Worried over short supply, 10 yrs old in Kashmir making masks, sanitisers at home

Srinagar: After seeing her father, Tanweer Ayub and uncle, Ejaz Ayub, going to the market without wearing masks, Aayat Tanweer, from Karan Nagar in Srinagar, thought the time was ripe to give them a sound scolding.

“Why haven’t you worn the masks?” she asked both of them. Aayat is 10 years old.

She thought it best to offer them money to buy masks from the market. But the knowledge that masks and sanitisers were already in short supply in Kashmir stirred her.

In the evening, when her father and uncle returned home, they were surprised to see that Aayat had already crafted masks for them and the entire family.

Aayat watched videos on YouTube, where she learned how to make masks. These, she believes, will help the coronavirus from spreading.

Even though it is health workers and particularly vulnerable groups who need to wear masks, Aayat was unmoved in her resolution.

She began crafting more and more of them with whatever she had at home, sanitising all the fabric before using them.

After giving face masks to her family, she told them now she wanted to gift face masks to her relatives and neighbours, so that if they go out, they use it.

Every time she makes a mask, she washes her hands and tells her family to do so as well.


Aayat’s mother, Nayeema Sultan, is a doctor of homoeopathy. Besides making clothes for her dolls, Aayat likes reading and loves crafts.

Since Friday, Aayat has made 20 masks and her goal is to make 100 in a week. She has made masks with rectangular designs which she feels will attract kids.

“I need one tissue for each mask, scissors to cut, pencil to mark, a needle and thread, besides two plastic bags and elastic.”

In a video, shot by her uncle on Friday, she explains how to make the masks at home, “I also requested people to pledge to make 1 million masks, together with me,” she said.

The video made rounds on social media, and many people appreciated her concern.

The health crisis worries Aayat, a sixth standard student of Islamic International School.

“We should be able to protect ourselves against this virus by following preventive measures,” said Aayat. She is also worried about the doctors and valley’s health-care system. “Even our doctors don’t have masks,” she said.


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