Nirbhaya. A name that collectively shook India. Meaning fearless, ‘Nirbhaya’ was the name given to the victim of the dreadful 2012 Delhi gang rape that occurred on December 16. The 23-year-old girl was brutally raped and beaten in a moving bus. Her injuries, both physical and mental, were so severe that she succumbed to death after 13 days of struggle in the intensive care. This ‘rarest of rare case’ and many others like this give us a fair idea about the atrocities and heinous sex crimes committed against women in India. Not to miss, these incidents symbolize every woman’s struggles and insecurities related to denial of her existence and the right to equality.
The major question that arises now is how to end this growing rape culture in India? How far can we tolerate the practice of freeing the perpetrators and blaming the victims for their supposedly inviting behavior and revealing clothes?
The need of the hour is to come up with ways that can strictly put a check on these horrific trends of sexual assault, rape, and brutalization against women. The introduction of‘ElectroShoe’, seems like a laudable good move. The brainchild of Siddharth Mandala ─ a 17-year-old high school student from Telangana ─ this shoe houses a unique circuit board. Designed with the purpose of thwarting rape attempts, the ElectroShoe will inflict 0.1 amperes of electricity on the attacker.
“The shoe was created using a unique circuit board that uses footsteps to charge itself with the help of a concept called the “piezoelectric effect,” explains Mandala while talking about the concept behind the ‘ElectroShoe’. The energy generated with the user’s walk would be stored in the shoe’s rechargeable battery. The ElectroShoe will also send out alerts to the cops and victim’s family members for immediate assistance.
The 2012 Delhi gang rape was a major reason behind the creation of this self-defense device for women by Siddharth Mandala. He clearly remembers the time he had joined his mother and hundreds of others in the candle light vigil for the Nirbhaya campaign. Shattered by the society’s bigoted outlook towards a rape victim and depressed with the sluggish movement of the judiciary, Mandala decided to make something that could help women dodge any sort of sexual assault. However, it wasn’t a smooth road ahead for this aspiring tech entrepreneur. It took him around two years to utilize his knowledge of physics to form a working model of the ElectroShoe.
Mandala is awaiting a patent for his invention. As soon as it is done, he further plans to approach organizations that can help him revamp the device for the real market space. While he does the needful, his words, “All a woman needs to do is ensure that the battery is sufficiently charged. When the shoe makes contact with an attacker’s body, the attacker will be electrocuted,” surely embolden women to step out of the home without fear of getting assaulted.