Peeved at the sight of people living on pavements, Lakshmi Menon, an eco-innovator, took an initiative to help them. This was the time when the country was reeling under the pandemic and hospitals were facing shortage of beds. The social entrepreneur soon came up with the idea of making mattresses out of disposed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and supply them to Covid-19 patients.
The motive of making these cost-effective bedrolls, named Shayya, which means mattresses in Sanskrit, was to resolve two issues — waste management and lack of bedding at many Covid centres.
Nearly 700 Shayya have been distributed to old age homes, First Line Treatment Centres and homeless shelters.
The PPE kits were made of water-proof material, like small amounts of plastic. The leftover material were then collected from tailor units and used to make a 6-feet-long bedrolls with a width of 2.5-feet.
“I wanted to do something in my own capacity. As a designer, I’ve always felt that it is my social responsibility to find neat solutions for the problems we encounter daily. Just like the baby didn’t have a mattress to lie on, FLTCs (First Line Treatment Centres for Covid-19) were facing a shortage of mattresses,” said Menon.
Beds used for Covid patients were burnt or disposed. But these sustainable bedrolls can be washed with soap and reused. No needles or machine is required to make these cots.
Lakshmi Menon had hit headlines earlier for her initiative for making Chekutty dolls from clothes that were damaged during the 2018 floods in Kerala.