Published: 29th October 2019
#RIPSujith: TN Govt moots hackathon, 5 lakh prize to develop prototype to curb borewell accidents
Santhosh Babu, principal secretary in the department announced on Facebook that the IT department is proposing to have a 'Hackathon'
After 80 straight hours stuck in a dark hole, two-year-old Sujith Wilson's body was finally retrieved. He had fought till the very end and those trying to rescue him also tried till the very end to save the toddler. All good intentions, all hard-working but nobody knew what to do, the technology was simply not there. Sujith wasn't the first and the state is praying he's the last. It is with this same intention, that the Information Technology Department is proposing a competition to encourage people to come up with a solution to the problem.
Santhosh Babu, principal secretary in the department announced on Facebook that the IT department is proposing to have a 'Hackathon' with a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh for anyone who can come up with a proper solution. He wrote, "It's been a heartbreaking Deepavali for all of India, especially Tamil Nadu. Another precious life has been lost due to sheer negligence. Let this be the last death of a child in India. We need urgent solutions."
Babu said that he was guilty that they hadn't already thought about organising a competition like this before, but that it was better now than never. "The solution should be a working prototype equipment for rescuing children from borewell and tunnels. Anybody/startup/company who comes with a workable solution will be rewarded," Babu said.
The IAS officer also suggested a few ideas such as a way for latitude and longitude to be captured and put on a website so they can drill a bore well. His second recommendation was a device much like a bronchoscope which removes foreign bodies in the esophagus. "Where a pipe once it reached the child can put out tentacles around the child and pick him/her up similar to a Da Vinci robotic arm type," he said.
In the last couple of days, people have taken to social media to share all sorts of solutions that other countries have come up with and are demanding answers from the government. The Hackathon could be the answer to finding a speedy solution to the pressing issue.