Maverick dropout turns unmatched engineer
It is a general perception that scientists and innovators come from extraordinary academic backgrounds, having graduated from top universities. But a person with no formal education has proven the perception false, demonstrating that it is strong will that propels things forward and passion that drives innovation.
Sangareddy: It is a general perception that scientists and innovators come from extraordinary academic backgrounds, having graduated from top universities. But a person with no formal education has proven the perception false, demonstrating that it is strong will that propels things forward and passion that drives innovation.
Kagitala Ramachandriah (46) dropped out after 10th class, but found work as a mechanical supervisor at an oil mill at Latur in Maharashtra. His liking for mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering led him to work in the oil mill. There he discovered that his technical expertise could be used for inventing products to address the problems concerning rural India.
His passion made him return to his native village Taddanpally under Pulkal Mandal in Medak District and he started working in BV Raju Institute of Technology as a lab assistant.
He also worked on a project of CBIT. It was nine years since he quit his job and started dedicating his entire time on developing innovative products using solar energy. One of the products he invented is ‘Insect Light Trap’. It started when Shyam Prasad, a farmer from Warangal, had asked Ramachandraiah to find some kind of solution to killing insects harmful to crops without using pesticides.
To this, he found a unique solution where a small solar panel would be fitted to an iron stand and the power generated was used to charge a light. This light automatically turns on as the sun sets, attracting the insects, trapping them inside the stand which would be filled with water.
The dead insects collected can be used as organic fertiliser for the crop. This device, according to him, would promote organic farming. A unit costs Rs 3,000. Another interesting innovation of his is called a ‘Solar Hooter’. This is a device which is intended to scare away animals like wild boars, elephants, deer, rabbits and other animals which prey on crops at night.
Once it is turned on, it starts flashing lights automatically for every five minutes and then various sounds start coming out of a speaker connected to it. The lights and sounds continue for a minute, scaring away the animals. It is also powered by solar energy and one device can cover 5-6 acres of land. One unit costs Rs 14,000.
Ramachaindraiah has also invented a device to scare away snakes. It is called ‘Snake Arrest’. It has successfully been installed at Kolcharam police station where snake menace created scare. The device which is buried inside the ground produces what he calls “vibrations” which scare the snakes away.
The most challenging and a life-changing project he is currently working on is what he calls a “Fuelless Engine.” The engine could be used for power generation, in automobiles, water-pumping and so on. He believes that this invention would be a breakthrough in the field of alternative power generation. The project is being funded by the NABARD.
Medak District Collector Ronald Rose has also offered a grant of Rs 2.5 lakh to him, for making solar water pump sets, which he is currently working on and hopes to complete within two months.