NEW DELHI: An alert switch in public vehicles for safety of women, a groundnut digger and a natural water cooler are some of the highlights of an exhibition of grassroots innovations, which opened at Rashtrapati Bhawan today.
The seven-day Festival of Innovation was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee and features 65 grassroots innovations in the exhibition. The fest is being organised by Rashtrapati Bhawan in collaboration with the National Innovation Foundation.
The event will witness a number of exhibitions, roundtable discussions on different topics related to innovations with national and international participation, a talk by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi; Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Awards and Visitor's Awards to central universities, including in the field of innovation.
Tezpur University has won the annual Visitors Award for the Best University and Professor Rakesh Bhatnagar as well as the Molecular Parasitology Group of JNU have won the Visitors Awards for Research and Innovation respectively.
The Best University will receive a citation and trophy while winners of Visitors Award for Innovation and Research will receive a citation and cash award of Rs one lakh. The alert switch, aimed to aid safety for women in autorickshaws and buses, has been made by 19-year-old Satiya, a BA student from Surendranagar in Gujarat.
"Women's safety is a big concern nowadays so I wanted to make a switch which will send signals to the nearby police station. Then the vehicle number and the location will get available to the police," said Satiya, who was present at the exhibition along with her brother Mehul.
This was the first time the switch has been put on display and they are happy it has generated a good response. "The governor of Gujarat praised the innovation and said it should be implemented in the state. We are hoping to find buyers soon," Mehul said.
Satiya added she is glad to have completed this project as she always had interest in Science but because of her dream to become a deputy collector, she could not take up the subject in her graduation. Sanjay Patel, also from Gujarat, completed his degree in Commerce and got himself a job, when his interest towards farming grew, which finally led him to develop the groundnut digger.
The tractor-operated machine digs and uproots the groundnut plant, which is passed over a conveyor. The digger has a fuel capacity of 1.5 acre per hour and Patel said it can reduce cost of harvesting to about 50 per cent of manual harvesting.
"The digger is better than the normal tractor as it has a V-belt, which can take the load. It took me and my brother three-four years to built. We have made supplies locally and in other states."
In 1998, Arvindbhai Patel conceptualised a natural water cooler, which would not need electricity to run. In 2003, he lost his memory in an accident and since then his son Jaymeen Patel has taken over.
"The water-cooler runs on copper tubes. It does not need electricity. The one in the market has the capacity of 120 litres and costs around Rs 55,000. I am planning to bring a 20 litre capacity cooler in some time. That should cost about Rs 20,000. It kills bacteria too," Jaymeen said.
Also featuring in the exhibition are an anti-molestation device worn on wrist, a crop-thresher, simple flushing mechanism for public urinals, foot operated page turning device for differently-abled, height-adjustable wash basin; a wrapper picker posture correcting chair and rain water syringe for water conservation.
The exhibition will remain open between 10 am and 5 pm till March 19 for the public. All visitors to the Mughal Gardens will be able to visit the exhibition.