Across the globe, the spectre of mask shortages looms large over countless frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic – and Kerala, a state of India, is no exception. As Raji Radhakrishnan watched COVID-19 sweep through her region, she decided to do everything she could to help workers on the front lines of the fight. For this 30-year-old woman with Down syndrome, the mission was clear.
With the help of her mother, a sewing machine, and a dash of determination, she hand-sewed over 1,000 masks. She recently presented these masks to the Kerala health minister K. K. Shailaja, donating them for use by police forces and medical workers.
K.K. Shailaja lauded Raji’s contributions, tweeting:
We appreciate Raji's effort & encourage people to come forward and help us make masks by following directions of Health Dept.
— Shailaja Teacher (@shailajateacher) April 23, 2020
Raji’s mother, Prabha Unni, is head of a nonprofit in Kerala’s capital called the Mother Queen Foundation, which is dedicated to helping equip individuals with disabilities with employable skills. Prabha could not be more proud of her daughter, remarking:
She is such an inspiration. Despite going through such a tough time, she was really calm and listened to us. She was very humble and motherly.