Thursday, July 12, 2012

Think different For Differently Able

1:01 AM by Hindustan University ·
Hindustan University Designs an Auto Exclusively For Differently Able Persons

It is obvious and beyond doubt that globalization and the new economic policy have made tremendous inroads and ultimately changed the face of the Indian economy. Newer and newer products are being introduced day in and day out both customary and in tune with the end users’ choice as well.

Chennai, already branded as the ‘Detroit of India’ with numerous multinational auto giants has now yet another innovation to feel proud by adding a diamond to the already stunning golden crown. Yes. The renowned Hindustan University that already boasts of several firsts to its credit has now come to the rescue of differently able persons with its new innovation.

The designing of an auto rickshaw exclusively for the differently able persons is the brain child of Mr Kamala Kannan, Assistant Professor at Hindustan University. We have with us here Mr Kamala Kannan to speak more about his product and what prompted him for such a novel creation.

‘I am a disabled man having lost both my legs. How do you address me as differently able when I am crippled without legs?’ The question stirred ripples in me and I kept on asking myself as to how to make him feel good that he too is definitely a differently able person. ‘Necessity is the basis of invention’ goes the famous adage. And this was how an idea to innovate an auto exclusively for differently able person was born’ says Mr Kamala Kannan.

‘My department head Prof Subramanian’s guidance and support extended by college administration enthused me a lot in this innovation. I am grateful to them but for which this product would not have seen the light of the day. The auto driver’s original seat was removed and a small wheel chair was installed in its place. A ‘Joy stick’ was introduced to control the wheel chair’s operation.

A small lift fitted with BMTC electric motor was also placed to effectively move the wheel chair in and out of the driver’s cabin. The lift has been designed in such a way to withstand up to 400 kg weight. The battery once charged can activate the lift to and fro for 40 times without any interruption. In conventional autos the accelerator and clutch will be operated by hands and the brake by legs. The specialty of our innovation is that the accelerator, brake and clutch can all be operated by hands alone, which is a boon for the lame who have lost both their legs’ adds Mr Kamala Kannan.
I wish differentially able persons should make use of this golden opportunity and get in touch with the authorities concerned to get their recommendation certificates for obtaining driving licenses’ continues Mr Kamala Kannan.

Though the design may appear to be quite easy it took nearly a year for me to complete the design.

All India Council for Technical Education sanctioned Rs. 6 lacs from their funds and encouraged me in my innovation and designing activities for which I am grateful to them. The test drive of my newly designed auto was conducted from Kelambakkam where our college is located to Porur, a route that is prone to heavy traffic.

A differentially able person was engaged to test drive my auto. He was fully convinced and replied the performance of my auto as ‘Super’ in a single word. This single word speaks volumes and stands a testimony to my credentials. But he had only one problem. Entering and exit passage was quite narrow and wished that it be enlarged. But the problem is not with the auto but the total designing of the auto itself. Only a diesel run auto will have 24” space for free mobility but a petrol driven auto will obviously have a narrow entrance. Since government does not permit diesel driven autos in metros including Chennai my option was remote. I had to choose only a petrol driven auto for my designing purpose. My sincere request now to the government authorities is to permit autos to run on diesel that will be enable the differently able persons also to drive my newly designed autos’ concludes Mr Kamala Kannan.
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