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Hands-free upgrade for handwash

Ever since the health care sector in India has had to up their game to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, solutions to improve sanitation have been pouring in from various private collectives as well.

Published: 25th April 2020 06:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2020 06:43 AM   |  A+A-

This hands-free station that ensures complete sanitisation is stationed at Broadway

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Ever since the health care sector in India has had to up their game to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, solutions to improve sanitation have been pouring in from various private collectives as well. The Young Indians Chennai Chapter is one such association that has come up with a creative idea to ensure citizens are abiding by the health regulations and washing their hands regularly. “The most crucial advice given by the government is for people to cover their nose and mouth in public, and wash their hands regularly.

With the production of sanitisers taking a hit, we had to come up with an alternative solution to help spread cleanliness. Thus, the touch-free hand wash station was ideated,” says Adi Rungta, former chairman of the Young Indians Chennai Chapter. The collective  has named the project Sugadharam, and seeks to install around 150 devices by the end of May. The 24-member team spent seven days designing and constructing a prototype of touch-free hand wash stations. They installed their first round of stations on April 18 at the Broadway market. The stations were inaugurated by D Vijayramulu, assistant commissioner of police. Through this initiative, Young Indians hopes to install over five more at Gummudipoondi, MKB Nagar, Anna Pillai Street and Sowcarpet by the end of the month. 

The station is designed to prevent the user from touching the soap dispenser or tap. Instead, they can use their feet to operate the soap dispenser and to turn on the tap. Two pedals are connected to flat metal plates positioned right above the liquid soap dispenser and the tap. When one steps on either pedal, the metal plates are pulled downwards and pressed on the top of the respective soap dispenser or tap. Therefore, there is no use of hands. “It’s extremely easy to use. People of all ages, languages and backgrounds can keep clean and reduce the spread of the virus,” says Vishal Mehta, chairman of Young Indians Chennai Chapter.

The collective is working in collaboration with the Greater Chennai Corporation and has been asked to install the stations in the district’s North Zone. “We are in talks with South and Central Zone officials to do similar installations in all vegetable markets,” says Adi. The collective is also planning to install units in malls, shopping areas, schools, colleges canteens and the airport. They have tied up with the Greater Chennai Corporation to provide plumbing, drainage and water facilities.

“The GCC has also taken the responsibility of providing liquid handwash for all the stations. They have also assigned a plumber to each station to ensure its proper functioning,” says Vishal. The collective is sourcing their materials from indigenous vendors around Chennai. Each unit costs `25,000 and takes about two days to construct. The collective has been relying on sponsorships and donations to fund the Sugadharam project.



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