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Young innovator in Kashmir makes low-cost ventilator out of scrap items

A 22-year-old based in the disputed region between India and Pakistan has shown us that it doesn't take much to make healthcare accessible to all.

Young innovator in Kashmir makes low-cost ventilator out of scrap items
Image Source: Brut India / Instagram

Waseem Ahmad Nadaf, a 22-year-old living in the disputed region of Kashmir which rests between India and Pakistan, has invented a low-cost ventilator with scraps he found at home. In Kashmir, medical facilities are ill-equipped to deal with the ongoing pandemic. Reports claim that there are only 108 ventilators for a population of 12,500,000 people. In light of this dreary statistic, Waseem, better known as "Unique Waseem" to his friends and family members, decided to get to work to build a low-cost ventilator. He hopes the invention, made of random objects he found around his home, will make medical help more accessible to the poorest and most vulnerable communities.



"Ever since the pandemic started, people have become fearful, thinking about how they could protect themselves from the virus," he said in an interview with The Print (originally in Hindi/Urdu, the local languages). "I was already thinking about this, about how to make this ventilator. But the second thing is, anybody can do this. Anyone can create a solution, but you have to be efficient and low-cost because otherwise the people who live in slums, those most in danger, they won't be able to use the ventilator." He explained that he used scraps in order to test out his model and later make modifications.



The young man was also motivated to invent the low-cost ventilator due to the possibility of emergency medical situations. He shared, "In an emergency, if we don't have ventilators, we could set these up at the local level. We could save a lot of lives." Video footage of the invention displays what looks like a DVD drive working in conjunction with a silicone bottle to pump air at timed intervals. While the ventilator seems basic, it is this simplicity that makes it accessible to many. Additional footage of the 22-year-old's bedroom shows us the plans he drafted for his invention lining his bedroom walls.



This is not the first time Waseem has garnered media attention for his inventive thinking. 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 then, he has developed almost 32 innovations. Most prominently, he was able to build a portable water purifier, which had the capacity to purify at least 1000 liters of water. For this ingenious machine, Waseem won the 2018 Start-up Yatra "Hero of the State" award at the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI). As more young people use their skills and knowledge for good, the world seems like a safer place already.



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