Thousands of face shields, masks and head covers… amid the severe COVID-19 attack… are being painstakingly made with hands of love and given away to frontline workers and village volunteers in Manipur. It’s been over two months since the labour of love began in a fashion house in Imphal and it joined the battle against the novel Coronavirus in the state.
“With the intention to help protect the health workers, we started working with locally available materials and made the first face shield on March 25 and donated them to JNIMS COVID-19 isolation ward,” says Angana Longjam, co-founder and co-owner of the fashion house, Ana & Niv.
When the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Manipur, Ana & Niv felt the need for face shields, Angana said. Ever since, beginning March 22, the fashion house in Manipur has been making and donating face masks, head caps and face shields for COVID-19 frontliners in the state, in collaboration with the furnishing house, Kangleipak Interiors.
On Friday, they donated face shields to village volunteers and frontline workers of Ukhrul district. The face shields were distributed to village volunteers of Phungcham and Paorei, police personnel manning the transit and quarantine centres and to nodal officer overseeing and managing the quarantine centres.
Angana said when they learned of the story, ‘Villagers fighting COVID-19 without basic protective gears’ published in Imphal Free Press on May 18, the fashion house decided to extend help. Amid lockdown restrictions, Andy Tourangbam travelled to Ukhrul to deliver the face shields on Wednesday. The same were delivered the next day.
With the rising demand for the protective shields, Ana & Niv in collaboration with Kangleipak Interior started making face shields for the frontliners.
“Our target is to reach out to health workers who are in high risk of contact and the police force who are in constant patrol duty and to volunteers. The team has donated 2,800 face masks, 3,100 face shields and 280 caps,” said Nivedita Longjam, co-founder and co-owner of Ana & Niv.
After one-and-half months of continuous donations, they said they have started a non-profit endeavour to provide these PPEs at a basic cost with zero profit margin. And to this day, the team continues reaching out to frontliners who are in dire need and providing as much help as they could.
Additional superintendent of Police, Ukhrul, Ringthing Hongchui expressed his gratitude for their generosity. The police personnel will be better protected while attending to their duties, he said.
President of Phungcham Katamnao Mayar Ngala Long (PKMNL), HC Yarmiso stated that this was a timely help and will be very useful for the village volunteers who are fighting COVID-19 without basic protective gears.
Chairman of Paorei, Chingaongam Yangya also expressed his gratitude for the much needed face shields. “We are all fighting COVID-19 together and we can only overcome the pandemic when all of us look out for each other,” he said.
Located at Keisamthong Elangbam Leikai, Imphal West, the two sisters, who graduated fashion designing from NIFT Mumbai with team Andy Tourangbam and in collaboration with Kangleipak Interior are reaching out to the community with their creative talents.