‘Takeiteazzy’ has won the innovation contest at the TechTop 2013 for its public utility
A four-panel cartoon strip shows a man, in all his supercilious self, conquering the largest animal, chopping down the sturdiest tree, and harpooning the largest fish from the sea.
But the fourth picture sees him reduced to a cowering, helpless being, courtesy a creature that is nigh insignificant in size compared to the other entities – a mosquito.
Necessity is famously called the mother of invention but foolproof barrier against this species continues to evade us, even in this day and age.
E.C. Thomas claims to address such concerns with a mechanism that is chemical-free, without hassles of maintenance, and is effective. The fourth of the cartoons, all drawn by him, has been placed on a board next to the mosquito breeding disruptive device he invented called ‘takeiteazzy’.
It is for this device he won the innovation contest for the public category at TechTop 2013 held at Technopark.
From the outside, it looks a simple rectangular box. There is absolutely no sound, no smoke generated, no chemical odour, and no wires leading into it.
A layered system of pulleys and siphons and compartments make up a mechanism that can eliminate generations of mosquitoes by deceptively creating the perfect environment for breeding, luring the insects with scents of natural materials like cow dung and small pineapple and, then quietly destroying the larvae laid inside.
All it needs is a steady supply of water, of around 10 litres per 10 days.
Technically speaking, he is not a man of science, having been an artist and a film-maker most of his life.
But the question of tackling the perennial issue of mosquito bites nagged him and he spent nights lying awake, designing in his head an effective system.
It was seven years ago that the idea started taking shape but the lukewarm response, to the say the least, of government agencies, saw him shuttling from one office to the other waiting for a green light signalling financial support and marketing.
A letter that arrived from the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment claimed it was far too complicated for too little an impact, but Mr. Thomas has addressed each and every one of their concerns.
Crores of rupees are being spent, Mr. Thomas says, every year on hospital expenses and even on procuring insecticide sprays and creams that will offer a frail temporary barrier.
The amateur inventor hopes that large-scale manufacturing and placing of the boxes in those regions where there is heavy breeding will markedly reduce their numbers.
“Imagining there is government support, subsidies could be introduced and they could be promoted like a proper measure for family planning,” he says.
Mr. Thomas’ approach is unusual in the sense that he respects the mosquito species as crafty and tough.
His mechanism is simple, offering a dark nook of stagnant water as an answer.
Moreover, he understands the mind of the public here, and has made the machine in such a way that it will not require any maintenance or routine adjustments.
All that is required by the owner is to place it outside.
Few private organisations have requested him to provide them with the machine and recent senior officials from NABARD approached him, interested in financially supporting this endeavour.