There are about 2.68 crore people with disabilities in India. About 20% of them have difficulty in movement which causes problems in commuting. A significant challenge of mobility has to do with getting in & out of cars. There is a dearth of products that are completely engineered to provide assistance. Available solutions are mainly modifications made by local garages. Some imported solutions are available. But they are very expensive and only a few dealers handle them. In case of any problem with the product, servicing is a major issue.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a not-for-profit public sector enterprise, set up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India is supporting the scaling up of an assistive technology innovation that offers an alternative.
`Named ‘TurnPlus’, the innovation developed by a Bengaluru-based startup- Truce Consulting Services Pvt Ltd, provides for easy entry and exit into the front seat of a passenger car. It is a simple to install, swivel seat mechanism which is fitted under the existing bucket seat of a car. This allows the seat to pivot and come out to ensure that people who find it difficult to get in and out of a car do so with minimum effort.
The product is especially useful for wheel-chair transfers and the elderly. It also addresses a very important aspect of easy seating for people with medical conditions such as arthritis, knee & back problems, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, leg amputation, calipers, corrected polio, parkinsons, osteoarthritis and paralytic cases.
It takes only three to four hours to install it and the same can be done at the customer’s place itself. Additionally, it does not involve any modification in the vehicle and thus can be dismantled and reinstalled in another vehicle if required. Further, no maintenance is required & the product comes with a 3-year warranty.
DBT-BIRAC is supporting the innovation under its ‘BIRAC-Social Alpha Quest for Assistive Technologies–supported by Mphasis’ programme launched in June 2019 in collaboration with Social Alpha, which is a not-for-profit platform created by Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE), sponsored and supported by the Tata Trusts to promote socially relevant innovations and entrepreneurship with a mission to create large scale sustainable social impact.
The programme aims to foster an ecosystem to develop, support and scale assistive technologies solutions from start-ups. The winners of the program were supported in the form of grant prizes up to INR 50 lakh each and an opportunity to get enrolled in a three months accelerator program. (India Science Wire)