By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi (India), April 20 (ANI): While India is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and his startup ETEX have developed a 'Kawach' which is an affordable alternative of the N-95 mask.
Bipin Kumar claims 'Kawach' has a 98 percent efficiency and has a 3-micron particle size filter, priced at only Rs 45 per piece.
"Kawach is an initiative to help our massive population with our indigenous textile technology. In Kawach, we are using the best quality raw material and best fitting design in order to offer maximum protection to the user at an affordable price," Kumar said.
He added that the initiative is necessary because the country is facing tremendous challenges on many fronts, one of them being how to increase the protection of its citizens.
Comparing Kawach with N-95 and surgical masks, Kumar said, "N-95 is among the best masks available in the market. But due to the price range, I do not think our country will be able to supply to all citizens. With other masks like surgical masks, there are some limitations like in terms of design and efficiency. Sooner or later this lockdown will be over and people will be on the street. Kawach will help them."
He further talked about the raw material used for making Kawach. "In most of the filtration masks like N-95 or surgical masks, some of the raw materials are common like melt-blown samples and in Kawach, too, we have kept this melt-blown sample and used microfibre in the top and bottom layers, so that it can give you the best comfort. We have made the design very unique so it can cover properly. So in terms of filtration efficiency, fitting and raw material selection, Kawach has it all," he said.
Being from the only textile department across all IITs in India, Kumar highlighted that he can help the government and doctors with his efforts in the fight against coronavirus.
"Our department is the oldest and we are the only textile department across all IITs and being a textile engineer, I thought to come out and help the government and doctors to fight this battle," he said.
Sharing his day-to-day life struggles, he said: "There were a lot of sacrifices as I have become a father recently and have a four-month-old daughter. It was very tough to manage everything. I started reading lots of textile materials from the time India announced lockdown. Our administration was very supportive."
Professor Kumar is also working on a prototype of masks that are washable and can be used at least 10 times. Those who want to buy Kawach can visit ETEX.in. (ANI)
IIT-D startup ETEX develops affordable indigenous mask similar to N95
ANI | Updated: Apr 20, 2020 05:27 IST
By Sahil Pandey