Aide et Action International has partnered with the Eicher Group Foundation to enable production as well as the distribution of indigenous masks and sanitation kits in six panchayats of three districts- Dhar, Dewas, and Indore in Madhya Pradesh. The initiative called Sashakt Gram which aims to empower the community to take ownership of the village development through their empowerment is helping the SHG women in these villages to manufacture one lakh masks and distribute them as well as sanitation kits among 2500 families.
As a first step in the process, women entrepreneurs/SHG members were identified in the village and the raw material was distributed among them. A total of 12,234 masks have been produced by 57 women in 9 project villages of all three districts of Madhya Pradesh. As of now, sanitation kits have been distributed to 2,145 families in all 14 project villages in 3 districts of Madhya Pradesh with the help of Panchayats.
“The objective of the initiative is not only to encourage the adoption of standard hygiene practices during the COVID-19 lockdown but also to generate livelihood opportunities and empower the rural community to become self-reliant during this unprecedented time. This is in line with our commitment to augment the government efforts in this crisis,” said Dr. Aishwarya Mahajan, Director- Livelihood Education, South Asia, Aide et Action International.
Out of one lakh masks, 25,000 will be consumed by project villages, and the remaining 75,000 will be given to the district administration as a contribution from the Sashakt Gram initiative. The fabric for masks and other raw materials like yarn and needles are being procured locally by the resource center known as Sashakt Gram Sandharbh Kendra. Sanitation Kits were procured from Indore. All the material, including fabric to produce masks and sanitation kits, was delivered by a mobile medical unit called Arogita in all six panchayats in three districts under the project.
Mr. Ram Ratan Singh, Sarpanch, Khokhariya, located in the Dewas district, said: “The one who is with us even in the times of adversity is our real well-wisher and today Eicher Group Foundation and Aide et Action have proved that they are with us. Every family in our village has been given masks, sanitizers to keep the house clean, necessary sanitary pads for women and other materials to remain safe in this epidemic situation, for which we all are extremely grateful to Aide et Action and Eicher Group Foundation.”