Charged Up With Ideas

His desire to work for a greater cause led him to think outside the box, and innovate. Tasavur Mushtaq talks to a young engineer, with big plans.

Imagine never having to look for a charger for your cell phone every time the battery is low. A young man from Lalbazar, Srinagar has already turned such a concept into reality.

A few months ago, Mirza Idrees Ul Beigh, 23, introduced the concept of self charging for cell phones. With this innovation, a user can charge a mobile phone either through body heat, mechanical energy, or a solar charge. For this purpose Idrees used transducers, piezo electric material and solar strips respectively. There is a charge controller to check the required voltage which he says is between 3.7 -4.2 volt, “this is called trickle charging,” he adds.

Idrees attributes his unique innovation to his personal experience with his cell phone. It took him a year to create a solution—and since then, it has been highlighted in India and abroad.  Idrees is currently pursuing electrical engineering in Jammu’s MIET College, where he was selected through the common entrance test (CET) in 2008.

In 2007, he appeared in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and secured 156 points, leading to his selection at the National Institute of Aeronautical Engineering (NIAE) Dehradun, but his health failed him. Not keeping well throughout his 12th, and then in Dehradun, he came back to Kashmir. Now in his seventh semester, Idrees says that 2008’s agitation proved to be a blessing in disguise for him, “Due to agitation, entrance was postponed and I had a chance to prepare for CET,” he said.

After his cell phone charger’s success, Idrees thought of another innovation—the SMS based non-conventional water pump. This pump is not the one in the market, but is one with a difference. The pump has a micro controller installed on the inside. The controller is also called an SMS based water level controller.

This system enables the pump to send SMS to the concerned person that the upper head tank is full, and even when the ump is out of water. The system automatically turns the pump off when the tank is full. The system is purely based on solar energy, and is thus the first of its kind in the field of water pumps. It took Idrees two months to work on this project. “My innovative product is for J&K in particular and to the world in general,” says Idrees. The full working model would be ready in March of this year.

Despite having created unique innovations, Idress says the government has let him down. “Our state government has not helped me in any way,” he says. His cell phone project, still in its testing phase, has wowed investors from outside the state. Pune based VH group has given his college Rs 4 lakh to complete this project and make it workable. “I had done this with intention to help my people, but the government forced me to tie up with a company outside the state,” he says. Initially, he planned on creating a group of engineers so that he could help J&K. But now, Idrees says he has been forced to think otherwise.

“With apathy of government I will have a patent in my name,” he says. He’s not too hopeful about the government’s reaction to his solar powered water pump, either. “I don’t know how the government will respond to my innovations as I have had a bitter experience from my last innovation,” he adds.  But he has a vision. Idrees says Kashmiri should think on new lines, “We need engineers who can change the scenario and not those who follow the already beaten path. The energy crisis is increasing and we need to shift our focus to non conventional sources,” he adds.

Idrees’ achievements are not limited to science innovations. In April 2004, he represented the Bharat scouts and guides in Pakistan as its vice chairman. He has received three awards for organising wildlife weeks consecutively in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in collaboration with the wildlife department. In June 2011, Idrees was awarded the Rajya Puruskar (Governor’s Award) by then Governor S K Sinha in the field of social services as scout. He also laid the foundation of a voluntary group called Social Royal Voluntary Environmental Service (SRVES) that decided to work for wildlife and environment. He has also presented a paper on e-governance in Jammu and Kashmir in 2009. Idrees has a passion for working for the state’s welfare. “Innovations are internal wishes. Change your wish into reality and make your state proud,” Idrees emphasized.

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