DRDO develops protective 'chilli' spray for women

Managing the growing number of sex crimes against women is often proving to be a massive challenge for police/security forces nationwide, especially as they are trying to grapple with the paucity of personnel.

The approach when it comes to protecting women should therefore be multi-pronged, including providing equipments for self-defence that does not actually put them in harms way, something that has been tried by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The organisation has just completed development of Capsispray, an eco-friendly, non-lethal spray based on Bhut Jolokia (Capsicum assamicum) oleoresin.
Bhut Jolokia, also known as Naga Chilli, is the world’s hottest chilli.

Chilli power is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) and the Naga chilli measures over a million SHU, far higher than California Red Savina Chilli which measures 5,77,000 SHU.

“We know the kind of problems women in our country, especially in urban areas, are facing. We believe that the product, which has been developed to exploit the hotness and pungency of Bhut Jolokia, will be helpful in situations that call for personal protection and self-defence,” a senior scientist (rank G) told Deccan Herald.

With the trials of the hand grenade, meant to be used against terrorists in such areas proving successful in pulling out targets from hidden positions, work on the spray and other products meant to control violent situations in urban areas such as riots had begun, senior scientists said.

The spray will be available in containers of different sizes (50 ml can to 50 l cylinder) and the DRDO is already in the process of transferring the technology to companies that will put the product in the market. The development of the spray was an offshoot of the initial research and development meant for the defence forces operating in low intensity conflict areas.

Explaining the product, another scientist said: “The oleoresin is a thick oily liquid which is absorbed in a composition. On ignition the composition reacts to liberate heat which evaporates the active sensory irritants in the atmosphere along with smoke liberated due to decomposing.

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