A simple device which its creator assures would help save countless lives on railway tracks has remained ignored over the years, thanks to a sluggish officialdom.
K T Ajayakumar, who runs a gas stove agency at Karakulam, had developed the gadget, which can be rigged on to the front of locomotives in 2007. The gadget consists of two ‘sponge boxes,’ springs and a heat resistor.
‘’It’s quite a simple mechanism. Suppose somebody jumps on to the track to commit suicide. The sponge box, which is set at an angle, thrusts him/her aside. I have successfully tried it out at a children’s museum in Saudi Arabia on a small train,’’ says Ajayakumar, who was formerly employed in the Gulf nation.
At home, he didn’t get much of a hearing from the authorities, though. ‘’I repeatedly submitted my idea to the railway authorities here. They told me to go through the MP, and Pannian Raveendran, who was MP at the time, submitted it to the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in 2007. But nothing came of it,’’ he said.
At the time, the gadget had also found publicity through the media. Ajayakumar feels that his invention has relevance at a time when increasing number of lives are being lost on railway tracks.