As the cases of Covid-19 are reaching their peak; the government and the Healthcare workers are advising the people to prioritize wearing facemasks whenever they step out of their home and exercise social distancing. Wearing a mask will protect you from contracting the disease as it spreads through respiratory organs. Even people who are getting vaccine shots are advise to wear masks until the situation is normalize. To encourage people and show the importance of wearing masks in this pandemic situation; a couple in Chennai installed a facemask Vending Machine in public places.
Facemask Vending Machine in Public places of Chennai:
Vijayaragavan Visuvamithiran and Krishna Priyadarshini Elanchezian are a couple to whom the CMBT has given space to install a Mask Vending Machine Koyembedu bus terminus. Koyembedu Bus Terminus (CMBT) is one of the biggest bus depots of the state. The couple has started their startup named Instagood Technology Solutions, where they manufacture Vending Machines. This Vending Machine was used for unevenly shape products focusing their efforts on Vending coconut water from fresh coconuts. They received Rs. 2 lakhs for the project from the government under the TN EDII IVP project.
Sadly, the project was interrupt by a lockdown impose by the government due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. When the government advised people to wear masks, the couple got an idea to manufacture Facemasks Vending Machines. Krishna Priyadarshini, who hails from Kumbakonam, was focusing on doing something that will benefit society. Krishna had an IT job, and her husband was a research fellow at IIT Madras. When she got to know the importance of the project and how this will benefit society; she quit her job in August 2020 and started spending time on this project.
Krishna and Vijayaragavan focused on optimum utilization of resources. Vijayaragavan said that these machines took six months of production. They are selling these machines for Rs. 22,000 that can hold 500 masks, and in the future, it can be expand to hold 1000 masks easily. Additionally, the couple also mentioned that post covid-19 pandemic, these machines can be use for dispensing sanitary napkins for women; and these machines will be installed in public toilets.
Challenges faced by the couples:
Initially, the couple faced challenges when installing the machine. People could not understand the use of the device where people misunderstood the Vending Machine as a sanitizer machine or thermal scanner. The security guards used to explain it to the people, but later they modified the writing and made more visual indicators for people to understand the usage of the machine. Krishna states each mask sold through this mask Vending Machine costs ₹5, and a single device sold around 40,000 pieces of the facemask.
So far, the couple has sold around six Vending machines, from which two were bought by the Anna University install on their campus. It is a 3 lakh bootstrap project, and the couple had around ten people working in their startup Instagood Technology Solutions. Installation of a Mask Vending Machine is the best solution to understand the importance of wearing masks in this pandemic situation. Stree Sanman, who is a Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine manufacturer, also manufactures Mask Vending Machine. These machines consist of UV lights that disinfect the mask, providing you a fresh mask whenever you opt to get the mask from these machines.
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