COVID-19 pandemic brought Mahi's world to a grinding halt when she lost her father to the disease in April, this year. A sixth standard student, Mahi, however, decided to take charge in order to support her family and started selling readymade shirts outside her house in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur district.
Fighting The Pandemic
Mahi's father, 45-year-old Pradip Kumar, experienced high fever for three days and then tested positive for COVID. He succumbed to the virus on April 30, under undergoing treatment at the government medical college.
Kumar had been the sole breadwinner in a family of five and was involved in supplying ready-made shirts to shopkeepers. There were four sewing machines installed for this purpose and employed tailors who helped him in his supply chain.
After his death, his family consisting of his parents, wife, and daughter were left helpless. Understanding the severity of the situation, Mahi decided to set up the shop outside their house with the shirts in stock.
"We have been facing hardships ever since my father died. My grandfather is over 70 and has not been keeping well. Since there was no help available, we decided to sell the shirts which were lying in the house stitched," said Mahi, reported in The New Indian Express.
She also recalled days spent with her father mentioning how he would bring her ice creams and pastries.
Police, Local Authorities Take Notice
Sadar Bazar police station in charge Ashok Pal reportedly noticed the young girl sitting in the shop and enquired about the family and their problems.
"I came to know that her father had died of COVID infection some time ago so the girl has to sell shirts on the footpath. Taking the immediate needs of the family into consideration, necessary things have been sent to them," he said in a report by The Times of India. He has further assured the family of adequate help
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Indra Vikram Singh took cognisance of the incident and said, "I have come to know of this matter. Information regarding the children who have been rendered orphans or lost the earning members of their family is being gathered. They will be given Rs 4,000 per month by the government till they reach the age of 18 years. This money will be given to their guardians."
He also said that the school-going children will be given admission in government-run schools and a team is working to settle all such cases till June 25.