Keralite innovators discover easy way to make virus-proof masks, win Shri Shakti Challenge

Keralite innovators discover easy way to make virus-proof masks, win Shri Shakti Challenge
Dr Anjana Ramkumar and Dr Anusha Ashokan

New Delhi: Two young women from Kerala have made the state proud by winning a prize in the ‘MyGov COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge’ conducted by the Central Government along with UN Women. Dr Anjana Ramkumar and Dr Anusha Ashokan won the prize for their invention of an anti-microbial solution that when sprayed on any cloth, turns it virus-resistant on drying. This helps make protective masks out of any type of cloth. The new solution was developed by Thanmatra Innovations Pvt. Ltd., a Kochi-based firm owned by Anjana and Anusha. The Keralite women's invention is among the top six prize-winning entries in the national contest.

MyGov COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge was announced in April this year to identify solutions for COVID-19-related problems or major issues faced by women. From the entries received, 11 were selected for the final round and each of these teams was granted an amount of Rs 75,000 to develop their ideas. Apart from the first three prize winners, three other startups were selected as promising solutions. The prize for the first three winners is Rs 5 lakh each and for the promising startups is Rs 2 lakh each.

The other two winners in the top category are: Dr P Gayatri Hela of Bengaluru-based Resada Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd. who created a non-alcoholic hand sanitizer; and Romita Ghosh of Shimla-based Iheal Healthtech Pvt. Ltd. Romita, who overcame cancer, supplies personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to hospitals through her startup. She also developed a UV sterilization box for reusing PPE kits and masks.

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