Published: 03rd February 2021
This 14-year-old from Telangana won the Bal Shakti Puraskar for innovation. Here's how his invention is helping the elderly
Hemesh Chadalavada tells us how his latest invention is helping the elderly and disabled across the country
Every three seconds a person in the world suffers from Alzheimer's. Patients suffering from this disease don't have control over their body. Hemesh Chadalavada's grandmother was one amongst those who were suffering from Alzheimer’s. This led the 14-year-old from Telangana to come up with an innovation that could help all such patients and the elderly. Hemesh developed a smart wristband to monitor the elderly and disabled at all times and alert their caregiver if or when there is any kind of movement or unusual activity.
A Class 9 student of Jubilee Hills Public School, Hemesh received the Bal Shakti Puraskar recently for his unique invention. "This is a huge honour, this recognition from the Indian government. Saying that I am happy would be an understatement. Whatever projects I take up in the future, this award will definitely provide me more motivation to complete them," says an ecstatic Hemesh. He was awarded '1 lakh as the prize money, however, due to the ongoing pandemic, he is yet to receive his certificate and citation in person. This year's ceremony was held virtually and out of the 32 children who received the awards for various categories, five were given a chance to interact with the Prime Minister.
The Bal Shakti Award was launched in 1996 as the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement. In 2018, the awards were recognised as Bal Shakti Puraskar. It is given to children for extraordinary accomplishments in innovation, scholastic achievements, social service, arts and culture, sports and bravery. Any child who is an Indian citizen and is between the age of 5-18 years is eligible for the award.
Explaining how his invention works, Hemesh tells us, "I created this wristband for my grandmother who has Alzheimer's. She doesn't have any control over her body, she used to wander off, sometimes even walk out of the house and we would frantically look for her. Why I wanted to create something like this was so that it could alert the caregiver as soon as the patient moves from the bed. The band alerts the person through a phone call or message notifications immediately. The wristband consists of a sensor called the gyroscope, it also has GPS. First, you configure your location, then the gyroscope automatically detects if the patient is sleeping or standing, what the patient's posture is or movements. If the patient walks out of the house or even the room, the GPS will send the location to the caregiver's phone as well. It also has health sensors to measure the patient's pulse rate and body temperature — the settings can be done in such a way that these updates can be sent to the patient's doctor regularly."
Hemesh adds that he began making the prototype initially in 2019. "Now I am trying to make it smaller, in the size of an actual wristband. It's rechargeable now, but I want to turn it into a wristwatch which will run on a cell battery. My goal is to create more innovations like these to help people across the country. I am working on a few websites, like an online consultation platform where people can speak to experts," he concludes.