As the nation grapples with COVID-19 pandemic compelling all the citizens to undergo lockdown, women self-help groups have accelerated their activities in the battle against the pandemic. These women associated with self-help groups (SHGs) have made use of their tailoring skills and produced over 10 crore masks since March. Besides the masks, over 4000 women from 12 states have produced 2 lakh sets of protective gear for the COVID warriors who are at the frontline of the battle.
The rural development ministry from state missions under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) has put up data on the quantities of protective gears and face masks that have been produced till date.
These women have been producing a wide range of protective gear including aprons, gloves, caps, shoe covers, gowns and face-shields on the directions of the state and district administration.
The SHGs have also manufactured over 3 lakh litres of hand sanitiser and have been running community kitchens in various states. The Rural Development ministry has released the first installment of the central funds allocated under NLRM to the states to assist the SHGs.
Also, India has now achieved an almost unrealistic goal of producing 2.06 lakh Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits daily within two months after the coronavirus outbreak. The highest single-day production of PPE kits, around 2.06 lakh kits, was recorded on May 2. However, on average, domestic production is about 1.5 lakh per day. A PPE kit consists of a mask, eye shield, shoe cover, gown and gloves, which doctors and healthcare workers wear during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Speaking to ANI, a senior Health Ministry official said that that there was no domestic manufacturing of PPE kit in the country and almost all of them were imported.
"It is very comforting to us that our in-house PPE kit production is increasing fast. On May 2, the country recorded maximum production of protective gears of about 2.06 lakh manufactured in a single day," a senior Health Ministry official told ANI.
"Earlier, there was no domestic manufacturing of PPE kit in the country and almost all of them were imported. Within a short span of time, India has been able to increase the daily production of PPE kits to about 1.5 lakh," he added.