In a time, when crimes are frequent in many parts of the country, when women safety is a most burning issue, when no day passes without a rape or molestation case reported, any initiative to stop these cases should be welcomed. Every effort, no matter how small, counts. In such a scenario, we have to take even the smallest step possible to check these crimes. While many of us are waiting for the authorities to come up with a solution or a plan to tackle the issues, some of us are devoted themselves to do something to prevent such incidents.
Here is one such person – Siddharth Mandala. A teenager from Telangana, Mandala has developed a rape-prevention footwear that electrocutes attacker, sends a signal to police, family. A senior high school student, Mandala has been participating in many rallies to raise the issue of rape and women safety. However, frustrated with the inability of the authorities to take any drastic step, Mandala has come up with an invention that would prevent such cases and would secure women to an extent.
The incident that drove him
Born in the starting of this century, Siddharth witnessed one of the most horrific misdeeds the country saw in the recent times. It was the Nirbaya incident that shook the country and brought to the fore the prevalence of rampant violence against women. The heinous incident made a lasting impact on Siddharth Mandala, who was only 12 at that time.
The young Mandala, from Telangana, used to accompany his mother on public demonstrations that took place after the incident, though he could not understand the whole thing.
For some couple of months, like many, he participated in protests to get justice for Nirbhaya and many other nameless victims of the similar cases. Upset at the utterly pathetic judicial system, at the age of 15, Mandala made up his mind to do something himself. It is because of this experience that Mandala spent almost four years working on a device that could prevent rape and has finally managed to get it work. This gadget is called ‘Electroshoe’. As the name indicates, it is a shoe having electricity power that can be used to electrocute the attacker.
The development process was an uphill journey for a boy who did not have any higher knowledge of Science and Technology. As would be supposed, he faced many difficulties. While experimenting, he suffered electrocution twice, and his friend who assisted him even developed a nosebleed.
When he realized the dangers of causing injuries during experimentation, he thought it best to seek the help of experts and managed to get in touch with a few via social networking sites. He started learning to program by himself. Every time, when his code failed or when he found it unable to carry on, he would contact techies over social sites. Because of his continuous spamming, many stopped responding to him. Nevertheless, some persons, realizing the idea behind his efforts, continued to support him.
After failing several times and devoting more than a couple of years, Mandala, at last, built a working model. He knew that if this product could reach the people, he would be able to save at least a few lives.
How the device Functions
The shoe-cum-machine inflicts a sufficient degree of electricity and also alerts the cops and family members as well. This is made possible by a circuit board that uses footsteps to charge itself, based on a theory called “Piezoelectric effect”. The more the person walks, the more energy is generated and stored in a rechargeable battery that is attached to the shoe.
WHY only THIS?
Mandala has been into coding and programming since an early age. He has always been toying with ideas for various inventions including one that could prevent car accidents. But, after the Nirbaya incident, Mandala determined to create something that would prevent rape and such crimes against women. First, he contemplated of different devices. But they seemed either too unrealistic or impractical. Finally, with the help of a friend, he decided to construct his machine on footwear.
Mandala has filed for a patent for his invention. He is still working on a few aspects of the shoe. As it is only in the flip-flop footwear, Mandala is going to expand this to sandals and shoes as well. After that, he hopes to find some shoe company so that it can be available to the market.
As to his studies, Mandala is enthusiastic about pursuing computer science. He finds himself fond of machines and devices. He would keep making further innovations that would help prevent crime and protect people.
A Social Activist
Meanwhile working on his product, Mandala also became an activist, influenced by his mother. He set up an NGO to spread awareness about rape. Moreover, he went to a government school children to teach them basic coding and helped them in build their projects dealing with micro-controllers.
His group also filled over 30 potholes around the city of Hyderabad with the renowned social worker Gangadhar Tilak. His NGO donated many stationery items to over five hundred students for their board examinations. The NGO that started with five people sooner got more than 40 volunteers. Because of the humanitarian works of NGO efforts, they got much popular, and media houses covered them, even the likes of BBC.
Mandala was even approached by an American organization, “Empower & Excel”, to be the team leader of their Indian unit. The group planned to expand in India and were in the process of adopting a school in a village. So they needed Mandala to lead their tasks like helping children build solid communication skills, improving their knowledge of literature, making them aware of environment and eco-system, and conducting book drives.
An example for youngsters
In an age when boys are addicted to cricket and video games, there is Siddharth Mandala –playing with Science and Technology. And that is not just for the interest of it. The genius has social obligations too, and his inventions are for the betterment of the society. While most of us just think “what to do to make things better”, Siddharth started doing whatever he could. Finally, his pains paid off, and he was able to create a working design. Despite the fact that the invention is not a groundbreaking one, but the idea behind it deserves to be praised and applauded. Even his setting up an NGO is also a remarkable feat.
Mandala has been receiving much admiration from all sections of the society for his works. The Education Minister and Deputy CM of Telangana, Kadiyam Srihari has awarded him with a letter of appreciation.