Creativity Equals Change

Although it’s an issue that has been prevalent in the country for a long time, the recent Delhi gang rape has shocked, shaken and stirred people into taking action. We all know about the intense protests, the petitions, and the attempts at changing the mindset of people. This time, the anger has been channelled productively; and we’re looking at the social and administrative solutions for the issue.

Side by side, we’ve got people coming up with quick solutions for the safety of women in our country. And they don’t only come in the form of police patrolling or learning martial arts; people are turning to technology for help.

Imagine the situation I’m about to narrate to you.

There’s a girl walking on the streets, and a random guy starts to harass her. He thinks he is physically stronger and can overpower her, so he moves forward, all bold and cocky.

Haha. He’s in for a shock. Literally.

As he tries to touch her, she thrusts an awkward punch at him. He laughs, thinking of how incapable the girl is of throwing her fist into his face.

And then bam! He’s paralyzed. The idea never was to punch him; all she wanted to do was to connect her watch to his body. As she does so, an electric current of about 8 amperes passes through him. His picture’s been clicked too, so he can be identified later. She stomps her sandal-wielding foot on the ground twice and a recorded voice gives out a message for help.

Soon, there’s a crowd around, looking into the matter. They realize a girl just saved herself from getting molested. The police is called and the attacker taken into hand.  The girl is safe.

Now that’s called owning the attacker.

Just so you know, I didn’t dream all that up. Those are gadgets that have recently been invented by children between the ages of 12 and 18. Yeah, the definition of “youth” is changing.

If you can imagine, the rest can happen. Textbooks, coupled with the Internet can provide enough information for you to put things together. And then you can always find people to guide you.

And that’s exactly what the inventors of these gadgets did. The sandal mentioned before? Four kids from Thane in Mumbai made it.  It is fitted with metal rivets, and when it is hit twice on the ground, it activates a wireless alarm enclosed in a black box. This box can be easily carried in a purse. It all fits perfectly, because Siddhart Wani, Chinmay Marathe, Chinmay Jhadav and Shambhavi Joshi, the makers of the gadget, took into consideration what a women would have on her when she is out.

Along with the distress signal and robotic voice asking for help, the gadget can also give a small shock to the assailant. According to the team’s guide Purshotam Pachpande, they plan to attach a Bluetooth device to the sandal which can automatically send an SOS message to preset numbers.

Simplistic beauty, isn’t it?

And consider the example of the watch. It is basic biology that when under stress, our nerve impulses react faster. Provoked by his sister being banned from going outside after 9 pm, Manu Chopra, a Class XII student from G.D Goenka, Rohini designed a gadget which used this principle.

The device has a nerve conduction velocity chip fitted into it. The role of the chip is to detect the speed of an electrical impulse going through a nerve. When it detects the increase in nerve impulses due to stress, it “activates” the dial and converts it into a shock giving device.  A current up to 8 amps is enough to shock a person for five or ten minutes. The attached camera, as we know, can click pictures, which help to identify the molester. The National Innovation Foundation (NIF) helped Manu out.

Anyone with a workable idea is encouraged by them.

Professor Gupta of NIF says, “The Thane children’s idea seems a sensible one. We are accepting even kite-flying ideas. If they are workable we will take it forward.”

It’s great to see a possible means to combat the ever-growing violence against women. A strong self-defence measure is a good place as any to change the current situation.

If you’ve got an idea or a way to bring about change, then don’t sit back. The environment is nurturing, and the time is as good as ever. Go ahead, and innovate.

Sanya Sharma

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