A Government school that mocked and surpassed all the stereotypes attached to it.
Ever heard of the great inventions of various scientists? You must have. Ever heard of young students contriving robots? You might have. Ever heard of Indian government high school students proposing innovative solutions to the everyday problems of the working class? You might not have. Well, this is what students of Government Multipurpose Higher Secondary School, Bilaspur, Chhatisgarh have been doing all around. Their mentor, Dr. Dhananjaya Pandey proved that proper guidance in the right direction can make young minds bloom and can promise a secure future of the children, and hence the country. The school established ATL labs, that is, Atal Tinkering Lab in 2017, faced a lot of social obstructions and managed to put all of them behind and since then they are rising and shining.
The teacher, Dr. Dhananjay quotes that they were told ‘ it’s not their cup of tea and that the money has been given to the wrong institution’. Well, they took these comments to be a positive motivation and after beating all odds and proving their capabilities, they received national as well as global recognition and are currently enjoying working upon various other projects.
A tour of their innovations
‘Moksha’, a creation of these creative minds. The students identified the deteriorating condition of river Arpa in their residential area. The river was situated near a Hindu cremation ground. The river was highly polluted due to the rituals that were daily performed. Being the primary water source, the water of that river was the cause behind various water borne diseases in that region.
In order to purify the ash-laden water, the child scientists created ‘Moksha’, a device that not only helps in cleaning the water but also improves the ground strata of the river and provides farmers with nutrients. Since the river was near a cremation ground, they had to face a lot of restrictions in order to carry out their research, even from their own families. But their zeal kept them going and gave wonderfully successful results. They convinced around three hundred and fifty families to use the device.
Now, they are aiming to making the Moksha more and more user-friendly and also working towards collaborating with various NGOs to use their platform and increase awareness about their product so that they can put it to a greater good. Responses of NGOs’ have also been tremendously supportive.
‘Atal Krishi Mitra’, as the name suggests, it is their another masterpiece that aims towards taking away the load and labour of farmers. It is a robot that can perform each and every task related to farming, ranging from the very first job of plowing the land and spraying the insecticide to the last task of harvesting the crop. The operated on solar energy and is highly pocket-friendly for the farmers thus completely eradicating the need of spending on tractors or fuel. The project has been taken over by Mahindra Tech. And is soon going to be launched in the market.
Even a global pandemic served as an opportunity to innovate for these students. They are working towards constructing a robot that can perform sanitation, check the temperature, and can deliver medicine. The robot can be operated using a mobile phone, too, even from a distance of two hundred meters.
Some other projects include Maths Board, Kitchen Garden and Atal Divyang Rath. NITI Ayog has given responsibilities to four companies namely IBM, Adobe and Dell for commercialization of these innovations.
Recognition, Awards and Achievements
Project Atal Krishi Mitra was demonstrated by the students in Rashtrapati Bhavan and after being immensely impressed by the idea and endeavor children had put into the project, three child scientists received twenty-five thousand rupees cash prize. The students, along with Dr. Dhananjay Pandey were impressive enough to make the President stay on their stall for much more than the allotted time duration.
Three of their innovations got shortlisted in Atal Tinkering Marathon 2018-19. Their school was the only one from where maximum of three innovations was selected.
First innovation to get selected was Atal Krishi Mitra under the Agri-Tech category. The second project was ‘A Smart Bio Toilet’ – a toilet system developed for the railways, this was selected for the ‘Waste Management category.
Thirdly, ‘Green Shield’ – a project made up of used plastic that can be used for cooling the house without warming the environment, this was taken under the Architecture and Design category.
The team got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their inventions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The child scientists also won the ‘International Robotic Competition’ (IRC) held in Delhi and later represented India and won in the IRC organized in Dubai. They even got to present the platinum medal to the students for their success.
Six students of the school got selected for Lakshmi Chand Institute of Technology, Bodri, Chattisgarh, and have been promised free education along with all other facilities such as books and hostel rooms. The students who earlier could not even think of completing higher studies are now studying Electronic Engineering and are well facilitated. Presenting new projects to the President has become a monthly practice for the school.
The Three Magical Words
Unlike conventions, the three magical words for the school has been ‘Atal Tinkering Lab’. This lab is the powerhouse of the school. It has created a room for students to learn to not be the ones who ask for jobs but to be the ones who can provide jobs. It has ignited the urge to create, to innovate. The students have already started to be self-dependent, they are working towards earning their own income through various platforms such as YouTube. Since the day of the establishment of this lab, students are groomed in an environment that promotes passion and confidence. Indeed, this lab has been a major turning point in the lives of these students.
Though, the lab is just a skeleton made up of four walls that contain a lot of metal machinery, the people who have put their soul into the lab and have actually created a home out of it is the mentors, the teachers of the school. Among all, Dr. Dhananjay Pandey, Mr. Vimal and the Principal of the school, Dr. Raghavendra Gauraha deserve special mention for providing their unwavering and uncompromised guidance to the students. They were true to their profession and that is what lead their students to achieve the sky with their roots in the ground.
Sarkarischool.in salutes Dr. Dhananjay Pandey, Mr. Vimal, and Dr. Raghavendra Gauraha- the creator of India’s tomorrow, her effort and dedication. Sarkari Sabse Asarkari.
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(with Samakshi Singh)