Former Rally Champion Makes Homemade Sanitiser for Officials

Former National Rally Champion, Mathias distributes home-made sanitisers among government officials.

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Vikram Mathias distributes hand sanitisers among officials.
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With the unanticipated global outbreak of the coronavirus, many countries along with India faced a shortage of essential hygiene supplies like hand sanitisers, masks, and other health care products. While the whole country was in a race to buy that last bottle of hand sanitiser, Vikram Mathias, a 44-year-old former national rally champion was busy crafting his own sanitisers at home with barely three ingredients.

According to a report in Times of India, on 23 March, amidst the nationwide lockdown, Mathias was heading towards Ooty, the nearest town, to fetch some essentials for his family. In his transit, he acknowledged that most government officials including the forest guards and the local policemen, who guard the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border were dealing with a shortfall of hand sanitisers.

“We are so worried about going into depression and claustrophobia, while the officials are in the open all day meeting hundreds of people. I felt bad telling them that I could get only two bottles,” Mathias added.

Strongly affected by the scarcity of hand sanitisers, Mathias decided to research about the process of making hand sanitisers online. Coming from a sports background, he put his sporting instincts to good use and started working on his home-made sanitisers using the required ingredients. It took him a day to perfect the whole process.

Using three ingredients - mainly isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and glycerol - and a formula recommended by WHO, Mathias managed to make a hand sanitiser. He also took help from his friends who are doctors and were able to guide him in the right direction.

With the help of his family, Mathias used old bottles of shampoo, hand wash and hand sanitisers that were easily accessible to him and filled them with the prepared alcohol solution.

They even stuck printed labels of the used ingredients on the bottles.

It was a two-day process. By the end of it, he had 10 litres of hand-sanitiser with him. Along with the cooperation of the local police, and a doctor who was travelling towards Masinagudi, Mathias successfully distributed his home-made hand sanitisers among several officials at three different checkposts along the Madumalai-Bandipur border.

Apart from this, Mathias is also sourcing surgical spirit which is being used to disinfect tables, chairs and other supplies at the check posts and police station. For Mathias, it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life.

He said, “These are little things we can do for people, especially those who leave their families behind and risk their lives for us.”

Mathias lives in Bokkapuram with his wife and two children and owns a Jungle Hut, a wildlife resort on the foothills of the Nilgiri Hills, near Masinagudi. He is also the champion of a Motorsports Rally, which was held in Chickmaglur last year.

With little effort and thought, we can help our country combat this battle against the coronavirus pandemic like Mathias, too. All it needs is a firm will to do something for the greater good!

(With inputs from Times of India)

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