Normally, Kumkum earns her income from making upcycled paper products for Women on Wings’ partner Action Center for Transformation (ACT). But these days, Kumkum makes cloth masks to support in the battle against COVID-19. Till the first week of April, Kumkum and her Self-Help Group had made 1,000 masks.
Lockdown cancels all existing work
Aged 25, Kumkum, a mother of two, started working at ACT in 2017 through a Self-Help Group (SHG) called Pragati. Since then, she enjoys making products from upcycled paper and even became a trainer. Kumkum was preparing a training on upcycling waste for 25 women in SHGs in another village as part of a new project. But then the lockdown came and all projects had to be cancelled. Soon, Kumkum missed the work at ACT, her income and interacting with other women. Luckily, ACT came with a great solution; making cotton masks. This would not only generate income, it would also contribute to the battle against spreading COVID-19.
Face masks solution to many
Kumkum owns a sewing machine and she grabbed this opportunity. She easily picked up the mask making skill and started producing cloth masks. Also, she spreads the message to people in her community to use masks and keep physical distance. In the current lockdown, Kumkum is at home and is able to give quality time to her two bright children. Her husband is a gardener in a nearby college and earns a meagre amount. Thanks to the income she continues to earn from the mask making, Kumkum is able to save money till schools re-open. She is determined to provide her children a good education, so that they will have a bright future.
Image by ACT: Kumkum at work before lockdown