Canned oxygen ‘O2 Himalaya’ launched in Sikkim

Sagar Chettri

GANGTOK, 31 Aug:

With an intention to make portable oxygen accessible to the people, O2 Himalaya, a portable 99% pure oxygen canister was launched here on Wednesday. O2 Himalaya is a Gangtok based Startup founded by four youths from Gangtok. Directors of the company are Mandira Chettri, Nitin Rai, Sonam Gyaltsen Tenzing and Sonam Gelek Bhutia.

The product O2 Himalaya can be very useful and life-saving when it comes to high-altitude travel. Apart from that, it also has other uses as first-aid supplemental oxygen and can help in respiratory illnesses such as COPD, asthma and other pulmonary diseases.

O2 Himalaya founder,Mandira Chettri expressed that the decision to launch the medical grade portable oxygen was taken looking at the need for oxygen during the Covid-19 pandemic and for tourists and people in high altitude areas.

She mentioned that the international launch of the product was held on 19 August at Kathmandu, Nepal recently and the product has already been getting encouraging response from tourists and people. The company has appointed a country-head and a super-distributor in Nepal to help distribute their product across the country. She informed that O2 Himalaya Pvt Ltd is a startup incubated under AIC-SMUTBI, Majhitar and a recipient of the Numaligarh Refinery Limited grant of Rs 15 lakh earlier this year.

“It was introduced with the intention to make oxygen portable and readily available to the masses. Oxygen is available abundantly in nature but certain conditions and people require supplemental oxygen which is not easily available over the counter,” she adds.

Co-founder O2 Himalaya,NitinRai explained that the product would be available easily in the market and is very easy to use. He mentioned that O2 Himalaya oxygen cans are eligible under the criteria set by the advisory where the oxygen cans should be licenced under the ‘Drugs and Cosmetics Act’.

He mentioned that the launch comes just in time after the advisory issued by the Sikkim Transport Department on 21 July this year, which advises all vehicles travelling to high altitude areas above 12,000 ft to carry portable oxygen cans. While welcoming the said advisory, he expressed that it would lead to a positive image for the State in the field of sustainable tourism.

Responding to media queries, they mentioned that supplemental O2 Himalaya oxygen can be useful to carry as a first-aid for trekkers traveling to high-altitude areas, for people who face breathing difficulties, anxiety and in recovery for fitness enthusiasts among several other uses.

“In case of rapid ascent to high altitude areas and lack of time for acclimatisation, a certain percentage of travellers may experience hypoxia and many may not feel the symptoms immediately. When the lungs get swollen, breathing normally becomes difficult, and it affects the brain itself. Altitude sickness generally occurs at an altitude above 8,000 feet,” the founders explained.

They added that the best part of O2 Himalaya is that a person can take puffs of it in intervals while going to high altitude areas which can help to acclimatize faster. After research and various trials in Sikkim upto 17,800 feet, it has proved to be very useful for recovery and first-aid in Himalayan high-altitude travel.

Likewise, representatives of luxury vehicles association, president, BhuwanPradhan and general secretary, RandeepTamang shared difficulties they face along with the tourists during high-altitude travel in Sikkim. They expressed that this product could be life-saving at higher altitudes and such a product could be revolutionary in making Sikkim a safe and sustainable destination for travellers. They also appealed to the government that the O2 Himalaya cans be made compulsory for high-altitude travel and stated that they would keep a couple in each of their vehicles.