A Noble Breakthrough: NIT Rourkela Produces Alcohol-Based Sanitizers
Saurav Sahoo | Apr 20, 2020
It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.
Action begins with a desire. Naturally, heartfelt compassion leads to action. The most vulnerable and disadvantaged in this world need more than pity—they need to see love operate selflessly and sacrificially. At this time of the global pandemic, a slightest of contribution to the society would bring a drastic impact in the fight for mitigation of this global crisis. Novel Coronavirus or the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill and affected the life of the millions; physically, mentally, socially and economically. The only way to stay safe/break the chain is to stay indoors and adhere to the important safety guidelines. Moreover, this simplest action would be considered as the most selfless and the noblest contribution to the entire mankind at this time of crisis.
NIT Rourkela recently achieved a major breakthrough in disaster mitigation and community welfare as it developed alcohol-based hand sanitizers and pledged to offer them free of cost for the upliftment of the community. This noble initiative is the brainchild of Prof. Dr. Rupam Dinda, Head of the Department of Chemistry, NIT Rourkela, who along with his team came forward to the social mainstream and proposed to help the most vulnerable people of the community like health workers and people delivering essential services who deserved intensive care.
About 30 litres of sanitizer was produced in the first phase in compliance with the international standards as endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to distribute among the campus communities and the outsiders through local administration. The sanitizers were intended to be offered to Hi-Tech Medical College & Hospital, Rourkela which is the newly established COVID hospital in the city for the distribution among their patients and staffs. These were also offered to the Rotary Club of Rourkela for Old Age and Orphanage Homes and to the employees of the institute who are involved in providing essential services to the students and the staff of the campus.
The team of Prof. Dinda constituted his research scholar Atanu Banerjee and the staff members and laboratory assistants; Swagatika Tripathy, Samir Patra, Arup Dey and Nityananda Rout who worked dedicatedly for this noble cause. The components that the sanitizers were made up of included isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerol and sterile distilled water. It was highly noteworthy that preservatives like parabens, antibacterial and antifungal agents like triclosan, synthetic fragrance and phthalates were not all used in the preparation of sanitizer. Moreover, rose water (Gulab Jal) was added which effectively soothes dry and sensitive skin.
Addressing the noble idea, Prof. Rupam Dinda speaks;
My research experience lies in the field of bio-inorganic chemistry and molecular biology. We always had the experience of maintaining hygiene inside the lab, so we always practised applying sanitizer over our hands before we entered into the lab. When there was the outbreak of this crisis, there was a huge demand for masks and hand sanitizers which consequently led to their scarcity in the market. Considering the gravity of the situation, I discussed this idea of mine with my colleagues and research scholars and decided to prepare alcohol-based hand sanitizer for the people of the society. The Director of the institute, Prof. Animesh Biswas also motivated me to take such an initiative and help the people who are the most vulnerable at this time of pandemic like the doctors, health workers, people delivering essential services like the people from media, the mess workers of our institute , etc. I also have prior experiences of preparing hand sanitizer and being the Head of the Chemistry department, I took the initiative along with my team and manufactured 30 litres of sanitizers in the first phase out of the raw materials available in our lab keeping in mind the WHO guidelines.
Team Monday Morning salutes Prof. Rupam Dinda and the entire NIT Rourkela administration for undertaking such a noble initiative and extending a hand in mitigating the global crisis.