The COVID-19 outbreak has infected most countries in the world, also causing an unimaginable number of deaths worldwide, and while most nations are using their best resources to find a vaccine, the pandemic hasn’t limited the imagination and creativeness of innovators.
Creators around the world may have finally acquired the time to research and create new innovations due to the lockdown. The virus and the lockdown has also given rise to online transactions most importantly for recharge of phones, for people who normally wouldn’t opt to recharge their data and talk-time packs online, this has made them learn new things in regard to the same.
Similarly, the almost 3-month long lockdown in the nation has brought out the chefs, bakers and avid readers in us, which wouldn’t have had happened had the lockdown not taken place. The zest for learning and creating can be seen in entrepreneurs and young minds of Sikkim, who are constantly coming up with new innovations to make life a bit easier during the pandemic and the chaos that followed it.
An apt example of innovations during a pandemic would be the duo, Pradeep Chettri and Marich Man Rai who have come up with a ‘Portable Automatic Hand Sanitizer’ at AIC-SMUTBI which is Sikkim’s first incubation centre and Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT) which encourages young entrepreneurs to hone their skills in generating Valued Human Resources.
The idea for the portable automatic hand sanitizer came to the duo when they realized that while using a sanitizer most of us touch the bottle manually, which obviously heightens the risk of infections, this is when their innovation comes in handy which has a sensor and works from a distance without direct contact from and to the person using it.
The person need only connect a bottle of sanitizer with the sensor machine through a pipe and it works through an adapter which has to be plugged in. The advantage of their innovation is that it is portable and light, the duo has been created primarily for Check-posts, offices, educational institutes, taxis and private vehicles etc. where there is a traffic of people.
Pradeep Chettri is in his 5th semester of Mechanical Engineering at Advanced Technical Training Centre (ATTC), Bardang while Marich Man Rai has finished his B TECH from Himachal Pradesh. Chettri on the idea for this creation says, “During the on-set of the lockdown in the country, I accompanied my father who is a taxi driver while moving in and around Gangtok, I saw that with a bottle of sanitizer there was direct contact, which kind of reduces its purpose and it struck me that we could make a sensor hand sanitizer to completely eliminate any kind of physical contact between the person using it and the bottle of sanitizer.
My partner and I had also collaborated for other projects so then, we started discussing the possibility of creating our own portable automatic hand sanitizer and started making prototypes for it.”
The creation of the portable automatic hand sanitizer from research to making prototypes and finally having the end product took them about 20 days and the investment was about Rs. 900-1000. They plan to use their innovation first at hospitals and educational institutions in the State and modify it more to make it handier and more portable.
For now, they have around 7 prototypes which is primarily made out of wood and biodegradable also keeping the environment in mind. They plan to create more of this portable automatic hand sanitizer for a bigger market, but right now lack the raw material as they are unable to travel out of the state for the same.
The duo has extended their heartfelt gratitude to the AIC-SMUTBI, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT) and the mentors there for encouraging and guiding them during the process of their innovations and hope to create more innovations to make life easier during these tough times. This innovation of portable automatic hand sanitizer made by these young minds surely shows that while we may be restricted to the confines of our houses, the pandemic and the lockdown cannot curb the enthusiasm and inventiveness of a person.
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