|Hoang Tuan Anh, the inventor of rice and face mask ATMs. (Photo: thanhnien.vn)
When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Vietnam early last year, many people became unemployed. Within a week, Hoang Tuan Anh, the owner of Vu Tru Xanh Company in Ho Chi Minh city, had designed an automatic rice dispenser that could provide free rice 24/7 to people out of work.
His “rice ATM” quickly dispensed 1 ton of rice, and his initiative received enthusiastic support from friends, colleagues, and other businesses. Soon, Tuan Anh was busy collecting rice and delivering it to hungry people.
“My first ATM was put into operation after several false starts. I didn’t design this machine to make a profit,” he said.
Tuan Anh’s initiative was supported by many generous donors. He received more than 300 tons of rice within 10 days. Many of his colleagues volunteered to transport the rice and load the ATMs.
“After the first rice ATM, others were installed in other provinces and cities. I decided I would try to deliver rice to 1 million people. By the time the goal of 1 million was reached, the first wave of COVID-19 had ended,” said Tuan Anh.
|Hoang Tuan Anh helps a woman get free face masks. (Photo: Manh Linh/ baotintuc.vn)
Last August, Tuan Anh installed another special ATM in Ho Chi Minh City to dispense free face masks.
“I provide free masks to poor people so that everyone can protect their health. My goal now is to deliver 1 million face masks,” he said.
Tuan Anh’s rice ATM has been replicated in Indonesia.