While the medical fraternity globally is under various stages of trials for Covid-19 vaccines, preventing oneself from this virus is still the most potent tool to break the chain and flatten the curve. Usage of right masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and maintaining physical distance while in proximity with others are very effective ways of protection from the virus. During this scenario, availability of PPE, especially for the frontline warriors involved in saving lives, is the need of hour.
Rising to the occasion, the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of GMR Group is contributing to public health by creating masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as per the requisite safety guidelines at various locations across the nation.
This mega project is being led from the front by a band of highly committed and skilled women trained by GMRVF who are working across locations nationally in service of defending communities and the frontline COVID warriors. While, this project gives an opportunity to GMRVF women to contribute to the fight against COVID; it is also giving an opportunity to them to generate some income for their families even during the lock-down and COVID-infested economy downturn.
Equipping the Communities
To protect communities from COVID-19, a group of over 600 GMRVF-trained women volunteers are developing masks for those who need them the most. These women work from their homes or respective centers abiding by all safety norms in place across the country stitching masks and PPE kits. The locations from where this good work is happening are Hyderabad (Telangana); Delhi; Warora (Maharashtra); Bajoli-Holi (Himachal Pradesh); Badrinath (Uttarakhand); Kamalanga (Odisha); Rajam, Ananthapur and Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh). These good Samaritans have already stitched over 65,000 masks which have been distributed to the frontline workers in healthcare, police, security department among others across the country.
Contributing in Telangana
At the Hyderabad GMRVF Centre in Telangana, a group of highly committed 14 women who were earlier stitching jute bags and other such products came forward to contribute to this task and have now been stitching masks and PPE kits for the frontline COVID warriors since the lockdown. Already proficient in stitching being trained by the professionals, these women have risen to the occasion by utilizing their time and skills in crafting the protective gears for those who are serving communities in their fight to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID Masks for Frontline Personnel
GMRVF women are engaged in stitching masks, which are being widely used across hospitals and the Pharma sector in Telangana. They cater to the requirements based on the demands to produce single or two-layer masks and PPE kits. So far these women have stitched over 30,000 cotton masks (including single and double layered) since the lock-down. Out of this over 1,000 masks were recently provided to the office of Collector and District Magistrate, Ranga Reddy district in Telangana. Over 6,000 masks were taken by the RGIA’s Notified Area Committee (NAC) for distribution to the frontline personnel working at the airport.
GMRVF has also distributed these masks free-of-cost to the needy in the villages adjoining Hyderabad International Airport, viz. – Airport Colony, Mamidipally, Gollapally, Shamshabad etc. and also at the villages adjacent to the GMR road projects in Telangana.
PPE Kits to save medics
Apart from the masks, these skilled women are also developing PPE kits for medical fraternity. On an average, each women comes out with close to 10 PPE kits in a day thus as a team they are churning out about 150 kits every day.
Recently, they got a demand for PPE kits from M/s Indian Surgicals and M/s GMM Healthcare in Hyderabad. As per their specifications, two categories of COVID kits are being developed for these agencies. This include PPE gowns and entire PPE kit comprising of head caps, masks, full-length gowns, shoes-cover and hand gloves. The raw materials are being provided by these agencies. So far over 6,000 PPE Kits have already been delivered to the agencies.
Working either from their homes or GMRVF Hyderabad center, these women work with all safety precautions in place including the COVID gear along with maintenance of physical distance. Each one undergoes a mandatory thermal screening before starting work at the centre.
Success in Sight
High on stitching quality, these skilled group of committed women are getting more orders from the pharma agencies for such PPE kits. With the international service getting resumed in a calibrated manner under Air Bubble arrangement of the govt. of India, GMRVF has also resumed its Empower outlet at the International departures in Security Hold Area of the Hyderabad International Airport. This outlet is showcasing the PPEs and masks for sale in case any passenger would like to buy.
Apart from having the satisfaction to have contributed to the society, these women brave hearts have also been able to sustain a decent and steady stream of income for their families during the lock-down and COVID affected economy.
Pradeep Panicker, CEO, GHIAL said, “We feel proud that our GMRVF’s skilled women are at the forefront producing PPE and masks to equip the frontline COVID warriors. As an organization we are committed to our social responsibilities and we are glad that our empowered women are helping people at this crucial hour when it is needed the most. Our volunteers continue to serve for a dedicated cause and are glad to help communities in this way.”