The pandemic diary: from masks to music, these ladies from a refuge in Chennai proceed their resilience
They collaborated to make face masks; led the Firm’s COVID consciousness packages; and now they’ve began a cultural troupe
A room within the Larger Chennai Company’s Shelter for Girls with Disabilities has undergone a radical change. The monotonous hum of stitching machines has given strategy to a symphony of conventional musical devices.
A bunch of ladies from the Higher World Shelter for Girls with Disabilities in Nungambakkam follow taking part in these devices and rehearsing items in what is known as “the stitching room”.
Final yr, these ladies labored on stitching machines to make masks. Now they run “Bul Bul Tara”, a cultural troupe that seeks to spotlight social points by means of theater and music.
At present Madan is instructing them to play the percussion instrument parai; and Srijith Sundaram offers them appearing classes.
Whether or not working or finding out, these ladies have discovered that the pandemic has taken away their supply of revenue and so they have needed to reinvent themselves.
The masks undertaking
They turned to creating masks.
R. Shanthi, a handicapped tailor and resident of the shelter, was the one one who knew how one can use a stitching machine. When she obtained an order from a buyer, an worker of the Firm, to make masks, she placed on different folks from the hostel to assist her.
Those that didn’t know how one can sew took care of tertiary however nonetheless necessary duties – slicing the material, tying the ropes and packing them.
As a consequence of a scarcity of masks in Chennai throughout the first days of the pandemic, orders continued to circulate.
“My earnings from making masks throughout the lockdown had been increased than at different occasions once I was stitching blouses and different clothes,” Shanthi explains.
With demand for masks slowing, ladies started to take part within the Firm’s COVID-19 intervention packages undertaken in numerous neighborhoods. They had been amassing information, going door-to-door to hold out temperature checks and would run consciousness packages on controlling the unfold of the virus.
Matilda Foneca had turned to creating masks, having misplaced her job as a phone operator in a restaurant.
“I used to be making masks and after this work was exhausted, I used to be enlisted by the Larger Chennai Company for his or her outreach work, which required me to gather information from numerous households and enter it into an Excel sheet. Says Matilda, an individual in a wheelchair. basketball participant. Together with Kavitha and Manimegalai, she would create consciousness about sporting the masks.
“We had been assigned the Virugambakkam space to unfold the message and that is additionally once we realized we had been good at interacting with folks,” says Matilda. The Firm’s intervention packages have earned it ₹ 13,000.
Srijith Sundaram, a theater persona who runs the Kattiyakari group, is their coach.
“We use theater and different conventional artwork varieties to empower them and educate them about social justice and rights,” says Srijith, including that he makes use of his college students’ contributions to improvise theater.
“As a part of the coaching, just a few of them went to Kancheepuram the place a younger lady died after falling right into a septic tank as a result of her workplace didn’t have a bathroom. Sooner or later, the group would carry out performs to convey a social message, ”says Srijith.
Aiswarya Rao, director of the Heart and pediatrician, says: “One undertaking led to a different and so they have tailored very nicely to the brand new challenges,” says Dr Aiswarya, who mentors the ladies. Within the mask-making undertaking, a factory-like protocol was adopted on how duties had been assigned to them, primarily based on particular person strengths, Aiswarya remembers. The truth that a few of these ladies are wheelchair basketball gamers helps them meet the calls for of theatrical performances.
Lately, the shelter added one other function to its cap: the state commissioner for the welfare of individuals with disabilities sanctioned an entrepreneurship and livelihood undertaking for him. “We’ve got signed a memorandum of understanding with Higher World Shelter for Girls with Disabilities, through which the unit will practice different ladies within the district in numerous features of operating a small enterprise,” stated Johny Tom Varghese, commissioner. of State and Director of the Welfare Fee of the In another way Succesful.
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