The Dalai Lama recalled having had the honour of meeting Mukherjee on several occasions over the years, most recently in 2016.
Smart cervical collar, low-cost bed with detachable wheel chair, a bamboo basket weaving machine and biodegradable water bottle were among some of the ideas selected for the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE 2018 awards that were given to creative and innovative students. The award, instituted in the memory of the former President, attracted 90,000 submissions from students from 643 districts of the country for the competition this year.
The awards were conferred by former President Pranab Mukherjee on 17 November in Gandhinagar to 31 school kids from 11 states, who came up with 21 innovative ideas. The competition is held annually by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The award aims to promote creativity and originality among children.
Competition for the current edition ran from 1 September, 2017 to 31 August this year. Students up to Class XII or those till the age of 17 presented their original ideas and innovations. Most children came up with innovative ideas by observing their family members, relatives or neighbours, who face difficulty in their day-today activities.
For instance, smart cervical collar for cervical spondylosis patients is an improvisation in the original collar, where a small fan is attached in the front. It serves to regulate the temperature and humidity in the gap between neck and the collar. It also allows fresh air to be released at the back of the neck. This idea was the result of Digantika Bose’s effort to help her grandmother. Arushi Tandon, a Class XII student of Delhi Public School, Kolkata, won the award for designing innovative low cost bed with detachable wheel chair.
Anushka Shrivastava, a 9th class student of Sagar Public School, Bhopal bagged the award for making biodegradable water bottle using local materials. A bamboo basket weaving machine by Sumit Murari, who devised machine so that labourers working day and night to weave bamboo baskets can work efficiently and more productively, is a student of Class XI from Bokaro.
Madhav Lavakare, a Class XII student of Sanskriti School in the Capital, won award for his idea of Assistive spectacles for the deaf with voice to text conversion and display feature Addressing the gathering, Pranab Mukherjee said, “A large number of children identified through the through the IGNITE competition are from the disadvantaged section of the society. Children learn to identify problems and solve them on their own.
Then only the future can be bright for the society and the country.” He urged parents and teachers across the country to ensure that children get a nourishing and empowering environment, where their skills, creativity, knowledge and learning get augmented and not curtailed. D