When the situation turns grim, it is the quickness with which one is able to adapt will decide success or failure. That is what we learn from this small Pune-based tailor, Rupali Ramachandra Powanikar.
Just before the lockdown was announced on 25th March, she had purchased Rs.4 lakh worth of fabric – she was to stitch uniforms for a convent school nearby. But then one-by-one, all orders started getting cancelled and she was left with this mound of fabric and staring at financial distress.
Not the one to give up, she looked around and while watching TV, realized that an opportunity lay in making masks. With so much fabric lying idle, she realized she needed to adapt or else her family could die of hunger. One night she and her husband made masks till the wee-hours of the morning and later, carried it for selling at a roadside. It was lockdown time so not many people were around but soon policemen on duty, the sanitation workers and others saw started buying her masks and she was sold out for the next few days. Soon word spread and a buyer came to her and placed a bulk order.
Today, Powanikar supplies masks to hospitals, homes and organisations and people also come home to buy masks. She makes between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on most day and even now, she can be seen on streets, highways and marketplaces, wearing mask and gloves, selling her array of masks to passers-by for Rs 50 a packet. She says they now have food to eat and that’s all that matters at the moment.