By Partha Sarathi Behera :
Amidst growing threat of coronavirus and scarcity of masks and hand sanitisers, a family in Fafadih area, Raipur is reaching out to people in need and distributing them home-made masks. The family has distributed around 2,000 masks as on March 24. Surendra Bairagi, who works as clerk in an Iron factory here, said that his family and ‘Seva Toli’ (service group) had earlier launched a campaign against polythene bags and stitched cloth bags and distributed these bags among people under Polythene-free campaign. “One day I was in market and was shocked to see black-marketing of masks, depriving a major chunk of society of this essential material.
This incident inspired me to start making masks and I am well supported by my family and ‘Seva Toli’ members in the mission,” said Surendra while talking to this newspaper. So far, around 2000 masks have been distributed and more would be done in coming days, Bairagi said. “Meanwhile, total lockdown, announced by the state and centre, has affected the distribution as we are not able to move out freely. Still we are trying to reach to needy and give them the masks using safer means,” said Bairagi, adding, the masks are safe and reusable after a wash.
While Surendra and his Seva Toli are more taking care of distribution part, Bairagi’s wife Asha Bairagi is contributing by stitching the masks for the needy at home. According to Asha, it is time to contribute something for the betterment of people instead of finding faults with others while sitting at home. Similarly, 78 years old Sushila Bairagi, mother of Bairagi, is extending a helping hand in stitching the masks. According to Sushila, elderly people like her are in need of masks more than the young people as they are more prone to this coronavirus disease. Seva Toli members Trilochan Sahu, Ravi Prakash Gupta, Ritendra Bairagi, Mitul Bairagi, Yogendra Vaishnav, Suryanshu Vaishnav, Sarita Bairagi, Dulika Bairagi, and others are giving their services generously.