I used my engineering lessons to develop a hand washing system prototype, which was later funded by the Azim Premji Foundation
I have learnt many things while pursuing engineering at UPES, and during this pandemic, I got an opportunity to apply that knowledge in real life.
I hail from Mount Abu, a small town in Rajasthan. There is a village where no patient was reported in the beginning, but as people began frequenting the market, they got infected.
Every day, the patient count has been increasing rapidly here.
For the last three months, I have been assisting my father, who is working to increase consciousness about health with the Azim Premji Foundation, Wipro. We carried out awareness programs, rallies, and many more such drives. During this time, I kept thinking about the main causes of the fast spread of the virus.
I thought about the major cautions that we needed to take: 1. Wearing a mask, 2. Washing hands, 3. Maintaining social distancing. While the first and third precautions were being taken by the people, washing hands was a challenge due to lack of proper facility.
Hence, I decided to build hand wash centres in the area to contain the spread of the virus. I discussed the idea with my father and he jumped in with me. I began working on a prototype, where people could wash hands using a pedal, which they can move using their legs.
We tested the prototype and set up a temporary washbasin. The initial response was satisfying as around 1000 to 1200 people used the arrangement to wash their hands. The prototype worked well, so we added it to our awareness program and asked people to wash hands regularly along with wearing mask and maintaining social distancing. It looked like a good idea to establish permanent hand wash centres.
I used my engineering knowledge to further develop this prototype. During my first year at UPES, I had learnt workshop technology and acquired the skills to weld iron, cut and drill it. I applied these skills and made a hinge to attach a spring and make it movable. The finished prototype had a stand with a tank of 300 litres, two pedals – one for hand wash soap and second for water tap opening, and a frame so that people could hold a banner onto that. This entire project was funded by the Azim Premji Foundation.
I want to express my gratitude to the UPES faculty, who made me capable to undertake a project, which benefitted the society at such a crucial time. It was a deeply fulfilling experience for me. I am ecstatic that I did something good for people. I was able to do so because of the knowledge I gained at UPES along with the undying support of my inspiration, my ideal – my father.
(The writer is a third-year student of B.Tech. Applied Petroleum Engineering-Gas, at UPES School of Engineering.)