MYSURU: While hundreds of Self Help Groups (SHGs) are facing problems in restarting their businesses amid the COVID-19 outbreak, there are some which have turned the crisis into an opportunity to earn their livelihoods by fighting the pandemic.
These SHGs have successfully started the production of masks, sanitisers and herbal drinks to boost immunity and have managed to sustain themselves during this pandemic period. They are selling these in various gram panchayats and also in urban areas.
The SHGs which were into other businesses have decided to continue producing the protective gear to earn their livelihood. The major advantage is that they are selling it at an affordable price as the products are produced locally.
Seema, a member of SHG in KR Nagar, said: “To tide over the shortfall of hand masks and sanitisers, we started producing them in April. Now, we have decided to continue in the same business. I have also planned to undergo training at Rural Development and Self Employment Training Institute and learn to make herbal extracts.”
Sahithi, another SHG member, said the production of masks and sanitisers has given a new ray of hope to manage during this pandemic. “I have plans to venture into the business of making hand sanitisers using Aloe vera and am discussing it with local farmers. By growing Aloe vera and processing it locally, we can create job opportunities for locals.”
R Paramesh, a mask seller at Bogadi Ring Road, said: “On an average, we are selling 30-50 reusable masks every day. We purchase the masks from an SHG in Mysuru Taluk and sell them to users. This has not only helped our livelihood but also to tide over the shortfall of masks during the outbreak of COVID 19.”
Dr MP Varsha, managing trustee and CEO, CREDIT-I (Centre for Rural Education Development and Innovative Technologies of India), has been issued with a 'World Record 'Star 2020', an online certificate by World Record Publishing Limited, the United Kingdom for spreading the spirit of positivity and hope during the pandemic. She said that apart from producing essential commodities, SHGs are working at the grassroots level in creating awareness among the public about the importance of social distancing and other preventive measures to be adopted to stay safe.