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Father, brother lose jobs in lockdown; delhi govt school teen starts mask-business to sustain family

New Delhi: Ammar Afzal's brother and father both lost their jobs owing to the COVID-19-induced lockdown this year, leaving the 16-year-old 10th standard graduate with no option but to think of ways to earn for the survival of his family of five.

Given the pandemic, Ammar, who had topped his class at the Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya No.1 in Mori Gate in the 10th board examinations this year with 70 per cent, thought of using the sum of his knowledge gathered from the Entrepreneurship Mindset Class (EMC) and decided to start a business selling face masks.

Now, waiting to get admitted into the science stream for class 11, Ammar brings in Rs 7,000 from his business, which has been the reason his family has been able to survive the lockdown.

He told Millennium Post that he had an idea of making surgical masks by getting to the raw materials directly. Along with two of his friends, he got cracking. "I saw surgical masks were in great demand and people were buying 3 masks for 21 rupees. My friends and I managed to get raw material and make it at home, we decided to sell it for one rupee."

His Hindi teacher, Krishna, beamed with pride when he saw Ammar provide for his family while studying for his boards. He added that the boy's thinking to not over-charge for an essential item in high demand during a pandemic was nothing short of

remarkable.

Incidentally, Ammar kicked off his business and his first order came from his own school, which was looking to purchase 1,000 masks for immediate use.

As much as Ammar enjoys working in his new business initiative, his aim is to complete MBBS. It has been a rough road for him and the path forward seems uncertain for the teenager. "My brother was working in a private shop but during the lockdown. He lost his job. My father has been working in a kirana shop but that too shut down in March. I have an elder sister who is still studying. I had to find a way to provide for my family."

"Now, I sell my masks for Rs 1.5. I want to make more money," he said, adding that he had filled admission application forms for Class 11 which is expected to start from next week. "The road to MBBS is through science subjects, so I will study hard in all the science subjects," added an ambitious Ammar.

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