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Telangana man develops foot-operated handwash machines to keep Covid-19 at bay

Covid-19: The Warangal man says that the constant message on the importance of handwashing drove him towards building these machines.

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad | Updated: April 30, 2020 2:50:59 pm
Telangana man develops foot-operated handwash machines to keep Covid-19 at bay Mupparapu Raju’s (in blue shirt) pedal-operated liquid soap and water dispenser machine has a 500-litre water tank and 5-litre container for liquid handwash.

When 30-year-old Mupparapu Raju was restricted to his home in Telangana’s Warangal Rural district, following the announcement of a nationwide lockdown to fight the spread of novel coronavirus, he decided to put this break to its best use and pursue his passion.

The result was a pedal-operated liquid soap and water dispenser machine, which has caught everyone’s attention in a matter of days.

In the last few weeks, Raju has built 10 such machines which are presently installed outside offices of district collectors, municipal corporation, municipality offices, and police checkpoints.

A graduate in BSc (Botony, Zoology, Chemistry), mechanical works did not come naturally to him. But he took inspiration, localised them with his ideas, and worked from home along with a welder in the village to make his dream come true.

“I was at home with my son and wife, and nothing much to do. After seeing something similar used by the Army, I thought why not try something here,” Raju says, pointing out that the constant message on the importance of handwashing drove him towards building these machines.

His pedal-operated liquid soap and water dispenser machine has a 500-litre water tank and 5-litre container for liquid handwash. With a full tank, Raju says, over a thousand people can wash their hands.

There are two pedals fixed on an iron frame. These pedals are connected to the taps using clutch cables used in bikes. The first such machine was installed outside the Karimnagar municipal corporation office. “It’s not a business for me. I am taking only Rs 1000 per machine,” says the 30-year-old who runs a shop selling street lighting devices.

The 30-year-old, who runs a shop selling street lighting devices, says “it’s not a business for me. I am taking only Rs 1000 per machine.”

After Karimnagar municipal corporation, similar machines were installed outside Khammam district collector’s office, Khammam municipal office, Narasampetta municipal office, Mahabubabad bus station, Ameenpur municipal office, Mahabubabad municipal office, and at Girni Bavi police checkpoint near his home in Duggondi Mandal in Warangal Rural district. Another one will be installed outside the Nellikudur gram panchayat office soon.

In the past too, Raju built a solar public charger, which allows eight mobile phones to be charged at once. These are installed at a few bus stations and railway stations, he says.

Similarly, he had built a solar grass-cutting machine as well a disinfectant or pesticide sprayer that uses solar energy for usage by sanitation staff and farmers. “Instead of using fuel, I connected the machine to a battery that is charged using solar energy. This worked well,” he says.

According to him, formal training is not always necessary in pursuing one’s passion. “I keep trying different things at home. Many do not work out. Some do,” he adds.

The municipal commissioner of Karimnagar corporation liked the prototype of pedal-operated liquid soap and water dispenser. Ever since it was published in local media, many have started approaching him for similar ones.

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