Homemade disinfectant from former national rally champion boosts officials

BENGALURU: After excelling for over a decade and a half in a sport where quick thinking and reaction time are crucial, former national rally champion Vikram Mathias He took advantage of his sports instincts last week.

At a time when hand sanitizers are in high demand and in short supply, the 44-year-old man decided to make them at home for forest guards, police and other officials serving the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border.

Mathias owns Jungle Hut, a wildlife complex, and lives with his wife Anushri and their two children, in Bokkapuram, a village in the foothills of the Nilgiri Hills, near Masinagudi.

On March 23, on the eve of the country's closure, Mathias was heading to Ooty, the nearest city, to buy the essentials. He asked the local police if they needed anything. Disinfectant , they said.

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Mathias, who returned to racing after a long recess with a victory at the Chickmaglur Rally last year, said: One of the police officers noted that they encountered many people throughout the day and that there was a shortage of disinfectants. At Ooty, with great difficulty, I managed to buy two small bottles. We are very concerned about going into depression and claustrophobia, while officials are out in the open all day, meeting hundreds of people. I felt bad saying that I could get only two bottles.

The empty shelves at Ooty made Mathias think.

I researched online and found that the World Health Organization (WHO) had published the formula to prepare hand sanitizers that work well. I needed three ingredients: isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerol. I started calling our friends who have hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in the state to ask them how to get the ingredients. At Coimbatore I managed to get all three ingredients, he said.

Since the lock was in place, the police assisted Mathias with the transportation. I asked the police for help and a doctor traveling to Masinagudi got it for me.

It took Mathias a day to understand the process. The family used old shampoo, hand wash, and disinfectant bottles to pour the product. They also printed labels with the ingredients.

It was a two day process. One day to put things in their place and another to do the disinfectant. We had 10 liters of disinfectant. I met the police officers and with them I went to three checkpoints along the Mudumalai-Bandipur border and distributed it, Mathias explained.

When asked what was most rewarding, Mathias noted: A doctor at the checkpoint read the label and thanked me for the disinfectant that he said met the requirement. These are little things that we can do for people, especially those that leave their families behind and risk their lives for us.

In addition to the disinfectant, Mathias also obtained the surgical spirit that is used to disinfect tables, chairs, and other supplies at checkpoints and at the police station.