In a novel gesture, the Sikh community in Kanpur has launched a 'mask langar' under which they are distributing free double-layered masks to needy persons.
The masks are being made from thousands of turbans that were donated in the 'turban bank' by the members of the community.
Kawaljeet Singh Manu, President, Yuwa Sikh Morcha, said the 'mask langar' has been set up near the Sangeet Talkies crossing in the city, where free masks are distributed from 10 am to 12 noon every day.
So far, more than 10,000 masks have been distributed to healthcare professionals and people in need.
"We have come across people who cannot afford to buy masks for themselves and their family members. Therefore, we have launched mask langar for them," he said.
The community members also give masks to those who have forgotten to wear one.
Manu said that in the second wave of the pandemic, the prices of masks have doubled.
"When we went to buy a mask, we noticed that the prices had hit the roof. We thought how would a poor man protect himself. Then we decided to make masks at the gurdwaras and hired tailors for the purpose," he said.
Manu added that most of the masks are being made using turban cloth.
The Sikh community has already been organising food langars for the needy, and in some districts, the community members have even organised 'oxygen langar' where free cylinders were given to the needy patients.