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Youths share innovative ideas at Ideas for India Challenge

Sunday December 12, 2010 10:20:09 AM, IANS

New Delhi: A web-based solution to health and education problems in rural areas, subsidies for encouraging CFL lamps' use at home, and a GPS connected transport system were some of the ideas that came forth at the ITC Classmate Ideas for India Challenge - all from students.

Eleven finalists, 10 from various zones of the country and one wild card entry through voting, were honoured here Saturday. Five of the ideas were chosen as winners under the unique initiative which got more than 60,000 applications with ideas from all over the country.

Youngest among the five winners, Souma Sekhar, a Class 9 student from Kolkata's Apeejay School, came up with an idea to provide health care and medical consultation through low-cost computers which work on lead-free gel batteries.

"Docobox, a simple computer with web camera and Skype, can be fitted in weatherproof boxes and installed at rural health centres. It provides the rural people with the consultation of doctors and other health experts by video conferencing," Sekhar said.

"It is a self revenue generating idea. The consultation fee collected will be sufficient to run the centre and also make it profitable," he said.

A third-year engineering student from Bangalore, Arirtra Paul's idea is of developing a public transport system which is connected by GPS to create a system wherein information is available through SMS.

An idea for providing monetary incentives and subsidy to domestic users for using low energy consuming fittings like CFLs was given by Sahil Salunke, a second-year engineering student from IIT Guwahati. According to him, power companies can make Rs.135,000 more per hour if 1,000,000 lakh homes switch to CFLs as the power saved can be taken for commercial and industrial use at a higher cost.

Sourav Poddar, a B. Tech student from IIT Kanpur, suggested that students from privileged sections of the society can help educating the lesser privileged by giving them classes and raising money for them.

Parul Behl, a student of Ramjas College in Delhi, suggested a model to encourage self help groups to manufacture sanitary napkins and promote menstrual hygiene and health among rural women.

"My idea came from a village of Rajasthan I visited. A woman lost her life due to tetanus after she used a cloth which had hooks on it. If we educate them about menstrual hygiene and self help groups, the women themselves can manufacture sanitary napkins themselves and break the taboo around menstrual hygiene," she said.

These five ideas were announced winners at the ITC Classmate Ideas for India Challenge. However, these were not the only ideas.

Sahil Bagla, a B.Tech student from IIT Kanpur, gave the idea of a 'rain catcher', an acrylic cushion which can be placed below layers of soil to store rain water.

"Computer technologies have developed so that extensive data can be stored in a small chip, but no similar initiative has come in the field of agriculture... Perhaps no one tried," he says, adding the cushion will be something similar to a diaper, which can retain water many times its weight.

"Rain catcher is a polymer made up of biodegradable material. It will store fertiliser and water and release it slowly to the crop," Bagla said, adding it will then gradually degenerate and get mixed with the soil.

Some other ideas included an automatic tap to prevent wastage of water, waste management, and creating electricity from speed breakers.

"The average age of India is 25, and if youth come forward with such initiative, the future of India is secure," ITC chairman Y.C. Deveshwar said in his address.
 

 

 

 


 

 

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