What's the Big Idea?
Crutches fitted with shock absorbers to reduce pain in the underarms.
On her way to school one day, Archana saw a handicapped man on crutches, walking with great difficulty. Most people would have walked on, undisturbed. But the sight touched Archana and she stopped to watch. She figured out that constant use of crutches led to pain in the underarms, making it difficult to walk.
'Could it be possible to reduce this pain,' she wondered. During brainstorming, she hit upon the idea of improving crutches by adding shock absorbers to reduce pain during usage, a bell to alert others to give way and a light for better visibility during the night.
NIF first came to know of Archana during a Shodhyatra, a journey by foot that seeks knowledge, innovation and creativity at the grassroots. She shared her sketch with NIF who got prototypes made based on her idea. The prototypes are ready for trial and NIF is exploring tie-ups for a commercial launch.
Awards and Accolades
She cherishes getting the IGNITE award as the proudest moment of her life. "My parents and entire family were overjoyed because I received the award from Dr. Kalam. But what made me feel truly happy was that my idea could help someone in pain," she shares
Archana's achievement made her community proud and it received a wonderful welcome on reaching back home. The village organised a celebratory procession in her honour. The local media also covered her extensively. She was felicitated by her own school and others in the area. In March 2013, she received the State award from President Pranab Mukherjee at NIF's 7th National Award function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan
Compassion for Others
Her achievement becomes even more striking when seen in the context of where she lives. Her village, Bordolopa, is situated in Dhemaji, considered amongst the remotest and most backward districts in Assam. It has natural beauty, but is a conflict-prone zone that also gets annual floods. During this time, the walls of their home become half-submerged in water and Archana goes to school in a boat. For a young girl living in such challenging conditions to demonstrate so much compassion for the suffering of others is truly remarkable
Father as Role Model
Archana's father is a teacher. She looks up to him because "he is an excellent teacher who truly has a passion for teaching. He has a soft corner for all students and is always willing to help. All of us in the entire family respect him tremendously and I wish to be just like him when I grow up," she mentions
A versatile child who's interested in all things creative like painting, music and dancing, she aspires to be a doctor to help those are sick. "But I also want to be an actress," she says with a twinkle in her eyes and a naughty smile playing on her face
Note: Archana won IGNITE in 2010 as a class 8 student. NIF filed a patent application (1246/KOL/2010) in her name along with an application (241930) for design registration, which is currently under examination. She participated in the Innovations' Exhibition at the President House in March 2011 and displayed her innovation in front of the then President, Smt. Pratibha Patil. Different variants of the crutch were also displayed at Sattvik, the traditional food festival organised annually by the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI) at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. In March 2013, she received the State award in the 7th Biennial Awards for Grassroots Innovation and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge organised by NIF. The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, gave away the awards at a function held in Rashtrapati Bhavan
Patent filed No:- 1246/KOL/2010