January 4, 2019 6:01:00 pm
Indian Army and Navy personnel, who are deployed in extreme conditions, will soon be able to use a waterless bathing technology developed by an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta alumnus, Puneet Gupta.
Gupta and a team of 20 IIT-Delhi students have made a body wash and shampoo which does not need water as a rinsing agent. A spray of 20 ml would be enough to clean a full-grown human body. The technology has been accepted by the Army Design Bureau (ADB) and will be soon used for Indian soldiers deployed in Indo-China border and Siachin. The technology was first used by a group of navy men and based on their feedback, the product got approved. The Indian Navy has also agreed to use it.
As a kid, 33-year-old Gupta wanted to join the Indian Army, however, he is fulfilling his dream to serve the country by introducing technology that can help soldiers. “I cracked the SSB exam but could not join the service. Since then, I wanted to contribute the country in whichever way possible,” Gupta said.
He was earlier working with an indigenous firm in the core managerial team but he left the job which earned him around Rs 1 crore to build the technology. “This only seems to be a small issue, often when soldiers return home after serving in extreme climates they have to battle infections, fungal etc,” he said.
Personal hygiene has been among one of the major concerns listed by the ADB in the compendium of problems faced by the Indian Army. Reportedly, defence personnel deployed in extreme climates go as many as 90 days without a bath. While working closely with soldiers on a project, the idea of popped up on Puneet’s mind.
Apart from being accepted to be used by CRPF, Army and Navy, the product is in use by hospitals for bed-ridden patients. “The condition is worse in hospitals, often unknowingly contaminated water is used to clean patients. The product can not only save water but also remove the task of water testing and maintaining,” he adds.
Gupta is working to improve the product and add a mosquito-repellent feature to it. One spray or bath is expected to keep the user clean and repel mosquito for up to 36 hours. He is also working to create a body lotion which can keep the body of its applicant warm even if the temperature around is extreme cold. It is also expected to solve problems of Indian soldiers.
Currently, he heads a team of 20 IIT and IIM alumni and is expecting to scale it to 40 by March. The team operates from IIT-Delhi Biotechnology incubator. “When I started out with the plan in 2016, I needed crores to set-up a lab which I could not afford. Hence I started looking for investors and after a tough screening process my idea got selected by IIT-Delhi,” he said.
The technology also won a Tech Rocket Ship award and as the ‘best healthcare start-up’ by the UK government who also will be using these products for their soldiers.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.