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Changemakers Seema Mishra & Rinki Sharma Get Govt To Regulate Price Of Sanitizers And Masks

Posted: March 14, 2020

Changemakers Seema Mishra and Rinki Sharma have successfully made a petition to regulate prices of essentials like sanitisers and mask during the Coronavirus pandemic, keeping these accessible to everyone.

With the World Health Organization declaring Coronavirus as a pandemic, panic has gripped the globe. Sanitizers, face masks, toilet paper and other such basic commodities have been flying off the racks everywhere. Not only in huge supermarkets or departmental stores, there is indeed a shortage of these commodities in the market.

This has been happening in India too, with sanitisers, especially disappearing from market shelves as a result of panic buying.

To match the huge supply- demand gap, (and some businesses finding this a good business opportunity) the prices of these goods have been increased which in turn reduces the number of people who have access to these to protect themselves from the virus.

Surgical masks which are usually sold for Rs 10 are now being sold for Rs 40 or more and similarly the N95 mask which retails for Rs 150 is being sold for Rs 500 now.

A need to keep these accessible to all

There was clearly a need to take steps to stop this inflation in prices of life-saving equipment, so that these remain accessible to all.

Two women, Seema Mishra and Rinki Sharma, started a petition to combat the same.

They realized the monopoly the makers and sellers of sanitizers and masks would have if the prices are not regulated.

They started a petition for the same on change.org titled Regulate sale and pricing of masks and sanitisers to curb panic about Coronavirus.

The petitioners say that “We believe it is important to be cautious. What’s not ok is panic and paranoia.” The hashtags #CurbThePanic #CoronaKoDhona is getting a lot of tweets.

These two women changemakers will present their petition to the Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan, so that the prices are regulated and hoarding stops. Rinki Sharma tweeted to the Prime Minister regarding the same and urged to bring masks and sanitizers under the category of ‘necessary commodities’.

Who are these women?

Prof Seema Mishra’s twitter bio reads: Educationist, life Skill mentor and avid social activist, Founder Of Develop India Foundation working for Education, Empowerment and Equality. The first among women in her family to get a professional degree, she works at the grassroots with underprivileged kids and also trains people to work with them, and has also worked for suicide prevention.

Rinki Sharma’s twitter bio read: Passionate about people and social causes. Change maker, Traveler, learner, free spirited human being.

Their petition was heard by the government and now both sanitizers and masks have been brought under ‘essential commodities’.

I went through their twitter threads and the Develop India Foundation website, and both have been doing some stellar work in the areas pdf education, upholding the girl child, and road safety.

True change makers with a vision.

The government responds

Prof. Seema Sharma tweeted on her victory –

Rinki Sharma also tweeted –

This is a victory for the citizens themselves in these times of crisis. The move which these two women made on behalf of everyone is applause worthy. Let us all clean our hands and abide by the precautionary measures which have been put by the government in place to fight this epidemic.

Images – Twitter/ Change.org

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A Journalism student. When not busy with college and assignments, I read a lot. Big

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