Pune: 12-year-old boy creates unique box to sterilize groceries, essentials

Updated: 28 September, 2020 17:41 IST | Faizan Khan | Pune

Aditya Pachpande has created this box keeping in mind the community transmission of COVID-19 through markets

Aditya Pachpande explains vendors about Suraksha Box. Pics/Ashish Raje
Aditya Pachpande explains vendors about Suraksha Box. Pics/Ashish Raje

A 12-year-old boy from Pune has created a unique sterilization box using Ultraviolet (UV)-C rays. The box, named ‘Suraksha Box’, is being distributed among vegetable and fruits vendors at Dadar market. They can use this box to sterilize vegetables and fruits before selling them.

Aditya Pachpande has created this box keeping in mind the community transmission of COVID-19 through markets.

“COVID19 has brought in a lot of hardships for people such as how to sanitize vegetables, groceries and parcels. I realised that this was a big problem and something had to be done about it,” Aditya told Mid-day.

sterilization box

“People were using various methods - keeping in sunlight, washing with soap, baking soda, potassium permanganate and hand sanitizers - to sanitize the groceries. However, none of these methods are hygienic and some are even harmful. All of these are tedious, time-consuming and require lots of water. I saw my family struggle with this problem and still living in fear and anxiety of contracting the virus,” he added.

Aditya said he did extensive research and came across the fact that sunlight has a natural disinfectant - ultraviolet rays - that could kill harmful microbes. “In over three weeks, I successfully made a UVC sterilization box - an easy sterilisation method developed using regular materials and it can be built at home,” he said.

Aditya has recently received a publication of the patent for Suraksha Box. This innovation has also received praise from senior scientists at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

He has installed several such boxes free of cost at vegetable markets, police stations and slums.

How does it work?

The Suraksha Box sterilizes vegetables, groceries and everyday items using ultra violet C rays. It kills bacteria, fungi and virus, including corona family of viruses without using any chemicals.

The box uses UVC light in a controlled environment to sterilise items inside it. The UVC lamp emits light of 240 nm frequency perfect to destroy viruses and bacteria on the surface of these items. The inside walls of the Suraksha Box are lined with aluminium bubble wrap that reflects UVC light evenly around the items and is also easy to clean.

sterilization box by Pune boy

Aditya appealed to people to gift Suraksha Box to their relatives, employees, customers and loved ones on Diwali. He has also planned to donate 15,100 boxes to the needy, underprivileged and to schools.

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First Published: 28 September, 2020 17:33 IST

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