Students of Instem, Bangalore, Ketan Thorat and Subhashini Pandey won the award for research work of Anti-Pesticide Dermal Gel. They carried their project work under the guidance of Dr Praveen Kumar Vemula.
Due to lack of resources, spraying pesticide using the hand-held manual device is a norm in Indian agriculture. In the past three years, more than 3000 farmers in India were hospitalized due to an alarming frequency of pesticide exposure which eventually led to a tragic toll of 442 deaths. This severe clinical gap has a massive impact on the health of 263 million farmers and their families in India. Considering the above facts, the study has been conducted to develop a skin-gel that can protect the farmers from the harmful effects of pesticides. The skin-gel constituted with numerous chemical detoxifiers when applied, instantly attacks the pesticide molecule and catalytically cleaves it into smaller, non-harmful components, thereby diminishing the toxic effect of pesticide.
Usually, the skin is exposed to a large amount of pesticide which transdermally enters the body. Over time, these farmers are further exposed to multiple small doses of pesticides during spraying and handling at farms which leads to an accumulated, irreversible health damage resulting to learning difficulties, suffocation, paralysis, muscle weakness, loss of stamina, and in certain cases-death. This impact affects healthcare costs and major socio-economic implications. The distinctive feature of this study is to formulate a skin gel that safeguards the transdermal route undertaken by the detrimental pesticide molecules to enter the human body. The pioneering work of this skin-gel technology lies in the fact that each detoxifier can detoxify multiple pesticide molecules. Therefore on a single application, it offers a 24 hr protection against pesticides
The Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award to Ketan Thorat and Subhashini Pandey, Instem, Bangalore at the GYTI 2019 Awards function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on July 06, 2019.