Thirty-year-old Raji Radhakrishnan takes challenges in her stride. She learnt how to stitch and operate a sewing machine just a few months ago. Raji is now determined to offer any help possible to the health workers and police personnel who are in the line of duty and fighting the dreaded COVID-19 in Kerala. Raji, is a woman with intellectual disability and has stitched more than a thousand masks for the frontline workers.
“We appreciate Raji’s effort & encourage people to come forward and help us make masks by following directions of Health Dept,” Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja tweeted on Thursday praising the Raji with intellectual disability. Shailaja also wrote that Raji has “overcome the challenges” and is “joining the fight against Covid19 in the state”.
- Raji Radhakrishnan stitches more than a thousand masks for health workers and police personnel who are fighting the dreaded COVID-19 in Kerala.
- On April 23, Raji, along with her mother, Prabha Unni, had handed over more than 1,000 cloth masks that they made to the Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja.
- “She was lazy to go to her special school but in November last year, when she went for a few days, Raji learned how to stitch,” said Prabha Unni.
Raji’s mother Prabha Unni, a social worker, runs a nonprofit organisation called Mother Queen Foundation in Thiruvananthapuram, for people with disability. Raji made her mother proud when on April 23, she distributed over more than 1000 cloth masks made on her a sewing machine to the Kerala Health Minister.
“She was lazy to go to her special school but in November last year, when she went for a few days, Raji learned how to stitch,” said Prabha Unni.
“I was all set to start the construction of a rehabilitation centre for differently-abled girls across the state. The work was supposed to begin on April 27, but that was when the lockdown got implemented,” said Prabha. “But then, I knew that I had a responsibility to fulfil. I started distributing food and stitching masks,” she added.
Talking about Raji stitching the masks, Prabha expressed, “She usually helps me when I ask her, but in return, she asks me for money. But this time, for some reason, she said that she doesn’t want a penny. Now her brain isn’t developed fully to understand how deadly the virus is and how bad the situation is right now. But, this was a surprise and it did make me happy.”
Prabha is a huge supporter of Shailaja and how she handled the pandemic. As there is a shortage of masks in the market, the mother-daughter duo made masks and helped the state to control the spreading of the disease. “She is such an inspiration. Despite going through such a tough time, she was really calm and listened to us. She was very humble and motherly,” an impressed Prabha said. She also tells shares how Raji initially refused to pose for a photograph with the Minister. “When Teacher asked her to look at the camera, she said that the photograph will make her ‘less glamorous’. Teacher could not stop laughing upon hearing this,” she claimed.
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