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Dr RK Ranjan launches hand sanitizer
Source: The Sangai Express

Kangpokpi, April 15 2020: Alcohol-based herbal hand sanitizer (instant hand sanitizer), non-allergic, developed by a team of scientists working at Ethno-Medicinal Research Centre, Foundation for Environment and Economic Development Services (FEEDS), Core Support Group was launched today at FEEDS campus by Manipur Inner MP Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh.

The launching ceremony of the instant hand sanitizer was graced by Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha who is also a member of Committee on Science & Technology and Research as chief guest.

Maj Krishna Singh, 34 AR Hengbung and Basanta Sharma, Editor in-chief of the Morning Bell also attended the function.

The launching programme was conducted by following social distancing norms.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ranjan expressed that it is a proud moment for the Manipuri as such product is developed from a remote corner of this country during this critical period of COVID-19 lockdown when supplies of essential items is a problem.

He also emphasized on social responsibility by maintaining social distancing and hygiene during the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak while he appreciated the whole team of FEEDS for the noble act.

Later, the MP also visited the EMRC Laboratory to see the manufacturing of hand sanitizer.

The instant hand sanitizer was developed under the leadership of Dr Dhanaraj Singh Thokchom, senior scientist and scientist-in-charge, EMRC and assisted by Dr Kangjam Tilottama Devi, Scientist, Orchid Research and Development Centre (ORDC); Dr Rupam Patowary, Senior Programme Officer, DST Core Support Programme; Jadumani Ahongshangbam, JRF along with 4 scientific staffs and 10 technical support staffs.

The alcohol (Ethanol) based herbal hand sanitizer was prepared under the directives of SEED Division, Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt.of India following the guidelines of WHO with modifications under the community-based emergency management action plan of DST- Core Support Programme.

Dr Dhanaraj mentioned that the hand sanitizer has been supplemented with extract of Artemisia nilagirica (Laibakngou : Manipuri; Indian Wormwood : English) which will enhance the efficacy of the same in the prevention of coronavirus.

He further added that it is a matter of coincidence that a group of scientists from Denmark and Germany are also working on the role of compound artemisinin from another species artemisia annula belonging to the same genus in fighting COVID-19 .

He also expressed views on scaling up the production as it has become an essential chain-breaker of coronavirus spread.

Apart from the WHO recommended ingredients, the sanitizer contains natural colouring agents derived from artemisia nilagirica and morus alba (mulberry) which are non-toxic.

FEEDS Secretary, Kimjaneng Kipgen expressed thankfulness to District Commissioners of Senapati and Kangpokpi districts for all the possible support and encouragement in making this venture successful while Haokholet Kipgen, president, FEEDS appreciated the effort on the development of instant hand sanitizer by the research team at FEEDS.

He also expressed his gratitude towards Dr Rajkumar Ranjan for launching the product.

As a part of the launching programme, hand sanitizer bottles were distributed to personnel from print and electronic media, representatives of Hengbung Youth Club and Hengbung Village Authorities and Major Krishna Singh.

Two self-help groups, RUTH SHG and SALEM SHG are being trained at the laboratory facility of Ethno-Medicinal Research Centre on the preparation of these sanitizers which will serve as a source of income for the villagers.

Apart from production of hand sanitizer, FEEDS has been airing audios on awareness, symptoms, and preventive measures against COVID 19 pandemic since April 8 from its Community Radio Centre (91.2 MHz) thrice on a daily basis in Manipuri, English, Hindi, Nepali and Naga dialects.

A three-minute face mask making video utilising common household clothing is being circulated via WhatsApp across 138 villages in districts of Kangpokpi, Senapati, Noney, and Churachandpur covering a total population of 2500.Scientists in FEEDS are also looking forward in the development of other innovative products against COVID-19 .


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