Sexual assault against women is a really big problem in India, as hardly a day goes by without a case being reported in the media. Until authorities decide to take it seriously and adopt a proactive approach, a 18-year-old teenage boy is trying to help women fight back against aggressors by literally giving them the shock of their life.
After witnessing multiple instances of disturbing and life-changing acts of violence against women, as well as attending many protests with his mother demanding change, Siddharth Mandala, a student from Telengana, India decided he needed to do something himself. He spent years working on the “ElectroShoe”, a unique type of anti-sexual assault footwear that electrocutes attackers by inflicting 0.1 Ampere of electricity while also alerting police and family members that the wearer is in danger. All the wearer has to do is kick the perpetrator.
“I invented a patent-pending device called ElectroShoe. It can electrocute the perpetrator instantly by inflicting 0.1 Ampere of electricity, while sending an alert for assistance to cops and family members,” Siddharth told The Better India. “To accomplish this, I created a unique circuit board that uses footsteps to charge itself with the help of a concept called the ‘piezoelectric effect’ which I learned in my physics class. The more the user walks, the more energy is generated and stored in a rechargeable battery.”
Despite having no higher education in technology or science, Mandala valiantly attempted to develop the shoe on his own, but after suffering several shocks himself, he realized he needed to seek help from professionals. Over the years, Mandala had to pester programmers and engineers, both online and offline, in order to get the answer he needed, and admits that many were so fed up with his questions that they stopped responding. However, after 17 failed prototype, he finally came up with a viable version
“While experimenting, I faced electrocution twice, and my friend Abhishek even developed a nosebleed,” the 17-year-old said. “But whenever I felt like giving up, I remembered my favorite inventor Thomas Edison’s words, ‘I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light-bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.'”
The ElectroShoe is still in it’s developmental stage and is unfortunately not available to purchase just yet. Mandala has a few kinks left to work out and he still has to find a way to make the invention work with shoe styles other than flip-flops, but he has filed a patent and plans to market the ElectroShoe soon.
In the meantime, Mandala has become very enthusiastic about pursuing an education and subsequent career in science and technology in order to keep creating innovative crime-prevention products. He has also become an activist and set up his own NGO to spread awareness about sexual assault and volunteers teaching children basic coding. Mandala is truly an inspiration and his invention is a beacon of hope for women who are tired of walking the streets in fear.