Kerala student Manu Prasad bags design award for his ‘Uni-cast’, which he says addresses multiple hygiene issues Innovation has always been the passion of Manu Prasad and his urge for invention has bagged the prestigious Lexus Design Award for him in the student category this year. Mr. Prasad, 26, an electronics engineer, is presently pursuing an Advanced Product Design course at the Kerala State Institute of Design. He is all smiles as he speaks to The Hindu about his invention — a resizable and recyclable cast for curing arm fractures. He tells that he has already filed an application to obtain patent for the universal cast, christened Uni-cast. Research at hospitals Mr. Prasad came up with the idea after a series of research works at various hospitals across the State. According to him, this unique cast is a low-cost product and for that reason, the common man will be its major beneficiary. Mr Prasad said the Uni-cast avoids of all shortcomings of the existing methods. The product has been designed to address various problems associated with traditional casts, like sweating, itchiness, dry cell accumulation, bad odour, difficulty in keeping the cast dry, hygiene issues and neck pain, he said. Unlike the conventional system, the Uni-cast is both light-weight and waterproof, Mr. Prasad said. “The product is ergonomically designed so that it can be used for both hands. Uni-cast is recyclable and can even be remade, leaving zero waste behind,’’ he said. Moreover, Mr. Prasad’s invention has got a sporty look, making it different from the traditional casts and braces. The award was presented to Mr. Prasad at the Design Festival 2019 held in Pune a week ago. P.B. Venugopal, president of Lexus India, the luxury vehicle arm of the Japanese automaker Toyota, said, “India possesses an incredible depth of design talent, and we wanted to give these designers an opportunity to exhibit their skills. With the theme ‘Design for a better tomorrow’, Lexus Design Award India (LDAI)-2019 was open to emerging designers, both professionals and students.