Abdul is 28, and comes from Deoria village in Uttar Pradesh.
My father was a junior teacher and was usually disappointed with me as a child as I would never study. Both my parents had practically given up on me. Somehow, I cleared 12th.
If not studying, what would Abdul do in his free time?
Machines. I was always fascinated by machines. I would play with motors and wires. When I was a child, one day I was trying to dissect a motor and got an electric shock. But that never stopped me. Machines were my passion.
Abdul began creating innovative things since his childhood. Abdul recalls
When I was in class 7th, I started receiving a pocket-money of Rs. 2 per day. I saved from it for a month and brought a crystal bird that was sold outside my school. It would spread out its wings and glitter. That fascinated me and soon, I dissected the bird to understand how it worked.
This was around the festival of id, so Abdul decided to use his newly explored technology to make something different.
I used the mechanism of crystal bird and a motor. I attached an Id Mubarak banner to it. Everytime someone entered our home, the banner would open and greet everyone. I still have the bird with me.
After somehow completing his schooling, Abdul picked up Psychology with Sociology minors for graduation because someone told me it was easiest of all the subjects.
My parents didn’t even expect I would ever pass the college. They gave me a separate room because wherever I was, there would be clutter! It was great because I had a place to experiment with.
Soon, Abdul’s room had a fan that would switch on automatically when someone entered the room, lights that could be controlled by remote and of course a lot of clutter. This Humanities student’s innovations didn’t stop at this. Once after a theft in his neighbourhood, he created mobile door informer.
It took me 3 Nokia 3300 C to make it. It had a mechanism that would call the last dialled number in the owner’s phone as soon as the door of the house would open. It would also switch on the light.
In the last year of his college, Abdul invited one of his professors, Dr. Nazig Banu to his home. Initially hesitant, she accepted the invitation. One room at Abdul’s room, the professor knew where the chap had to directed.
She told me about National Innovation Organisation. Thanks to my habit of reading newspaper daily, I saw an advertisement by the same organisation in a corner of a page. I wrote to the correspondent and wrote to the organisation. As a screening process, engineers from the organisation came to my home and chose me for an award nomination.
Abdul was nominated for President’s award in 2009 and in 2014 for his grassroots innovations. One of the several devices he made was ‘Flowering pot watering system’ that would water plants automatically at regular intervals.
This system had a censor-controlled device that would automatically switch a motor on and off depending upon the moisture content in the pot. This would let people go on vacations without worrying about their plants. This remains special to me since I received an award for it from Mr. Abdul Kalam. Meeting him is something I will never forget.
Abdul had his name inscribed in India book records in 2011 for a short circuit alarm system.
I remember my first electric shock because the motor didn’t have proper wiring. This system can send an alert to the user if he or she inserts a faulty device into a power plug.
Abdul is currently working on several projects with National Innovation Organisation.
I’ve recently worked on an automatic-flood informer system, that notifies not just the government but also people living in susceptible area that could be hit by the flood. It uses GSM-based transmitting towers in any nearby river with sensors at different heights.
Abdul is building his own startup, Ecotronics Private Limited, which works which works on domestic solar lighting and on other agricultural technology and innovations. The startup is funded and mentored by G.K. Sinha.
My first meeting with G.K. Sinha was in Taj and he took me around in BMW. I told him that I am a simple man. He told me I’d have to get used to this.
Of several projects Abdul is tied up with, is a mobile weather prediction station for farmers in collaborative project. The technology works through cloud computing and automatic data updates. The idea is to help farmers take smarter decisions in the times when freak weather patterns have become a usual.
Farmers in India still follow traditional patterns where sowing is done in particular months because the weather is expected to behave a certain way. This system would help them track real-time weather patterns so that the farmers can change the way they farm. We are working on making it affordable for farmers from weak financial conditions.
Abdul’s latest stint is a Ground Water Sensor that notifies farmers when the ground water level goes below a certain point so that necessary steps can be taken to avoid the crop damage.
Whatever I work on, is essentially focused on solving problems of rural India since I come from that background and sort of understand it in & out. It is also the largest yet the most ignored segment of India.
More power to innovators like Abdul who are brewing the story of a better India 🙂
A story by Shruti Chaturvedi.
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