Published on April 10, 2020

Ahmedabad: It was not a routine challenge on social media for these women at home when Addlife Foundation, Ahmedabad, called upon state-based cancer survivors to show their best creativity for safety – the foundation asked its members to send in decorated handmade masks.

Namisha Gandhi, founder of the initiative, said that it had a two-pronged approach. “The first was of course to encourage all to use masks – even if it’s not procured from the market. The second motive was to see positivity in the circumstances and add colour to the masks which have emerged as a symbol for the global pandemic,” she said.

And the results were encouraging. Jalpa Thakker, a cancer survivor, and her daughter Yashvi decorated their masks with fresh flowers. “The masks are always seen as protective gear – why can’t they be seen differently? Of course, the flowers are not permanent, but it suddenly changed the surgical appearance of the mask,” said Thakker, a gardening aficionado.

Krishna Shah, another cancer survivor from Ahmedabad, said that she had been wearing a mask even before the outbreak. “After the treatment, immunity remains low for some time and doctors advise to wear a mask so as to avoid any infection. I had thus learnt to make masks at home – a skill which has come in handy,” she said. The first mask she made was in fact offered to the deity of the house to ensure his safety, said Shah.

Jalpa & Yashvi Thakker with their decorated mask; Image courtesy: Addlife Foundation

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