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Mrs Rathnamma makes life saving PPE for Chikkaballapur community

June 12, 2020

Mrs. Rathnamma is a 35 year old garment worker from Kandavara Village, in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka. She is the sole provider for the four members of her family since her husband’s labouring job provides a rather unstable income. The restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus meant that Mrs. Rathnamma lost her daily wages and was left with nothing to support her family. 

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Get us to the finish line of completing a 90-bed hospital for Government of Karnataka

Swasti is setting up a 90 bed modular hospital within the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, which will function as part of the existing Institute. This facility will be used for care provision for COVID in the coming year and in future will provide care for people who come to this facility; it is right next to 2 other Govt. hospitals (NIMHANS and Sanjay Gandhi Trauma Centre)
Mrs. Rathnamma has been a member of the Pragathi Arogya group and the Soukhya Sanjeevini Samsthe, coummunity organisations (COs) for sex workers, for the last two years. She has regularly participated in all group activities and has availed benefits from the group’s health, financial and computer literacy sessions. As a result, the COs were aware of Mrs. Rathnamma’s difficult position since the onset of the COVID-19 restrictions. 

  The COs were facing their own set of challenges. While distributing essential supplies to marginalized communities, they quickly realized that surgical masks, with their short 6 hour lifespan, were not sustainable for distribution. They therefore requested Mrs. Rathnamma  to stitch 500 washable and reusable cloth masks, suited for distribution.Out of the 500 masks that Mrs. Rathnamma produced for Soukhya Sanjeevini Samsthe, 300 have been distributed to marginalised community members by facilitators, the board of directors, peer educators and volunteers. Local donors from the Chikkaballapur block agreed to financially support Mrs. Rathnamma’s venture by transferring 5000 INR directly into her bank account in order to fund the manufacturing process.

This project was able to support Mrs. Rathnamma’s family as well as provide crucial protective equipment to vulnerable communities during the pandemic. The mantra of the community is “Stay safe, spread love.” This has never been more relevant 

than now.   “Being a member of the Soukhya Sanjeevini Samsthe helped me acquire and cultivate new skills to become financially independent. During COVID-19, I was able to utilise my skills to save my family’s livelihood” – Mrs. Rathnamma      Contributors: Tishya Desai, Suresh Garageti, Mamatha V

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