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by Sumeet Dhami and Nandika Ravi

 

Simrat Arri, a life sciences student who is currently volunteering at a an NGO called Amar Karma. She has seen first hand how South Asians have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

On the occasion of Vaisakhi (Punjabi new year), Arri along with the South Asian Taskforce decided to make “mask  extenders ” which would make mask wearing more accessible to people with turbans and hijabs.  The idea, she said, sparked when she watched her own father struggle to tie his mask around the turban.

“My dad would have to add an elastic as an extension to the the mask,” Arri told OMNI.

“I saw that many people in the community and especially elders who own grocery stores, were not wearing a mask. What they had was a part of their turban tied around their mouth.”

These mask extenders are clipped on to the loops of the mask and help to safely secure the mask around the nose and mouth, while wearing head gear.

Harry Pabla holds up a mask extender| OMNI Television

While similar products are available online, Arri wanted to make this version for her local community and for people who have no access to online shopping.  What’s more is that these mask extenders are also eco-friendly.

Harry Pabla, a community engagement officer at Amar Karma said, “these mask extenders are being used by frontline workers who have to keep the mask on for long hours.”

“It means a lot to be able to help the community, in preventing the spread of Covid-19,” Pabla added.

Mask extenders | OMNI television

These extenders are being distributed free of cost at the Savmax Sports Centre mass vaccine clinic in Brampton, ON, to remind everyone to adhere to health and safety protocols even after they’ve been vaccinated. They’re also being  given away for free at  Petro Canada 8980 Goreway Drive, Brampton ON L6P3N1, Marok Law Office 80 Maritime Ontario Blvd, Brampton, ON L6S 0E7 and Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar 4555 Ebenezer Rd, Brampton, ON L6P 2K8