Student working to provide gadget support to farmers in trying times

January 26, 2021 12:49 am | Updated 12:49 am IST - Mangaluru

I PU student K. Rakeshkrishna with his ‘multi-purpose seedographer’.

I PU student K. Rakeshkrishna with his ‘multi-purpose seedographer’.

The skyrocketing wages of agricultural labourers, the absence of skilled labour, and decreasing farm yield inspired the creation of a gadget with which farmers could single-handedly sow seeds and do a host of other activities, including soil testing, said I PU student Rakeshkrishna K. during an interaction with the Prime Minister here on Monday.

Mr. Rakeshkrishna, 16, who hails from Bannur in Puttur taluk, was among six of 32 Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awardees who had a virtual interaction with the Prime Minister through videoconference.

Mr. Rakeshkrishna and 10-year-old Veer Kashyap from Bengaluru were among the nine children conferred with the award in the innovation category.

Mr. Rakeshkrishna was the fourth student to interact with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The names of Mr. Kashyap and 25 other children were taken by the Prime Minister and he spoke briefly about their work. He said that paucity of time did not permit him to speak with every awardee.

When asked about what inspired him to take up the cause of farmers, Mr. Rakeshkrishna, who is pursing science in I PUC, told Mr. Modi that he came from a farmer’s family and his father, Ravishankar K., was an agriculturist. “I know the problems farmers are facing, namely skyrocketing labour charges and absence of skilled labour. The machine (a multi-purpose seedographer) developed by me makes it easy for farmers to sow seeds and do other activities,” he said.

He has been working on further improving his machine, which he first developed when he was in class 7. The past six months, when he was at home for online classes because of COVID-19 restrictions, helped him to work on new features. “I want my machine to help farmers do multiple tasks in the field,” he said.

More improvements

He has used the machine for sowing vegetable seeds, paddy, ragi, and jowar in his field with the right mix of water and manure. “As I am further refining the machine, I have not pursued offers by entrepreneurs to take forward the prototype,” he told the Prime Minister. This prototype was exhibited at the Festival of Innovation held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in March 2017.

He thanked his father, mother Durgarathna C., and sister Rashmi Parvati, who has also made her mark as a young innovator, for supporting his work. He also recalled the research support he received from his teachers at Vivekananda English-Medium School, Puttur, and his lecturers of Expert PU College.

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