KATHMANDU, Sept 2: Is science is really a game-changer or a danger to the society? The reply to the question, most certainly, consists of vague answers. As human conveniences increase with each technological innovation, its effects have significantly changed the landscape of nature. But, Niraj Adhikari, an aspiring inventor believes that innovations and doctrines associated with science should be introduced only with a positive motive.
With this ethical morality, the 16-year-old was selected for the 33rd China Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Contest (CASTIC) -- one of the biggest science contests in the world.
He competed at the event with his project, Protection from Rape Culture (PFRC): A self-defense system, which booked him the third position in the overall competition. The project was based on the concept of an electronic device, similar to a cell phone, which had the potentiality to stop rape.
“I was selected because my project had its practical uses worldwide,” Adhikari said. “In the future, it will somehow eliminate rape.”
He was adamant about presenting his design to the world. Adhikari says, "PFRC is a futuristic device comprising four sub buttons. The first button will trigger the siren alerting the nearby public. Meanwhile, the second button will the send the real-time and location of the victim to the police. If the assailant approaches further, the third button can be used to vent poisonous gases, causing the attackers to lose consciousness. The last button will be able to stun the attacker."
When asked in what ways his device would be different from the already existing gadgets, he stated, “There aren’t alarm systems in the devices currently available. Similarly, the victim’s location is only tracked with GPS or Wi-Fi, but this device will be able to send the location of the assault in an instant. Also, for self-defense, it contains a bottle filled with toxic gases, which means, a victim can spray toward the attacker from a greater distance.”
Adhikari conceptualized his design one and a half month before the contest. He was confident about providing a physical prototype in three months. But, he didn’t take the various external factors into consideration.
“In the beginning, I thought I could easily complete the device in the estimated time. However, I figured it was a long-term project that needed highly-skilled manpower, large investment, and government support as well,” he said.
Despite having an interest in mechanical engineering, he aspires to become a neuroscientist. Inspired by the late Dr Upendra Devkota, he said, “There aren’t enough neurologists in Nepal. I decided to pursue neurology to find a way to blend physics and neuroscience.”