Ishan Malhotra, a 20-year-old boy from New Delhi, has innovated a low-cost device for the betterment of our farmers. He has made irrigation simpler for the farmers relieving them of stress. Here’s why and how he developed this innovative piece for our farmers.
Ishan Malhotra – Founder’s Background
Belonging to the state of Delhi, Ishan Malhotra used to visit his grandmother often in Sirsa village of Haryana. In the summer of 2015, when Ishan was at his grandmother’s place, he observed the lifestyle of the farmers and realized that he had to help them.
Ishan Malhotra saw the farmers had to schedule their work on the farms according to the availability of electricity. They had to wake up in the morning every single day, walk several kilometers to turn on the water pumps, and plan their hours of hard work when the pumps would function. This situation was tiring for the farmers and heartbreaking for Ishan Malhotra.
That’s when he invented a device that would help the farmers operate the pumps remotely. And now they stay connected to their farms from far. Witnessing the struggles of farmers, the most common one being water management, motivated him to do something for their betterment.
In an interview, Ishan said that in the urban areas robots are performing the easiest of tasks but the rural sides, where most of our population lives, do not have such technologies.
The Innovation – Pluto
After a lot of research and development of 8 months and failed prototypes, Ishan Malhotra developed Pluto, an IoT device. It helps operate the water pump through a call from a mobile, or landline.
The Pluto device has three color indicators. The green one shows that water is flowing, the yellow one shows whether the sim is connected to a mobile network and is ready to be used and the final one is red which denotes if the motor is on. Ishan Malhotra writes and debugs the code and his manufacturing team in Delhi makes it.
To make things easier for our farmers the Pluto device comes with a manual in both Hindi and English. This device can also work on a simple mobile, with a 2G network and does not require a smartphone. This device uses a GSM module and Arduino board and every user needs to install a sim card in Pluto. Then it needs to be connected to the pump contractor’s switchboard. He also confirmed the durability of the product as they have received no complaints from people who’ve been using it for over 2 years.
The user needs to call on Pluto’s number to use it and it gets connected to Pluto after two rings. To switch on the pump, the user needs to dial 1111 and 2222 to switch it off. It provides the user with enough information about the electricity status of the area and the user can operate it from any place in the world. The reason behind the name is that this device works from a distance like the former planet.
The Success Story of Pluto
During his stay at Jaipur while studying, Ishan Malhotra had distributed 25 samples to the farmers there. One farmer from the Mahapura village said that this device made things easier for us as farmers lose their lives because of electrocution.
Ishan Malhotra has distributed over 700 devices in five states of India, including Haryana [Sirsa], Rajasthan [Mahapura], New Delhi [Begumpur], Punjab [Ludhiana], and Uttarakhand. The Pluto device has received a positive response from all these places. Initially, this device was sold for Rs.700 but with the technological advancements that are being incorporated, it costs around Rs.1000.
Initially, when people didn’t want to try something new, Ishan Malhotra installed this device at a village head’s place, and after seeing the benefits of the device, people started believing in it. Being thrown into a lot of challenges by different people at different places helped develop the product in its best form.
To make it easier for the farmers, Ishan wants to incorporate seven other languages in Pluto. Other features like daily weather updates are also being given a thought. And apart from north India, he wants to extend this plan and device to the other regions of the country. The best thing is that Dr. Harsh Wardhan recommended Pluto to the agricultural ministry.
If you liked this story, do read about Krrish Chawla and his innovation of low-cost air purifiers called Breathify.