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I’m A 9th Grader And I Created A Robot That Can Assist Farmers!

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When I was in 8th grade, I somehow got intrigued by the functioning and creation of websites; however, residing in a remote part of Maharashtra, I didn’t have anyone to help me quench my curiosity. A few days later, my father told me that he had enrolled me in an online web development training on Internshala. My joy knew no bounds, and I started my 6-week training with utmost zeal.

The training was divided into four modules in which I learned HTML & CSS, Bootstrap, PHP, and SQL. I required NetBeans to write programs for creating websites. While I had no clue about this, I was provided with the link for downloading it along with the complete installation procedure. The training began with HTML, wherein I learned to create web pages and web applications along with displaying text, images, audios, and videos. I also got to know about container tags and empty tags in HTML. Next up was CSS which taught me how to make the web pages more beautiful and stylish with the use of colours, fonts, and layouts. In the next module, I studied Bootstrap, which helps in designing a responsive website, and learned to use templates, forms, buttons, tables, navigation, and image carousels. I then learned the basics of database management and SQL queries. Next, I moved to PHP, which is a server-side scripting language used to collect data and make creative forms. In this module, I learned to perform various operations on the database.

The videos explained concepts in a simple language, and I found learning through a video to be much easier than classroom learning through books and notes. I was completely unfamiliar with programming, and yet, I understood all the concepts explained in training. Adding to the list of attractive features was an assignment and a test at the end of each module which was quite useful in revising the module.

While taking the web development training, I began to utilise my knowledge by creating my own website anfosys.in and applying all the concepts that I would learn to style my website. The platform provided me with not only an opportunity to learn but also a platform to look for internships. I applied to many organisations such as BuyersGoHappy, Detailing Knights, and Big App Company. I was shortlisted for an interview in the first two organisations but couldn’t get through. Then, I had a telephonic interview at Big App Company, wherein I was asked questions about HTML, the projects I was working on, the software on which I was coding, etc. They called me for an in-office interview in Bangalore.

When I entered their office, they were surprised to see a school student. In the interview, they asked me how I would manage my studies if I were hired, what my future goals were, and how many hours I would be able to devote to the internship. Next, I was given the assignment to design a web page for an engineering college. I completed the task in 3 hours, and they were impressed with my work. They couldn’t offer me an internship at that time owing to my age constraint; however, they promised me a web development internship at their company during my Diwali vacations. They also expressed their interest in training me in the field of artificial intelligence.

Next, I enrolled in their Android App Development training in which I learned about Android, user interface, XML, Android Studio, and other programming concepts to design an Android app. At the end of the training, I developed a music player app called Echo.

Currently, I am in 9th grade and have developed a Multipurpose Voice Controlled Robot, which aims at helping farmers in spraying chemicals without human intervention. The robot uses an Android phone to control the direction of wheels. For this, I developed a button control APK and a voice control APK, which I learned to create during my Android training. This model was patented in January and has won many accolades on state and national levels. It has also been selected at the Inspire Science Exhibition organised by the Government of India. The incubation centre at Prof. Ram Meghe Institute of Technology & Research, Badnera, has approved this project as a business proposal. I would now have to give a demonstration to a panel of 5 members, including the director of the institution, the manager at NABARD, and an expert from NIRIE, Nagpur. I have also applied for Atal Innovation Challenge 2018 to raise funds for manufacturing it on a large scale.

About the Author: Aniket Prashant Kakde, a student of 9th grade in School of Scholars, Yavatmal, completed two trainings from Internshala and bagged a web development internship. He also created a voice-controlled robot which also attracted incubators. This article was first published on Internshala, an internships and training platform.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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