RDD Kashmir Ropes in Local Entrepreneurs for Mass Mask Production

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Mufti Sadia a fashion designer makes masks at her home in Srinagar. KO Pic: Abid Bhat

Srinagar:  Department of Rural Development, Kashmir has roped in local entrepreneurs and self-help groups for mass production of masks in view of the urgency to prevent spread of novel COVID-19 pandemic.

Sharing the details, the Director, Department of Rural Development, Kashmir, Qazi Sarwar said that the department has taken number of measures for helping the administration and other line departments to contain the deadly virus.

He said that for containment and mitigation of the spread of deadly Coronavirus, all the officials of the Rural Development in this Division in unison with the members of PRIs including Chairman BDCs, Surpanchs, Panchs have taken up several measures to sensitize people.

“We have roped in hundreds of local entrepreneur, self-help groups (SHGs) for the mass production of masks in Kashmir region,” he said. “The masks are made under the guidelines and all the raw material is being provided to the SHGs for the production of the same,” he said, adding we are able to produce nearly *11000* masks per day and similarly these masks are handed over the rural population for its use.”

“We are ensuring the rapid production, distribution and outreach of masks so as to achieve universal mask usage in Kashmir,” he said.

He said that in view of such instructions, it has been decided to set-up District level Task Force for placing orders, collection distribution of masks. He said that for this the Department was utilizing the services of NGOs , local tailor shops, boutiques, Self Help Groups of SRLM, KVIB, KVIC, Women Development Corporation, Handloom, Handicrafts, NABARD and community participation including PRIs.

“Also one mask shall be provided free of cost to each member of household with AAY ration card, Pension beneficiaries, Old age homes , Orphanages, children homes,” he said.

The Director said that the production of masks in various districts is under process under the overall supervision of the officers, officials Rural Development Department and the members of the Panchayati Raj Institutions and in coordination with the District Administration.

“So far nearly 2 lakh masks have been procured and about one lac have been distributed in the rural areas,” he said.

The Director said that besides others as mentioned above, about 92 SHGs of UMEED have been engaged for production of the masks which have a capacity of producing *10070* masks per day.

“The distribution of   the masks is to be made through Block COVID AMCs and Panchayat COVID AMCs constituted by the Government,” he said.

Cleanliness of Rural Pockets

The Director said that cleanliness of rural areas ate taken up on priority basis. He said that the cleanliness drive with the help of Panchayats is being taken to the doorsteps.

“Sanitization, fumigation  of all the congested residential areas including lanes bye lanes is being carried out regularly,” the Director said. “Door to door dissemination of information related to the disease vis-à-vis motivation, counseling of general public for observing social distancing and other preventative measures.”

The Director said besides cleanliness drive, the Department is also engaged into distribution of pamphlets and display of posters at conspicuous locations in the habitations and use of public address system regarding Do’s and Don’ts regarding COVID19 so that precautionary measures are taken in totality.

The Department has also ordered formation of various Block level and Panchayat level Awareness Management Committees(AMCs) headed by Chairman Block Development Councils and Surpanchs respectively  so as to assist the  Administration to contain spread of the Virus.

“Needy people, labourers from various states and destitute (wherever identified) are being provided food and other logistics,” he said.

The Director was also carrying out an exercise of identification of persons with domestic, foreign travel history and sharing the details of such persons with the District Administration, besides monitoring the facilities and other logistics in various quarantine centres established by the District Administration.

“In addition to this, the Rural Development Officials in association with Block Development Chairpersons, Sarpanchs, Panchs have also come forward to assist other line departments in ensuring smooth implementation of the health and administrative advisories,” he said.

 

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