People did change their attitude about child marriage, about women’s right to vote, and also about women entering into logistic careers. But apparently there are few social stereotypes who think that women should dress more modestly, and not roam freely late at night, to avoid getting raped. One such incident that emanated from the peril lurking in this hidebound is the “delhi rape case”, where four assailants brutally raped and eviscerated a 23 year old student in a moving bus. The redolent torture that the victim underwent was immediately covered in headlines staggering the whole nation, set forth to street protests and candle light march demanding justice!
These remonstrations, have fortified a 15 year old guy to a greater extent. The embodiment “we rise by lifting others” incited him to design a patent-pending device called ElectroShoe. It can electrocute the perpetrator instantly by inflicting 0.1 Ampere of electricity, to send an alert for assistance to cops and family members. He created a unique circuit board for this, which uses footsteps to charge itself with the help of “piezoelectric effect”. The more the user walks, the more energy is generated and stored in a rechargeable battery.
This accomplishment didn’t come that easily to him though. It did dismantle his audacity and challenged him at every turn.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, all that matters is you get up one more time than you were knocked down!” – this fire inside him helped him in discovering new levels of his capabilities and rise above the perceived expectations.
His thickest sweats, and hard work made him a real goal digger, fetching him letter of appreciation from Kadiyam Srihari, furthermore bagging an opportunity to work with US based organisation “Empower and Excel.”
One thing that we can assimilate from his experience –
Despite of his efforts failing at times, his trials being scoffed, his inability to establish a clear path to achieve goal, he himself being his last supporter, discouragement, depression being his constant companions in 17 failures during this attainment… he didn’t quit!
May be because, he didn’t come this far to only come this far! Moreover when he did it right, this social work was a feeling larger than his own life!
In conversation with Siddharth Mandala –
1) You were 12 years old when you accompanied your mom in Nirbhaya’s rally right? Infact too young to stumble upon this term called “rape”. Nonetheless, how did you react when you got to know about this incident?
Ans) I never really used to go out much. Most of the times, I engaged myself with video games, designing some clones like minecraft clones, etc. My mom decided to take me out to these rallies to socialize with people. When I went to rallies, I saw how genuinely people were affected by this incident. I was able to see that they really meant what they were trying to do. I realized how important this issue is and wanted to give something to our community in whatever means I can.
2) Even 4-5 years experienced IT professionals scruple to work with new technology. But coming to your case, you have learnt many programming languages all by yourself, especially the hands on part being “can of worms!” Can you elaborate your self learning experience.
Ans) You’re absolutely right! Actually, I already had a bit of prior knowledge in programming since I used to make some flash games. So, it was kind of easy to catch up with the programming aspect, especially when you have something as wonderful as stackoverflow. Whereas for embedded systems and microcontrollers part, I met this amazing guy called Joseph Solomon who helped me understand some of the basic concepts thoroughly.
3) You have mentioned in one of your interview that “I would spam the person every time when my code didn’t work.”
Was there any point of time where you found yourself befuddled in the air of despondency?
Ans) Yeah, because in programming, one learns by making a lot of mistakes! This journey is never smooth going, and if it happens to be so then, definitely you are on the wrong track. Like every programmer, even I underwent initial troubles. But, later I found some fantastic people on linkedin, facebook who helped me understand the logic behind the particular “x” method instead of “y” method and where to use it, etc. To actually accomplish my goal, I had to start from scratch,understanding the most fundamental level of what I’m getting into and also had to put efforts in developing. Henceforth, I used to spam them every time my code didn’t work. To be frank, some of them even stopped replying to my messages. I would be lying if I said I never got frustrated, but that never stopped me from learning and inventing on what I wanted to do.
4) Despite of failing 17 times, that one thing which induced you to buckle down until you transfigured this prototype into working model ??
Ans) There were many occasions where my friend Abhishek and I wanted to abandon the project. We thought it was really far stretched, so we used to hold the project for 2 days and then again come back and work on it. Probably because, we truly believed that we would be able to pull off this project.
5) There are two sets of people, one like you always obliging towards people and the other one being ruthless like the bus driver. If you happen to see the BBC documentary of Nirbhaya’s case, in that the bus driver has lastly mentioned – “We did one mistake i.e. we left her alive! If we would have killed her, the situation wouldn’t have been exaggerated to this extent!” What’s your opinion on this ?
Ans) To speak honestly, majority of lower middle class economy of India still believes in the traditional sexism that our Indian society has inflicted upon decades ago. People like him are raised like that, the environment in which they were brought up has changed them into who they are right now! There is a whole lot of stuff happening at the backstage than what we tend to see on the screen. He stated that sentence because of pure ignorance which should definitely not be entertained. But on the larger scale, to actually make a difference, and to bring change to our society, it is better to start raising the upcoming generation in a more upstanding way.
6) What do you think, which among these two is more important? To upskill girls with self defense techniques, and asking her to be vigilant of her surroundings or ask guys to change their close minded attitudes about masculine dominion over women?
Ans) I think, mindset varies from person to person. Some prefer to use the defense techniques, some prefer to educate their children to be more pragmatic and helpful to women. My honest opinion is to try to implement both the methods. There is no harm in doing the thing in both ways. This is what my NGO concentrates on, i.e. the activism to spread more awareness about rape to educate the lower middle class children who are studying in government school. Infact, I and my friend have invented this device to prevent rape which is similar to one of the defence mechanism. As per my opinion, implementing both issues is a win-win situation.
7) You might have gruntled with happiness when you received letter of appreciation from Kadiyam Srihari, furthermore being approached by US based organisation “Empower and Excel” right?
Ans) Yes, it was very satisfying to get acknowledged by the Indian government and California based Empower and Excel.
8) Tell us more about your NGO i.e. CWI
Ans) Two years ago, I started Cognizance Welfare as an initiative to teach Indian government school children how to code. I strongly believe that programming is a very valuable asset in upcoming generations. Everything is becoming digitized day by day. It would be a shame to not letting these young and brightest minds of our nation to be exposed to it, and go in a futile manner. There are endless possibilities to invent stuff with this programming. In this way, I decided to start this campaign and help them build their own microcontroller projects like GPS tracking system to keep track of their younger siblings and stuff.
Apart from educating programming, we also fill potholes, by teaching communication skills, conducting book drives, planting trees and many other amazing stuff that will be beneficial to our community.
9) Any suggestion you would like to give to the young evolving programmers.
Ans) We need to acknowledge that, learning programming is an endless process. If you master to be out and out in something, it might actually limit your growth to that particular field. But when it comes to learning, it allows us to open ourselves to infinite array of possibilities and choices that lie before us. Let us consider the guy whose code gets executed perfectly for the very first time, and the guy who encounters some errors while code execution. Obviously, the second guy, who tries to solve those errors, and at last gets that code executed cracks the logic of overcoming errors. You decide which one you want to be, either the perfect coder or learner!
10) Any message that you would like to pass on to the readers.
Ans) As cheesy and cliched as it may sound, never actually try to give up on what you wanna do. You might never know how close you are so give it your all and wait for the results to pop out!
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