25-10-2017 10:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Sleeping bags to keep refugees warm during winters
A group of MIT students has developed a sleeping bag that can keep people warm even in freezing winters. They have created these bags keeping the Syrian refugees in mind who have been displaced since the beginning of the country’s civil war in 2011. Without adequate heating and shelter, they are left to brace the cold winter months.
The team of six, led by Vick Liu, created TravlerPack, a light, durable, water-resistant sleeping bag that can withstand temperatures as cold as -10 degrees Celsius, with the goal of distributing them to Syrian refugees.
TravlerPack is Liu’s brainchild. In the course of a freshman pre-orientation exercise last year, Liu was discussing startup ideas with a group of students when he realized he wanted to create something that would be beneficial to people. The idea of travel pack clicked and he wrote it on a piece of paper so he wouldn’t forget it.
Liu, who grew up backpacking and camping said that the refugee crisis is a huge problem and he wanted to help. Without adequate fuel and shelter, the refugees find it hard to keep themselves warm during severe winters. Liu states that his sleeping bag does not require fuel or battery.
When the team made the first such sleeping bag, Liu slept in it on the roof of his fraternity house one night during a Boston snowstorm. The temperatures outside dipped to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, but Liu stayed warm the entire night.
Liu and his team also spoke directly with refugees to know of any additional features that need to be added. The refugees lamented that they didn’t have any secure place to store valuables at night when they went to sleep. Subsequently, TravelPack was designed such that it contained contains one outside storage compartment and five inside storage compartments. Each pack also has a built-in, detachable mosquito net and TravlerPacks can be zipped together to make one larger sleeping space for a family, or unzipped completely and used as a blanket
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