IIT-G uses drones to deliver meds and food to flood victims

The Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G) used drones to reach out to the victims trapped in the floodwaters in lower Assam, with relief. Rainwater rolling down from Bhutan hills has caused severe damage to this region this monsoon. This situation has left thousands of villagers without food and shelter.

A start-up at IIT Guwahati, “Drones Tech Lab” and students of the aeromodelling club of the institute with the help of the Kamrup district administration carried out the whole operation from Friday.

They started delivering medicines and relief materials in Kamrup through drones as many villages in lower Assam are cut off from the rest of the state for over a week.

“This challenging job of surveying the flood-affected areas was conducted using four multirotor drones,” said Parameswar Krishnan Iyer, dean, public relations, at IIT-G.

Iyer was happy that in times of distress IIT-G has been able to provide service to the people and its research is no longer limited to the labs.

“This also highlights that it has become important to develop an action plan involving drones and be prepared well-ahead of the recurring floods,” he said.

The technology institute was requested to deliver children’s food, sanitary and hygiene products and ration at locations in and around Hajo town. Hundreds of people are still struggling for emergency needs.

The team started emergency delivery of medicines such as paracetamol, anti-diarrhoeal tablets, silverex, ORS, cough syrup, vitamins and other supplies in specially designed red color medical kits, which can be easily identified by people when dropped.

Over the last one week, IIT-G conducted mapping and surveys of flood-affected areas surrounding Balisatra Chariali, near Kendukona village, one of the worst flood-hit locations.

IIT-G said their drone technology will help in identifying cut off people during floods or other natural disasters such as landslides and earthquake in a short time and provide real time information to disaster response authorities.

TG Sitharam, the director of IIT-G said, “We obtained first-hand information of some of the flood-hit areas by directly visiting them and realized that unless modern technologies like drones are deployed, the magnitude of the damage cannot be assessed.”

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