The Rashtrapati Bhavan is a site of an unusual gathering this week as it has brought together world experts on innovation with inventors from across the country, especially young students.

The prototype of the “Alarming aid for deaf and dumb” is one of the exhibits on display at the ongoing Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) organised by the Rashtrapati Bhavan in association with the Department of Science and Technology and the National Innovation Foundation (NIF).

Inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday, the exhibition has displays by young innovators from across the country. Students exhibits showcase how the spirit of scientific inquiry imbibed in children can develop ideas and transform lives.

The innovations, without fancy labs or hefty R&D funding and the essential ingredients, are a spirit of creativity, cheap accessible materials, and a drive to solve everyday problems for the common good.

Overwhelmed by the opportunity, INSPIRE awardee M Laxmi of Mahaboobnagar, Telangana, now also selected for SAKURA science exchange programme to JAPAN, said the idea struck to her while seeing her school attendant Sunitha’s problem. Based on her idea, the National Innovation Foundation, an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology developed an “Alarming aid for deaf and dumb”.

Laxmi, who is now staying at Rashtrapati Bhavan with other invitees, told The Statesman that her experience is perplexing. “I never thought that I will be able to reach this far! I would like to thank NIF for giving me these opportunities as they have inspired me to do lots more in the field of innovation and ..I wish to become a   scientist or IPS and my teachers are continuously helping me,” she said.

Explaining her idea, she said this aid work with radio frequency with 50-metre radius costs Rs 500. “A small Teflon board connected wirelessly to a wrist worn by the deaf and dumb can inform the wearer through the watch by vibrating after touching it that someone is ringing him. It is most useful for deaf and dumb, old age persons and for patients in hospitals,” she said.

She gets the guidance from her school science teacher T N Sridhar who accompanied her at FINE 2018. She said that she came from a remote village of Yenmangandla and was from a very poor family. My father is no more and we don’t have a house as well. My mother is a daily wage earner. I am studying from the government hostel with the support of my well-wishers,” said Laxmi, who has proven that poverty is not a barrier and could be overcome through labour and hard work.

Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Dust collecting attachment for drill machine.

It’s an opportunity to stay here with other awardees: Digantika Bose

Meanwhile, another noticeable creation is “Dust collecting attachment for drill machine” by Digantika Bose of Burdwan, West Bengal.

Having observed that the hand drills used by drill mechanic produced a lot of dust, which caused infection and allergies to them, Digantika thought of the idea of “Dust collecting attachment for drill machinewhen she was at class nine.

She said, “Lots of dust came up while using the drill machine by mechanic for our TV setup in our home. It was so intense that I thought of this idea which could collect all the dust and debris.”

While explaining her idea, she said, “If dust collecting attachment is attached to the hand drill machine, it will make it friendly for the people having dust allergy. If aligned horizontally with the hand drill machine during operation, during drilling, the dust will not mix with air and surface area. So drill machine users will get relief from the sneezing, cough, lung infection, etc. This device uses only a few PVC socket rubber tape, two hydraulic doors closer and spirit level tool and no extra power is needed for it.”

Digantika, also the winner of best children scientist award 2018 by Government of West Bengal apart from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE award 2017 recently, is extremely happy to stay at Rashtrapati Bhawan. She said, “Getting this award is a unique feeling for me which I cannot express. This award will encourage me to do better.  It’s an opportunity to stay here with other awardees as it will help us to mix with the best in our country.”

She likes creating innovative things and has already developed two tree climbers and a spectacle with a rear view finder. She also likes to paint and wants to become a scientist like Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. She said her father and family members are sources of her inspiration. “My ambition in life is to be a scientist like Kalam Sir. I want to alleviate the problem of the people living below poverty level. I want to help them through new innovations so that they can get the remedy from their professional hazards or risks,” she added.