Mask Up by Sabrina Dangol

Photo: Sabrina Dangol/

MASK UP: Along the narrow alleyways of Tahachal is a two-story house. On the ground floor of that house is a small mask factory where Kusum Lama, 28 spends her days with six others making reusable cloth masks.

When Nepal went into lockdown on 24 March to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lama decided to go home to Kulekhani because she knew she could not afford to live in Kathmandu. Instead of feeling safe, she felt more anxious at home. “I understood that by staying at home I was keeping myself and others safe, but the extended period of lockdown in a house with big family and in-laws started to feel suffocating for me,” says Lama adding, “Home was not home, it was like a jail”

So the first chance she got when the lockdown opened she packed her bags and left for Kathmandu again. She and her colleagues make 200 masks a day. They are durable and the market is growing as not everyone can buy surgical masks. “I have a great rapport with my co-workers, work doesn’t feel like work, and now the pay is good, I’d rather stay and work in Kathmandu and contribute than live in the village with no prospects.”

Text and Photos: Sabrina Dangol @sabrinadangol
Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

#nepalnow #nepalphotoproject #economy #storiesofpandemic #surgicalmasks #storytelling #kathmandu #everyday