Pune: There have been several unsung heroes across the world, and one such hero is Vishal Kalage from Miraj. To meet the high demand of masks, Kalage, a railway guard from Miraj under Pune railway division, has started making hand-made masks and so far has made over 2,000 masks.
He purchased the clothes required for making the mask from his own pocket. He started preparing with the help of his family members, including wife and mother.
Kalage told Sakal Times, “When the government announced the lockdown across the country, and railway stopped its operation, I went to a medical shop to buy some masks for family and me. But the cost of the mask was very high. I returned home and discussed with my mother about the hand-made mask. She agreed to start sew, but then there was a shortage of clean clothes. So I purchased new clothes from my own pocket and then started making masks at my home.”
Vishal who’s completed his PhD in microbiology from Miraj made the masks with a complete scientific approach. I searched on Google and then the World Health Organisation (WHO) website about how to make masks”, he said.
“Till now I have distributed 2265 masks to poor people, police, railway staff and local people without charging them any cost. I am doing it all with the help of my mother and wife. My children are also helping me to make the kit. We are making 200 kits which includes mask (1), Dettol soap (1), one pair of hand gloves, 30 ml sanitiser, 30 ml hand wash,” he added
Pune Divisional Railway Manager Renu Sharma got to know about his initiative and appreciated his work. Sharma urged him to make masks for the railway staff too.
“The work done by Kalage has been appreciated by DRM Renu Sharma, ADRM Neelam Chandra and Saharsh Bajpai, Chief Medical Superintendent M Ramakrishna,” said Manoj Jhawar, Pune railway division Public Relation Officer (PRO).
After that, the Central Railway has started working to produce in house masks. “In the wake of pandemic COVID19, Central Railway is producing essential items in the house like masks and sanitiser which can be utilised by health care workers and railway staff deployed in essential duty,” said Shivaji Sutar, Central Railway Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO)
Mumbai Division – 5,750 masks and 145 litres of sanitiser
Nagpur Division – 3,000 masks and 1,150 litres of sanitiser
Solapur Division – 3,000 masks and 240 litres of sanitiser
Pune division – 1,800 masks and 163 litres of sanitiser
Bhusaval Division – 6,200 masks and 620 litres of sanitiser
These were made by railway staff from commercial, RPF, operating and mechanical departments etc. It is worthwhile to mention that individual contribution is also included.