The recent atrocities against women in India prompted two class VIII students, S. Muskan and J. Srilekha from Kesava Reddy English School in Andhra Pradesh, to design a device to protect women.

Known as the ‘Nirbhaya Device’, it consists of gloves that can be worn by women, especially when they travel at night or alone. An electrical circuit embedded in the device will cause a mild jolt when the woman touches a person who tries to harass her. It also has a sensor to raise an alarm.

The total cost of making this device is only Rs. 100, said N. Rajesh Noone, a teacher who accompanied the two students.

This invention is part of the 500-odd exhibits at the five-day Southern India Science Fair, inaugurated at the Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School on Monday by K.C. Veeramani, minister for school education.

Over 220 participants from four southern states and a union territory have displayed their creations at the exhibition, organised jointly by the directorate of school education, Tamil Nadu and Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, Bangalore.

Another invention that drew the attention of visitors was a solar bike made by R. Yogeshwar, a class X student from Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School, Puducherry.

“I converted a cycle into a bike. I fixed a solar panel and a battery to the cycle. The solar power is converted into electricity and stored in the battery. The solar panel has to be charged for five hours and the bike will run for 15 kilometres,” he said. The bike can also be charged using electricity. The invention cost Rs. 9,000, Yogeshwar said.

Students also displayed innovations such as eco-friendly bio-fuel from chicken waste, automatic accident prevention systems and leak detection devices for water pipelines. A huge model of a dinosaur and a hovercraft made by SRM college students also caught the eye of visitors.