The Chennai chapter of Young Indians (Yi), a pan Indian organisation for the youth committed to nation building, and a part of the Confederation of Indian Industry, has inaugurated its 25th unit of ‘touch-free’ hand wash machine for the use of the public, here yesterday (September 16). The unit was installed at Egmore Railway Station in the city.
Young Indians – Chennai has designed this fully-mechanised hand wash system. The system dispenses water and soap when people push the pedal with their leg. There is no need for them to touch either the tap or soap while washing their hands. The touch-free machine has four sides of hand wash – hence at a time four people can wash their hands, while still maintaining the mandatory social distance. Each unit can be used for 2500 to 3000 hand washes in a day.
Conceived as a part of Sugadharam, a Young Indians – Chennai’s initiative to promote hand hygiene for the prevention of COVID-19 and other infections, the first touch-free hand wash machine was installed on April 18th 2020 at a makeshift vegetable market at Broadway, Chennai, in association with the Chennai Corporation. All the units installed so far are functioning at the public places in Chennai, Thiruvallur, and Gummidipoondi. So far, they have facilitated about a million hand washes.
The cost of a single unit is a little over Rs. 25,000. Young Indians – Chennai plans to scale up the project pan India and install 50,000 units in three years.
Commenting about the event, Mr. Vishal Mehta, Chair, Young Indians – Chennai, said, “The project brings awareness about the importance of washing hands regularly. Regular hand wash is a basic component of hygiene. Its significance goes up, especially at the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In their comments, Mr. Krishna Nathani, Co-chair, Young Indians – Chennai, said, “It’s a result of collaboration of a large number of associate partners. They have made this project such a big success in a short time. Their support will take Sugadharam forward.”
The associates partners of Sugadharam are Government of Tamilnadu, Greater Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu Police, TN Commando Force, Southern Railways, Guru Shri Shantivijai Temple – Chintadaripet, Shree Chandraprabhu Jain Temple – Sowcarpet, Kesarvadi Jain Temple – Puzhal, Cancer Institute, CBCID Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu State Revenue Officials Association, Netaji Scouts Group, Greater Chennai Police, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, and Chennai District Collectorate.
Mr. Karthik Ragavendar R, Chair, Sugadharam, Young Indians – Chennai, said, “The project is thriving on sponsorship support. So many generous hearts backed this project financially. Now, we are looking forward to getting corporate sponsorships for our expansion.”
Some of the key sponsors of the project include: Titan Company Limited, Milky Mist, Recreate Happiness Trust, Maharaja Agarsen Matriculation School, Thukral Foundation, RCC Diva, NAC Jewellers, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission, Pinwheel Architects, DRA Homes, Sattva Ltd, Free Masons Srinivasa Gopal No 190, Friendz Club, J Ranjeet Jewellers, Titan, Nitin Wire Group, and Ramesh Surana.
Ms. Divya Venkat P, Co-chair, Sugadharam, Young Indians – Chennai, said, “Sugadharam is bringing cost effective hand wash and personal hygiene to all. The unit is designed with robust quality. With lowest cost. We have engaged all the cost control mechanisms to bring down the cost of the unit.”
Mr. Vikas Jain, Chair, Rural Initiatives, Young Indians – Chennai, said, “We have plans to take this project to the rural areas. India is 70% rural. To bring about any change we should reach the rural and include them for the better future.” Mr. Raj Bharat, Regional Chair – Southern Region Tamil Nadu, said, “Our aim is to bring the project across India. Currently we are working towards that goal. Soon major cities across India will have Sugadharam hand wash units and the journey will continue pan India.”
Young Indians – Chennai is shortly coming up with different models of the machine. It has plans to float its Sugadharam project across all Young Indians chapters in the country.
The 25th installation was quickly followed by the installation of two more machines located within the premises of Indian Railways. The installation function was attended by Mr. Jayvenkatesan, Station Director, Egmore, and Mr. T Murali, Vice President, TSROA. Representing Young Indians, Mr. Raj Bharat, Regional Chair, SR TN, Young Indians, Mr. Arun Rathod, Co-chair Entrepreneurship, Young Indians, Mr. Vishal Mehta, Chair, Chennai chapter, Mr. Krishna Nathani, Co-chair, Chennai Chapter, and Mr. Karthik Ragavendar, Chair, Sugadharam, Chennai Chapter and Ms. Divya Venkat, Co-chair, Sugadharam Chennai Chapter attended. The members of Netaji Scout Group were also present.