Sangitaben from SEWA’s Abodana Cooperative , a handicrafts co-op, found herself in a difficult spot when the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 slashed her household income. She needed a way to earn an income despite the difficult circumstance, and help came in the way of SEWA Cooperative Federation, who utilised the working capital resource provided by Kinara to supply her with raw materials to make masks.
Sangitaben was not alone. The fund provided by Kinara helped extend the cooperative’s capacity to identify and train more than 100 home-based workers like her. The cooperative as a whole began the production of certified masks with filters, under the Billion Social Masks initiative (BSM). SEWA partnered with BSM, which was initiated by professors at Stanford and MIT to produce low-cost, certified masks for Covid prevention, while also ensuring livelihood for informal women workers. Sangitaben shared,