No matter where the debate is headed, wearing a mask is being considered a good idea to prevent transfer of COVID-19. In order to do her bit to ensure supply of masks, a part of the force of Aligarh police women are spending hours to quick-stitch mask. After an assessment of the coronavirus spread in Uttar Pradesh, the Aligarh police asked the reserve force to get down to this task. The collective efforts hope to produce 600-700 masks a day to contribute to the rising demand for the same. Currently there is a massive shortage. However while none of these efforts are going increase the supply significantly, different departments of the government and citizens are making efforts to get more in the market.
A lot of different people are contributing to making masks in their own way, some for public use, some for distribution to those who don’t have access. Ihitashri Shandilya, who works with a Madhubani artists collective, spent a few days making masks at home.
“There are people, who do not need the N95 masks, have been hoarding them while the doctors, who would potentially die without them, are making do with fabric masks,” says Shruti Dandekar who is a quilter and makes quilts. She started a drive to make masks at home so she could distribute to the community at large especially shopkeepers, vegetable sellers in the area. This is how she planned the mask making exercise. “I took some cotton material and added a sheet of Poplypropylene between two pieces of cotton. Poplypropylene is nothing but that same material that every store gives you a ‘fabric’ bag. So how does one make this mask? I decided to add a layer of this material in between two layers of fabric to make the mask comfortable, breathable as well as reversible and reusable. You can use any cotton fabric (shirting fabric that is 100% cotton – not linen – is perfect). Even clean old clothes can be used. Just make sure that the fabric is washed and ironed before using.”