A 23-year-old innovator living in the disputed region of Kashmir has designed a low-cost ventilator made from scrap to save the lives of people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The video, filmed on May 30, shows a DVD drive working in conjunction with a silicone bottle to pump air at timed intervals, effectively replicating a life-saving ventilator machine.
The inventor, Waseem Ahmad Nadaf, grew up in Srinagar, and is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in Interior Design.
He commented: "I used to observe the problems around and think of a solution.
However, I was often discouraged by my school teachers and the people around.
Even my parents never trusted me when I told them I wanted to build new things," At the age of 14, in 2012, he designed a unique power inverter that could provide 30 hours of power back up after only 30 minutes of charging time.
Since that time he has developed almost 32 innovations.
"COVID-19 was a turning point for me.
According to reports, there are only 108 ventilators for a population of 12,500,000 people in Kashmir.
That got me into developing a cheap and cost-efficient way of providing people with more ventilators, and I came up with this idea in March", he added.
Collecting scraps from his home and neighbours, he successfully built the ventilator only using a DVD drive, bottlecaps, a soapbox, a cardboard box, and an Ambu-bag.
He developed the prototype in less than a week and it cost him 1500 Indian Rupees ($20 USD).
He believes the model can be upgraded to a completely automated ventilator whose frequency of oscillation can be controlled to match the patient's health requirements.
"Anyone can create a solution, but you have to be efficient and low-cost because otherwise the poor people, those most in danger, they won't be able to use the ventilator," he said.
"Kashmir does not provide many avenues of exploration and exposure, so I finally flew out of the state as a backpacker, backpacking across India.
Through the deserts of Rajasthan to the coastline of Karnataka and the Himalayan range.
I started working as an International Client relations hospitality intern at Jugaad Hostels New Delhi and also became a part of #dowhatyoulove movement which is hosted by Human Circle/ Young India Challenge," he said.
"For my ventilator prototype, I got messages from several imminent institutions including Harvard University praising my idea and asking me to work on it further.
My parents are proud of me and they often invest in my innovations," he added.
Nadaf wants to see his prototype being used in practical implementations in the industry saving people's lives.
He hopes it will fetch medical help to the most affected and most vulnerable communities in the nation and across the globe.
He is currently looking for educators and investors to fulfil his dreams, turning this from a homemade prototype to a life-saving cost-efficient apparatus.
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