When the Covid-19 crisis hit India and schools shut down to maintain lockdown, a hostel of girls in Pouni Chak, Jammu, decided to make themselves useful. Led by Class 11 student Hitica, the girls of Drishti Kanya Chaatralay taught themselves how to sew masks on a war footing.

Funded by the Sewa Bharti Organisation, Drishti Kanya Chaatralay houses 25 schoolgirls from across Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. They all pitched in the effort — from the youngest 9-year-old ironing the masks to the oldest supervising the effort like a seasoned general. In three weeks, the girls had sewn close to 60,000 masks, which were distributed with the help of the Sewa Bharti volunteers and the local administration to civil authorities employees, essential workers, and underprivileged families in the Jammu region.