SOURCE: E-BOOK ON SUCCESS STORIES RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON CIVIL SERVICES DAY 2017
Gujarat has forever been the land of entrepreneurs. There is something in the land and air of the State that everyone thinks of doing something of his own. Historically, the State has given some of the most well-known entrepreneurs to the country. To ensure that the same trend continues, Government of Gujarat has been promoting Startups by encouraging entrepreneurship and providing support in funding, mentoring and incubation.
Recognising the need for promoting innovation and creating an ecosystem for Startups in the State, it has adopted a proactive approach to enable the same.
The Scheme for Assistance for Startups/Innovation under the Industrial Policy 2015 is a step in this direction.
One amongst many who have been supported by the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University is Hunny Bhagchandani, who is pursuing Industrial Engineering here. Hunny is a young man of multiple talents. He loves football. He was a State player in the under-16 category. He also loves Mathematics and came seventh in the Mathematics Olympiad 2007, Gujarat. He secured the 10th rank in NASA’s International Tech Brief Contest.
But what he is really proud of is the Startup he has incubated to make a simple, smart gizmo to help the visually impaired move around safely. “We are surrounded by all kind of gadgets. So why don’t we have something for the visually challenged? They deserve more than the conventional cane. Our hand-held device,’ Torch-It’, helps in mobility and navigation through technology, making their lives smarter, safer and easier,” he says.
The conventional cane alerts the person only about vertical obstacles, which are in close proximity, and that too only when it is in physical contact with those objects. But Torch-It detects all kinds of obstacles, vertical and horizontal for example, even pot-holes – well before the person gets dangerously close to them, and even gives the user an idea of how close they are.
Torch-It, which is accurate and economical, seeks to empower the millions of visually impaired people in the country, making them independent. Incidentally, this virtual cane, which looks like an ordinary torch at first glance, can easily be attached to the normal cane or used by itself, both indoors and outdoors. The prototype is currently being tested and the feedback has been highly affirmative. Hunny is thrilled that ‘Torch-it’ can light up the lives of the visually impaired.