ROURKELA: For SHG members of Balishankara block in Sundargarh district, the lockdown has been the busiest period since formation of their groups. From distributing vegetables and masks to people, creating awareness on the importance of hand washing and social distancing to preparing ‘chatua’ for children, new mothers and pregnant women, they have been doing it all.
A group of 20 members of Kalyani, Jagriti and Subhashree SHGs have formed Desh Premi Producers Group which has come forward to help the administration in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
President of the group, Jayanti Ekka said they have been getting orders from the district administration to manufacture masks against payment. Apart from meeting the demand, they have so far distributed 1000 masks for free to the poor and needy who cannot afford to buy one.
While some members of the group prepare the masks, few others sensitise patients visiting the local CHC on practices of hand washing, social distancing, and personal hygiene. They also distribute awareness leaflets among villagers of their locality daily. Members Indumati Naik and Limila Naik said they also procure vegetables from different sources and sell them to villagers at reasonable rates, helping them stay at home during the ongoing lockdown. And while doing all this, the SHG members maintain social distancing and sanitise their hands every time they meet the villagers.
The group now plans to open a daily free kitchen using its own resources for 20 school children in the neighbourhood who have been deprived of mid-day meals after closure of schools. Jayanti said although the group members want to do more for villagers during the lockdown, they do not have enough time as they also have to prepare ‘chatua’ and other dry food for distribution among lactating and pregnant women and children.The group has also donated `20,000 to CM’s Relief Fund.