Seventeen-year-old Rajiv Ghosh is a Class XI student from Siliguri. A tinkerer since childhood, Rajiv has built a drone to help the North Bengal town fight the menace of dengue. What makes Rajiv's accomplishment even more inspiring is the poor economic background he hails from.
Rajiv's father, Ranjit Ghosh (56), runs a small tea stall in Siliguri. Juggling his studies while helping out his father, Rajiv could not afford to pursue science due to low marks in Class X, and had to take up Humanities in Class XI.
However, none of these hurdles could deter his love for science and technology. Rajiv started building a drone to help his town fight the menace of mosquitoes last year. He needed Rs 1.5 lakh to built the drone, a sum which was raised with help from his parents and neighbours. Rajiv told the Hindustan Times, "My parents borrowed some money after they were convinced. A few of my neighbours, too, helped with funds. I have spent Rs 1.5 lakh to make the drone."
The drone is fitted with a high resolution camera which helps track dengue-causing mosquito larvae. The drone can go as high has 1.8 kilometres in the sky, but for security reasons, the maximum height the drone can attain has been restricted to 200 metres. Hovering around a region at that height, Rajiv's drone can identify stagnant water dumps where mosquitoes breed.
After testing his drone for over six months, Rajiv presented the device to Ashok Bhattacharya, the Mayor of Siliguri, who was pleasantly surprised by his innovation. Ashok told The New Indian Express, "At first I was taken aback but when he demonstrated the functioning of his drone, I was really impressed with Rajiv’s talent and we decided to use it in our municipal corporation area to track mosquito larvae. We would provide him with whatever he needs."
The Siliguri municipal body plans to conduct some tests with the drone in the days to come and deploy it at priority. Rajiv plans to use a more advanced camera on his drone in the future. With support from the city's municipal body, he also hopes to build another drone soon.