Tsurila is a Field Coordinator with us at North East Network, based in Shamator, in Tuensang District of Nagaland. She is also a home-based weaver and leads YBAST, the local women’s organisation in her town. In remote areas such as Shamator, our Field Coordinators hold the baton of mobilizing women workers in the unorganised sector- weavers, daily wage labourers and home-based workers- and facilitating livelihood activities under the Self Employed Women’s Organization (SEWA).
When the lockdown caused by the COVID 19 Pandemic lost these women their source of income, Tsurila rose to tackle the situation with us. She knew that many of the women she worked with belong to the weakest financial group, many of whom have husbands who are daily wage labourers and alcoholic and bring no money home. She had some material left over from weaving and realized that this could be used to produce masks that could protect the people of the community and even government departments from the deadly virus.
She stitched the masks and donated them to the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner. The ADC was was grateful and upon his interactions with Tsurila realized that something needed to be done to deal with the work crisis. He suggested that if Tsurila got together her fellow home-based workers to clean the town of Shamator, they could be paid daily wages. A small group of women took it up and made enough to last them for a week more. Their masks have generated much interest and more people have begun to ask for them.
Tsurila has been leading NEN’s food distribution drives in Shamator and is working with the office of the ADC that has recognized and appreciated it and through her, our work in providing relief to women and families that are financially disadvantaged now.
NEN is grateful to our grass-root women leaders like Tsurila who are ensuring that relief measures reach the people and maximizing their response to the virus with their own resources and creativity.
Our donors, both institutional and individual are the ones who are making our efforts possible, to begin with, and their collaboration is imperative for communities like Ari’s to survive this global crisis.