He was in class 9 when 15-year-old Sikanto first noticed his classmates struggling to pick up waste with their bare hands. This was part of their morning duties at the Jai Gurudev Sanstha School in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, which provides free education to underprivileged children.
So he came up with the idea to build a manual waste lifting and dumping device. Armed with a paper and pencil, he meticulously scribbled a design. But did he have the funds to execute it.
Sikanto reached out to his teachers with the idea, who in turn, encouraged him to apply for the Inspire Awards by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.
His entry impressed the authorities who awarded him with Rs 5,000 to build a model. The young innovator spent nearly two months building a preliminary model of his mobile garbage collection machine using wood, discarded bicycle parts like chains and brakes.
When he tested the model on the school grounds, it was a raging success. From the district level of the Inspire Awards to the state and national level exhibitions, his invention won laurels.
In 2016, Dr Vipin Kumar, Director and Chief Innovation Officer, National Innovation Foundation, helped Sikanto patent the technology. He spent 15 days at the NIF building a metal prototype.
The model consisted of a picker to collect garbage without the need to touch it and a gripper and a handle that made it easier to dump the collected garbage. The USP of the model was its manual working–it was easy to carry and operate, unlike other garbage collection devices which required electricity, battery or fuel for functioning.
Sikanto even customised the cart for sanitation workers to accommodate their brooms, a water bottle and other material they encountered on the field.
He might only be 15, but Sikanto’s story proves how starting early in life to follow your dreams helps one Reach for Better.
Reference: The Better India