Meet the genius Indian man who developed a solar-powered unit that can disinfect and provide jobs during the pandemic
This is the inspiring story of a man from a small village called Kuthambakkam on the outskirts of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, who resigned from his government job in Chennai to return to his village in 1990s, when it was grappling with issues like illegal liquor trade, poverty, poor infrastructure, domestic violence and Dalit discrimination.
Elango Rangaswamy, 61, chose to harmonize passions. He had choices enough to stay away from the rough and tumble of politics, like most educated Indians. But he chose it as the means to lead his village, Kuthambakkam to prosperity by running for the panchayat elections as an independent candidate in 1996.
His win ushered in a wave of change in the village. From providing housing facilities for the villagers, creating a ‘Panchayat Academy’ to educate and train local leaders in Tamil Nadu to putting an end to the alcohol black market, Elango has done all this and more, to raise the standard of living in the village.
In these difficult times where the world is grappling with a pandemic, Elango has used his expertise in science and has developed a solar-powered disinfectant which he aims to provide to women self-help groups across India in order to increase job opportunities.
Soon after the first case of the COVID-19 was reported in India, Elango started looking for ways to help the community at a larger scale, and innovated a Fully Solar Operated Sodium Hypochlorite (HYPO) Solution Production System which can be used as a disinfectant.
“Sodium Hypochlorite (Hypo) solution is one of the most widely used disinfectants and is created by electrolysing the common salt dissolved in lower concentrations like 4 to 5 percentage solution in an electrolyser by passing DC current in controlled conditions,” he says.
“The only raw materials required for this innovation are salt and water. It has been created in a user-friendly manner so that anyone with a basic understanding of the system can operate it easily and therefore increase job opportunities for women in rural areas, in particular,” he explains.