On a school visit to a nearby village in Rajasthan, 13-year-old Ishan observed something peculiar. “I saw farmers used to wake up at odd times in the night and would walk for miles from one farm to another. I wondered what was happening.”
Ishan inquired to find out, that like thousands of farmers across the country, the struggle was about water. Due to the scarcity and infrequency of electricity, farmers had to often take long trips across farms to switch on and switch off their water pumps.
If they missed even once, it meant no irrigation for their fields. Come rain, wind or heat wave, these farmers had to reach the hand pump, multiple times a day to perform a small yet significant function.
“For us, it was as simple as turning on and turning off the tap to get water. But these farmers had to walk for at least 10 kms to do something that simple.”
A young Ishan knew this was a problem only technology could solve. Along with his studies, he set out to build a device that would help these farmers switch on and switch off the pumps with the help of their mobile devices. Over the next 2.5 years, he build multiple prototypes and researched to finally build Pluto - a GSM-based device that helps farmers remotely control their water pumps from anywhere at anytime.
Farmers can use 2G internet or even landline calling to control the device, making it easier for anyone to use it.
Ishan’s passion found mentors from Stanford and Google who gave him feedback to enhance the product. Pluto has already impacted 500 families in the villages of Rajasthan and Haryana. Ishan sells the product at its manufacturing price of Rs.1000 and makes pieces as per order.
“We have received tons of offers from businessman and enterprises but we don’t want to make money out of this, we want it to better the lives of farmers and so we sell directly to them,” says Ishan doting mother.
The impact of Pluto outweighs its cost drastically. It has not only decreased the labour put in by farmers but also lead to empowerment of women and more turnouts in schools. “Women can now easily take care of the pumps with the help of the device while men work at the farms or rest after a hard day’s work.”
Even children, who earlier had to often miss school, to run across the farms and run the errand for their fathers, can now attend classes without worry. Farmers who have saved hours thanks to the device, now spend more time with their children.
Dharam Raj---age 52 years, Nevata village (Mahapura, Jaipur) told me:
“Pluto ne hum sabki zindagi badal di hain”.
Pluto has changed our lives.
Krishna Devi—age 28 years Nevata village (Mahapura, Jaipur) said:
“Pluto ki wajeh se time ki bahut bachat hui hain. Mera pati ab ghar mein mere bacche ko padhane laga hain”.
“Pluto has helped us save a lot of time. My husband now helps my children study at home.”
Baldev Kumar—age 40 years Nevata village (Mahapura, Jaipur) uttered the following words:
“Baarish mein ab hum khatoin mein nahi jaate hain. Ghar se hi apna motor pump chala lete hain”.
“We no longer have to walk to our farms in the rains. We can operate the pump from home.”
Ishan and his funded the initial cost of the product themselves. But, now they want to help more farmers in more villages. They want to build and distribute at least 500 of Pluto devices, this time for free to the farmers.
A simple contribution of Rs. 1000 from you can gift one Pluto device and impact a whole family!
Contribute and support this changemaker now!!!!