Image: Northeast Now

Self Help Groups (SHGs) in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district are working day and night to made face masks to fight against COVID-19.

A total 230 SHGs members are involved in the practice of face mask and till date 82,283 numbers of face masks have been made so far.

SHG members under Assam State Rural Livelihoods Mission (ASRLM), Tinsukia district have initiated different activities like face mask making by SHG members, free distribution of essential commodities to need people, financial contribution to Assam Arogya Nidhi, vending of vegetables and extending banking service to rural areas at their door step by SHG members working as Business Correspondent Agent (BCA) during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Kamal Kanta Gowala, Tinsukia, district project manager of ASRLM, said, “In Tinsukia district total 230 SHG members are indulging in face mask making till date and 82,283 numbers of face mask has been made and 51,619 numbers sold to common people,”

“Masks were distributed among tea gardens, government departments and public representatives and 3503 numbers of masks have been distributed free of cost to needy people,” he added.

“A total amount Rs 8,76,269 of income has been generated selling out the mask by the SHG members,” he also said.

SHGs and community based organizations  contributed fund to Assam Arogya Nidhi amounting to Rs 10001 and 252 numbers of CBOs supported needy people with food and sanitization to 2194 families amounting to Rs3,11,085 used for supply of the said purpose.

Gowala said SHGs sold their agricultural produce totalling 1505 quintal amounting to Rs1546024 taking permission from the district administration as vendors, involving 1154 SHGs members.

Gowala added, “Eleven SHG members have given banking service in rural areas by working as business correspondent agents with a transaction of amount of Rs 45 lakh during the lockdown.”

“All activities were possible only because of support extended from district administration of Tinsukia,” he added.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com