Special Reports

Young Hussain has big "robotic" dreams

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Ishan Hussain (right), a student of the 8th grade at Somerville School, Vasundhra, Delhi, won his first-ever award recently. He is the 3rd position holder of the robotics event of the technocultural fest at the faculty of Engineering and Technology of Jamia Millia Islamia. The event was a part of a fest organized by the JMI students of the prestigious 125 year old IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers). With his robot, he beat some 38-odd teams, some from Delhi-NCR’s reputed engineering colleges.

Ishan has not been much of an academic performer in the opinion of his teachers because of his average grades and the limitation of the present education system to accurately judge students and gauge their real skills and talents. If at all, it failed to see what genius of a brain it was discouraging by its flawed format of education and tests. A genius because his toys unlike other children of his age would be screws and bolts, soldering iron, welding machines and engineering tools.

Remarks in his notebooks would read ‘improve handwriting’ and his drawing teacher would say ‘needs improvement’ whereas he was already using that basic skill of writing and drawing to make plans of cars and machines that worked on non-conventional sources of energy right when he was in class IV. His geometries would have screw drivers, his cupboards would have more of wires and computer hardware instead of clothes and his games would include spending hours, days and months all alone designing objects that could modestly be called innovations. Things that mean scrap to us because of our lack of understanding of their functioning, would be his treasure. His amazing motivation would make him implement his ideas through small working miniatures. He would secretly visit hardware shops and spend his pocket money buying spare parts.

After getting a taste at his first competition, he’s all fired up now, looking for events and competitions on the Internet. When asked what he’d do when he grows up, he says with absolute clarity of thought and vision, an automobile engineer...

Photo: In the centre in Prof. Mini S. Thomas, Department of Electrical Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 17

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