CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) will be donating water purifying machines and oxygen enriching units to remote schools and government hospitals in Thane and Palghar districts in India, to provide them with clean drinking water and healthcare.

The first batch of these equipment’s, which are ready for dispatch, are being developed as part of the CSIR800 programme, where each of the 38 Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs in the country are mandated to set up Gramin Vigyan Kutir (CSIR tech village) and develop these isolated areas using technological interventions.

Senior NCL scientist and programme leader, P K Ingle, said, “This initiative is being undertaken solely to make a difference in the lives of people who have limited access to even basic amenities.”

Thane is the 10th largest district in the state, with tribal communities constituting about 14% of its total population. These people live in highly inaccessible areas and are deprived of 24-hour power supply, among other basic amenities.

DrKanchan Vanere, a Civil surgeon from Palghar, commented, “At least 20% of patients admitted at government hospitals require oxygen cylinders during treatment,” However, availing the refill of oxygen cylinders is a major cause of concern. “whenever oxygen cylinders run dry, the nearest refill options are available either in Thane or Nashik,” Vanere explained.

NCL’s Chief Operating Officer, Rajendra Kharul, said, “The machine is capable of supplying up to 35% concentrated oxygen enriched air, best suited for patients with severe lung disorders, asthma or COPD.”

The district is in the process of procuring 12 such machines from NCL.

The lab is also providing water purifying machines to government hospitals and ashram schools in India’s tribal belt.

“We are planning to procure 300 units of 50-litre capacity, particularly for smaller establishments,” said Ingle.

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