This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by D Jeiyendira Pradeep. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Operation Coro-Nation By Samrat Ghosh: A One-Man Army Against COVID-19

More from D Jeiyendira Pradeep

This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

Corona is the buzz word everywhere now, isn’t it? See, it is not any bioweapon, as that theory has been busted by experts now. It’s a new zoonotic virus with origins in Hubei province of China. “Wuhan se yahan, yahan se wahan” has been the case of its spread all over the globe now. Lockdown and social distancing are being practised by us all to flatten the curve and hence reduce the transmission of the virus. Some four existing antiviral drugs have entered clinical trials and their testing has begun in some countries by WHO. The arrival of vaccines may take some 12- 18 months now. If you ask me to recommend one simple yet superb article to understand a lot about this coronavirus, it will be the one by Vandana in The

Our country India has taken timely efficient measures to control the spread of the virus and is now preparing with all the required medical treatment techniques. Many startup teams and government organizations in India are involved in producing indigenous ventilators, masks and so on. Mylab in Pune has come up with a diagnostic kit for COVID-19. The government has launched Arogya Sethu app for tracking the spread of the virus in India. Dr. Samrat Ghosh, a Chemistry Professor, and Innovator from IISER Mohali has also contributed some interesting innovations and ideas for preventing the transmission of the virus. In the following interview I had with Dr. Ghosh, he explained his work concerning the prevention of the virus spread, which will give us some good idea on the various aspects of COVID-19 crisis. Here it goes:

Hello Dr. Ghosh, so how and by when did you get into developing innovations for tackling the COVID-19 crisis?

I consider myself a frontline worker in the fight against COVID-19 because as early as January 2020, sensing that the human Coronavirus 2019-nCoV now officially designated as SARS-CoV-2 could wreck havoc should it enter a densely populated developing country like India, I took the early initiative and launched the ‘Operation Coro-Nation’ with whatever resources at my disposal when only a few were taking this human Coronavirus seriously.

Dr. Ghosh, That one is an interesting term. Tell us about operation coronation. What is it?

The ‘Operation Coro-Nation’ is basically a one-man army effort to develop various frugal grass-root level easy to implement techniques and contrivances to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 illness as much as possible both in India and abroad.

So single-handedly you have been involved in designing some innovations and prototypes that possibly could tackle coronavirus crisis?

Yeah. That is why I say the one-man army. I am a Chemistry faculty and run a small innovation lab wherein I develop these frugal solutions for the problems faced by our society, right now say COVID-19 crisis. Or think about this, today most are overlooking or turning a blind eye to the civic perils posed by our gutter and drains overflowing with human excreta especially in our widespread slum areas in Mumbai and elsewhere due to this prolonged nationwide lock-down. It is well documented that virus shedding from COVID-19 patients in quarantine, hospitals, and residential areas could result in active SARS-CoV-2 virus being present in such accumulated human waste in the gutter and other septic tanks could trigger a secondary COVID-19 outbreak.

That’s, possible and could be a grim scenario. Effective sanitization of such human wastes is a critical step in reducing the spread and transmission of this COVID-19 pandemic then. Have you thought about it, now that you mentioned?

Armed with the knowledge that the SARS-CoV-2 being a virulent albeit labile virus as its genome type is highly vulnerable to certain chemicals, I have developed a simple, quarternary ammonium compound-free, scale-able technique (OSCAR) for spraying (using a Venturi effect imparting nozzle) widely available non-toxic chemicals in tandem from a safe distance which on contact at the designated site releases a chemical which is not flammable unlike alcohol and has the potential to reduce the infectivity of the present novel human Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 both in the aqueous slurry containing human excreta and the contaminated air immediately above it.

That’s so good Dr. Ghosh, but do you have any scientific evidence to back it?

OSCAR which I have developed is based on the chemical experiment I routinely demonstrate to my first-year undergraduate students in their first-semester qualitative chemical analysis laboratory course for the detection of methyl ketones apparently also found in the urine of diabetic people. This is one example of my interdisciplinary ‘Education & Research’ methodology the cornerstone of our IISERs. Incidentally, I also came across a research publication in a well known, highly cited chemical journal from a reputed group claiming that a similar approach deactivated MS2 bacteriophage (a model virus which is enveloped too and consists of single-stranded RNA).

Let’s get back to Operation Coro-Nation, Dr Ghosh. You said it consists of other techniques and contrivances. Can you mention them, please?

Yes, why not. Let me mention the names and if you are more interested, you can know about the science behind and working in detail through my YouTube videos. See the techniques I developed are:

1) Apron sterilization for health service and lab staff.

2) Eye protection for health staff and others.

3)  Novel Disposable Cough & Sneeze KHAAS Bag for SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Prevention.

4) Low-cost masks, which I call swadeshi Naak langot.

5) Instant Handkerchief/Cotton Mask Sanitization.

6)  Long-lasting Reusable Dual Chamber Oxy N95 masks for Medical staff and patients.

7)  Indoor Sanitization of Air-borne Pathogens using ANTI:VIRUS (Affordable Non-hazardous Technique from IISER: Vacuum for Indoor Removal of Unwanted Species)

8)  Copper wire laced contrivance to be used by COVID-19 patients for Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2.

9)  Reuse of disposal hand gloves by Steam treatment.

That’s huge and so nice, Dr. Ghosh. So counting OSCAR along, these ten techniques form part of the Operation Coro-Nation as you call it, right?

Yes, you are correct. I am satisfied I could develop these in the limited time we had till the lockdown. This is a small contribution to my big country. As COVID-19 positive cases surge, communicating these developments, I think I will be able to sensitize and get feedback from experts which can enable me to carry out further improvisation.

So Operation Coro-Nation is about preventing the spread and transmission of COVID-19 illness.

Exactly, that’s my work and idea now.

Dr. Ghosh, Have you communicated this to authorities? Has it been covered before?

I have mailed and tweeted my work through our lab twitter handle to authorities. Also, I have registered one of these ideas at innovate forum. As far as coverage is concerned yes some local print and visual media have covered my work to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

I hope you are following recent drug developments, Dr. Ghosh. The very recent one, i.e. Ivermectin from Australian researchers. What’s your take on these Dr. Ghosh as a chemist?

Okay. The reports from Australian researches are encouraging in the light of an important article published by the Japanese researchers several years ago, claiming it to be a wonder drug alongside penicillin and aspirin.

Okay, that sounds like some good news. I hope the authorities take note of your contributions and utilize whichever way possible in this fight against COVID-19. Thank you, Dr Samrat Ghosh for this interview.

I wish you, your colleagues and family, good health, happiness and immunity from COVID-19.

You must be to comment.

More from D Jeiyendira Pradeep

Similar Posts

By Neha Yadav

By Aishwarya Bajpai

By Amoli Trust

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below