Struggling with poverty, a Telangana shepherd came up with an innovative alternative to a face mask. Mekala Kurmayya, a shepherd from Chinnamunugal Chad in Mahbubnagar district, had to visit the Mandal office to collect his pension payment. However, he could not afford a mask and was fully aware that he would not be allowed entry into a government office without necessary reactions. So, he wore the nest of a weaverbird on his face.
As the Covid-19 cases have been increasing rapidly in Telangana like other states in the country, the state government earlier this month issued an order making the use of face masks in public mandatory, saying that violators will be fined with Rs 1,000. When local dailies interviewed him over this move, he said many like him aren’t able to afford face masks and so requested the government to supply them to them for free.
After a picture of him wearing the unique mask went viral on social media, while some internet users advised government offices to provide masks to the poor, many others accused him of gaining attention as he could tie a piece of cloth instead.
Mekala Kurmayya can’t buy a mask-still wore one. Kurmayya who hails from Chinnamunugal Chad in Mahabubnagar district #Telangana came to mandal center for a pension wearing a bird-nest as a mask! Not the best-but he tried. Govts should distribute masks for those who can’t afford pic.twitter.com/NogkmgNr5n— Revathi (@revathitweets) April 22, 2021
Medical experts have time and again advised that the use of a face mask is the best way to avoid getting infected from Covid-19. Recently, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an advisory recommending the use of two face masks. India was reported to look at surplus production of face masks in order to provide protection to all its citizens. As of June 2020, India had a production capacity of 1.5 billion three-layer masks.
Telangana on Thursday reported 46,488 active cases of Covid-19. As per the data obtained from the government’s health department in Telangana, the fatality rate in the state stands at0.50%. Meanwhile,86.85% of patients have recovered so far.