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Women sheltered at the orphan home busy making masks in Ballari.

They may be women discarded by their own near and dear ones. They may have taken shelter in a home for orphaned women run by the department of women and child development. But they have been silently contributing to a cause at the facility, named Shantidhama, housed in the Cantonment area of the city.

The masks sewn by these women are used by the Asha and anganwadi workers as also the junior health assistants, who go door to door for a survey of those suffering from symptoms of COVID-19.

The women have already prepared 1,000 masks using raw materials supplied by the district administration. The masks have already been distributed among the personnel working to contain the spread of the virus in Ballari city, Hosapete and Siruguppa taluk.

“A thin plastic film, elastic, sponge and formic acid are all that go into the manufacture of the masks. An order has been placed with these women for 5,000 masks by the district administration,” Nagaraj, the deputy director of the department of women and child development

The home for the women now has 100 residents. Of these, 25 are involved in the task of manufacturing the masks. It takes a minimum of 10 minutes to sew a mask and the women get Rs 4 for every mask they prepare, Nagaraj said.

The district administration has imparted training to these women in the manufacture of masks, which is very essential for the ground workers involved in the work against COVID-19.

Shantidhama is ready to manufacture more masks if the demand increases, Nagaraj said. The masks are being supplied to the deputy commissioner’s office, from where they are sent to the needy areas, the officer said.

Women involved in the work said that they feel a sense of fulfilment, to be contributing towards making the lives of people better when a pandemic of such a big scale has struck the world.

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