It took a 10-member jury to travel 23 days across Jammu and Kashmir and listen to the ideas that young boys and girls had for improving the life of people they live, reports Durdana Bhat
Twenty-one-year-old Waseem Ahmad Nadaf used to mess up the electronic things right from his early childhood. He used to break them, modify them, and slowly this interest started taking shape and Waseem started showing interest in different innovations.
There are dozens of innovative products designed by Waseem, however, according to him, the water purification bottle is his most prized possession. “A portable water purifier can be sold at a market price of less than Rs 300,” Waseem said. “The water purifier removes turbidity, viruses and bacteria from tap water, river water and even lake water. The third and most important chamber in this purifier gets rid of parasites and pesticides.”
After the 23 days Startup Yatra J&K, which concluded at Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute’s Main campus at Pampore, Waseem was declared as the Hero of the State and received the special jury award of one lakh rupee.
The purifier was recognized already as among the top ten innovations during a contest at NIT, Hamirpur in 2014. Waseem is keen to get his product to the market so that it helps those who ill-afford expensive RO (reverse osmosis) systems. “I am hopeful that my product will make it to the commercial water purifier market one day,” an excited Waseem said. “It is a simple two bottle set-up with purifiers inside which can be used by students, office-goers and even labourers to drink clean purified water.”
A total of 182 participants had pitched their ideas out of which 75 were shortlisted for the Accelerator Program. Twenty of these innovators were awarded in different categories based on the kind of problems they intend to solve, and the revenue or business model used by them. Prize money of Rs 10 lakh was distributed among the 20 winners in these categories.
Afsa Shah and Alkubra Nusaiba, both 23 years old, students of B Tech, were interested in the decomposition of the waste material. They came up with the idea of the smart dustbin and won first in the category of Women Wannapreneur.
“We are from Chanapora where there is a lot of waste on roads,” Afsa said. “It is there that the idea struck us and we came with the idea of ‘smart dustbin’, which will decompose the waste material. It will have sensors that will open the lid of the dustbin when someone will come near it and it will not open when the dustbin will be full.”
Another team headed by two girls, Mehraab Ishfaq and Baqia Farhat, are interested in Mobile Live Image Monitoring System (MLIMS) so that it could be used for relief and rescue missions of vehicle who lose their way or are not been able to be located after any natural disasters, or can reach to that area where a human can’t reach.
“In this project, we will build a boat, embedded with a smart-phone, and on the other end, it will be connected to the other phone through WiFi or internet, and it will capture the live image and will project the live video from this phone to the other,” Mehraab said. “I will also control the boat and will change its directions. It can also trace the location of the boat.”
The yatra was earlier flagged off by the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and Director JKEDI, from the institute’s Jammu campus on September 27. During the course of the yatra, there were numerous van stops and boot camps where the students shared their ideas with the Startup India representatives.
Another social innovation team named as BH5 comprises of ninth grade students – Kumail Muzaffar, Mufasir Fazil, Nairam Farooq and Haider Jeelani and a teacher Syed Sajad from the Burn Hall School. Their project is entitled ‘Village Development project, which focuses on empowering the villagers. It focuses on the degradable and bio-degradable waste which is segregated and is used to produce electricity. Their project won second prize in the category of Social Innovation.
“ We decompose biodegradable material and produce biogas from which we produce electricity, we already have made a prototype,’ Syed Sajad, the teacher said. “We have projected this model in front of Prime minister of India at Nation Children’s Science Congress and we are planning to make diesel from the plastic materials.”
Syed Ubaid (20), who has recently graduated (BSc) in Natural science, and Muneer Iqbal Shah (21), who is a diploma holder in IT Electronics, hail from Sopore. Both are interested in technology. Through technology, they prevent people from diseases by providing accessible health care to people of Jammu and Kashmir. Their idea is to design an online appointment booking application on mobile. They want to digitize the health data and intend to use artificial intelligence and predict future health.
“It was the experience, when my grandmother was ill we had to travel to places to book appointments for her and the whole process used to take longer time. Sometimes it was hard to even find a doctor,” Ubaid said. “Even the prescriptions data is sometimes lost. The whole idea is to digitize the old prescriptions and the new, which will help in keeping the record from the starting and also to find a doctor as soon as possible.”
They want to digitize the whole prescription, appointments and later want to use artificial intelligence to predict the future of the patient.
In the category of agriculture, the two innovators Vishwas Madanwal (20) from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh and Jay Narayana (20) from Beru Sarai, Bihar got the top slot. Currently studying B-Tech from IT Jammu, they want to address the unorganized sector of agriculture, like selling of the grains to the consumer directly.
“It happens in a much-unorganized manner. First, the farmer goes to the middleman, then it goes to a processing unit when it comes to the consumer,” Madanwal said. “We want to change this trend, we want to eliminate all this process and directly sell their goods to small retailers. We want the farmer to directly sell it to small retailers. We did a survey in the district Begu Sarai, Bihar, and so far, we got the good response from the people.” His colleague and Vishwas also want to help the farmers through this project and they want to help them directly sell their goods to the consumers.
The function in which the best idea-holders were felicitated indicated that if the process is sustained, the youth see the problems from a different angle. Unlike earlier generations, they see solutions through the artificial intelligence that is ruling the world right now.
“It was an exciting process,” said Irtif Lone, EDI’s Incubant Manager. “We have bright minds coming up to contribute to the society. The only challenge is to get them early and help them choose the right track.”
The boys and girls whose ideas fetched them acknowledgment and appreciation were from various districts of the state: Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Shopian, Pulwama and Jammu. There were school students, college-goers and even engineers. Award winners included Mahid Rafiq, Muhammad Rafiq Ahanger, Sabzar Ahmad Wani, Sheikh Zubair Ahmad, Irshad Hussain Shah, Vishwas Modanwal, Sahil Koul and Team, Kumail Muzaffar and Team, Muhammad Naseer-ul-Haq, Peerzada Akhter Hussain, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, Syed Muneer Iqbal, Sabzar, Ahmad, Wasif and Team, Shubham Kumar, Aman Sharma, Asfa and Nusaiba, Dr Tasleema Jan, Insha Ashraf, Mehraab Ishfaq Ada and Samiyan.