Corona warrior: 85-yr-old stitches masks for needy

Every morning, after her daily prayer rituals, 85-year-old Kumud Bajpai sits with her sewing machine which is almost as old as her. Under natural light in her verandah, she stitches face masks for people who cannot afford to buy them. The Rajendranagar resident has blurry vision but that does not let her energy go down. In fact, she has become a ‘corona warrior’, motivating many people to do their bit to fight the infection, says her daughter-in-law Smita. “We saw our housemaid and other vendors without masks. They said they could not afford it. My daughter-in-law and I then decided to stitch masks at home and distribute them for free,” says Bajpai. The family also arranges for 50-70 food packets daily. Bajpai started out using pieces of cloth she had at home a few days after the lockdown began. “Since all old pieces have been used, we have taken fabric from a nearby tailoring shop to continue making masks,” she says. Bajpai stitches 100-150 triple-layered masks daily. With the help of a family member, masks and food are distributed in Rajendranagar and nearby areas. “The other day my sewing machine stopped working and I couldn’t stitch a single mask. Today, my aim is to make double than the usual,” she adds. Bajpai, who lives with her daughter-in-law, has two sons. One is in the Indian Army posted in Bareilly while the other lives in Pune. “My husband was in LIC. After his death I receive a monthly pension of Rs 10,000. I am using my savings to support to the needy,” she says.