpeksh) help in times of disasters and calamities. The unprecedented calamity that corona is, is seeing this service aspect of the RSS work in full bloom.
In Meerut Print, consisting of 15 districts, subdivided into 28 Zilas and 9 Vibhags of Western Uttar Pradesh, RSS volunteers plunged themselves into sewa a day after the lockdown was declared on March 24. Here is the total service rendered by them in the first 15 days of lockdown, i.e., up to April 9. At 520 places in the Prant, a total of 1,933 swayamsevakas are cooperating with the government in distributing relief material. The number of places where swayamsevaks make their own food packets is 531 mostly uncooked materials like wheat, rice, pulses, vegetables, spices, besides soaps, matches, candles, etc. The total number of families benefitted has reached 1,49,814. A total of 5,062 swayamsevaks took part in this work. Food is being cooked at 347 places and as many as 55,579 persons are eating it daily on an average. More than one lakh (1,11,750) masks and sanitizers have been distributed.