It sounds implausible, but a Mulund resident claims to have created anti-suicide ceiling fan rods.
Reports of people ending their life by hanging themselves from fans, especially women and students, are often heard and the same has been happening for decades. However, what would happen if a suicide attempt via a fan fails to actually kill the person and instead lowers the person safely on to the ground without any injury at all? Yes, it sounds implausible, but a Mulund resident claims to have created anti-suicide ceiling fan rods. Sharad Ashani, a retired Crompton Greaves assistant general manager, has spent over 12 years of his life making this safety device that he calls ‘Safety Down Rod.’ Ashani, who has obtained a patent for this has tested and proven the worthiness of the device, and has even started its production at his workshop in Bhandup West, reported The Times of India.
The 61-year-old man said it was model Nafisa Joseph’s suicide in June 2004 that caught his attention and he came to know that out of about 1.3 lakh people who commit suicide each year, almost 60,000 do so by hanging themselves. Studying further, he found that ceiling fans are the means in half of these suicides. After this, Ashani decided to work upon it and after years of effort, the device – a rod – is ready. Explaining the features of the rod, he said, it is a simple device that gets attached to the ceiling fan. It is created with a specific mechanism that activated the moment the load on the fan exceeds a determined value. Therefore, if anyone tries to hang themselves, the rod will detach from the fan and the person will land on the ground. He assured that no injuries will be caused to the person from the blade and/or motor of the fan in the process.
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Another important feature of the device, whose idea was one of the winners of Mahindra’s Spark The Rise competition in 2011, is its price. The ‘Safety Down Rod’ that has been tested over 500 times is available at a price of Rs 250. As it can be retrofitted into both new and old fans, Ashani, who has obtained a patent for his invention wants every ceiling fan to come in the market attached to it. Ashani is also working on adding more features to the ‘Safety Down Rod’ that includes an alarm. It will help to alert people about the suicide attempt, said Ashani.