With rapid technological innovations progressively changing the facets of daily human life in the 21st century, three teenage girls from Kakching are working towards resolving common issues facing the people of Manipur by using scientific innovations.
Their innovative creations include a smart dustbin and a soil moisture sensor which was presently showcased at the science exhibition in Manipur Science and Technology Council (MASTEC) Complex, Takeyelpat, Imphal. The exhibition was organised as a part of the National Science Day celebration till March 4, 2023.
Speaking exclusively to the Imphal Free Press during the exhibition, 14-year-old Suryadita Kangabam from Kakching Sumak, the inventor of the Smart Dustbin, said she came up with the concept of smart dustbin during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Suryadita shared her story with the IFP, saying that news of alarming garbage piles and the urgent need to improve hygienic standards during the pandemic inspired her to create the smart dustbin.
Suryadita said that the smart dustbin is a project to prevent littering and overflow of garbage at public places. The dustbin worked on the underlying principle of reducing contact between the dustbin and user, she explained.
“The dustbin has sensors which are able to send and receive signals for up to 40 cm. If garbage is scattered around the dustbin within that range, the lid will open automatically,” she added.
Suryadita further informed that the dustbin is fitted with a GPS tracker which sends signals to the nearest municipality if the dustbin capacity reaches 70 per cent. It will notify the respective municipality to clean out the garbage, she added.
“Arduino Uno is the brain of the whole project. It controls the whole programming and is fitted outside the dustbin,” she said. Suryadita exuded confidence that the project will prove beneficial in resolving Manipur’s garbage problem, especially in the healthcare sector.
She further pointed out that her ideas were able to materialise in the Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) workshop which was conducted at her school-Victory High school, Kakching.
“I had no keen interest in technology prior to the workshop but as the classes progressed, I was drawn deeper into it,” she said.
Suryadita expressed gratitude to her high school science teacher and ATL engineering teacher for extending their support in building the model for the smart dustbin and urges other people in the state to use technology for environmental betterment.
Meanwhile, inventors of Soil Moisture sensor, 14-year-old Naorem Hillary and Meinam Telheibi of Kakching Sumak and Moirangthem also spoke about their invention and said their creation was specifically made for use in the agriculture sector of Manipur.
The girls pointed out that the invention aimed to cut time consumption while also maintaining a healthy soil moisture level.
“Hectic schedule of modern life has diverted people from maintaining soil fertility of their gardens and fields, the sensor will help in notifying and maintaining a healthy degree of soil moisture,” they said.
They explained that the sensor worked on the principle of variable resistance using two variable resistors. The girls further said that the resistors helped in moisture content detection and water application, cutting off water supply when the required moisture level is achieved.
“The entire model can be powered using a battery or solar panel and uses Arduino Uno as the basic programme,” Meinam Telheibi added.
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“Although the concept is fairly new in Manipur, such a moisture detection and watering model is widely used for farming in other countries and states of India like Punjab,” said Naorem Hillary.
The two young students exuded confidence that the project will aid in labour time reduction of farmers in Manipur.
Expressing gratitude to their teachers and the ATL initiative for funding and helping in the successful development of the project, they said ATL was a good initiative for young students in the country.
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Suryadita Kangabam, Naorem Hillary Devi and Meinam Telheibi hail from Kakching and are currently studying at Victory High school, Kakching in class nine. According to the girls, the ATL class in Victory High school has around 14 students.
Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) is a scheme started under Atal Innovation Mission with the vision to cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators. Under the scheme numerous ATLs have been started across various schools in the country. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
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