…One Mask And One Step At A Time
Resham Talwar, AIS Saket, XII C
In a pandemic where hope and humanity seem lost, Mihir Vardhan, a 17 year old recent graduate from The Shri Ram School Aravali, Gurugram, (India) comes across as a ray of hope.
Making 3D printed face shields and hand-stitched face masks in his room, Mihir aims to help hundreds of those in need.
Let’s trace his journey of embodying the youth’s power this world needs.
Finding purpose for passion
Noticing his neighbourhood workers being exposed to solvents, which are a potential carrier of germs and viruses, he realised something had to be done.
Looking for a possible solution, he turned to technology.
“Ever since I was a kid, I have been interested in 3D printing, robotics, hackathons etc. My passion for technology has led me to believe that it has a solution to nearly everything, including coronavirus. A little technological probe and understanding of the given scenario, and I realised that face shields and masks was the way forward,” shares Mihir.
Beginning of change
Thus, the winds of change started blowing from Mihir’s very own home. “While I took to making 3D masks, my grandmother stitched cloth face masks for the needy. My parents helped me deliver these masks to various hospitals across Gurugram, where they could be used by healthcare workers,” he shares.
To extend the outreach of his initiatives, he has also collaborated with big hospital chains like Max and Fortis, several NGOs and companies who aided him in producing the protective equipment and making sure they reach the ones in need.
At present, Mihir is operating on a ‘Pay what you can’ policy, to ensure that he reaches more number of people.
Overcoming the odds
While making a difference is the need of the hour, it is a task that comes with its own set of challenges.
And in Mihir’s case there were plenty — making around 500 masks a week by working around 23 hours a day, constraints in transporting the masks to places far away from his abode, surging demand in the need for masks, paucity of time and the requirements of modifying the printer.
Once again, he sought the aid of technology to tide over these hurdles. “I used my YouTube channel to spread awareness amongst people, to tell them that they, too, can help!” he comments.
Other than reaching out for potential volunteers, he also sought out various companies and organisations through social media for his initiative.
Call of compassion
Mihir fears that the pandemic today has become a bigger calamity than we ever could have envisioned, which is why every member of the society needs to do their part, because every effort counts.
“Whether it is handing out masks to the underprivileged or using the power of social media to spread a message, there is something that each one of us can do. And a united effort is exactly what we need if we wish to emerge victorious against this pandemic,” he says, signing off. Well, we couldn’t agree more.
Resham Talwar, a student of Class XII at Amity International School, Saket is the editor in chief of her school newspaper The Global Times. With a knack for writing, when she’s not conquering the world with her words, she is reading, researching or debating.
The World Teenage Reporting Project >COVID 19 is a global collaboration of teenage reporters in newsrooms around the world who produce stories about what their peers are doing to help during the Coronavirus pandemic.