Meghalaya cab driver Gautam Gurung (right) receives Dinanath Pandey Smart Idea award in Guwahati

Meghalaya’s cab driver Gautam Gurung won the Dinanath Pandey Smart Idea Innovation Award, in Guwahati held recently.

Gurung was awarded for his innovation ‘Automatic Car Sanitizer’ model which he exhibited at the two-day Innovation Festival at Regional Science Centre, Guwahati, on February 11 and 12.

Gurung who had to face a lot of hardship during the COVID-19 period innovated a mechanism he installed in his Maruti Alto. As per this mechanism, when a passenger opens the door with the handle, sanitizers are sprayed automatically on the seats and indoors.

“I keep trying to do new things. It was a difficult phase during COVID-19 for all of us. And as cleanliness is part and parcel of our life, I decided to innovate this idea. This will keep us clean and hygienic. Thus the passengers too will be happy,” said Gurung, displaying his model.

Gurung dedicated the award to his parents.

The award was instituted by the family of Dinanath Pandey who was a master innovator and tried to change the way of life through his innovations. The ‘Innovation Festival’ which has been organized by Indian Council for Science Museum in collaboration with National Innovation Foundation (NFI) provides a common platform to the people of all the states in the northeast region working in different fields like innovators, artists, performers, crafters and science-demonstrators among others showcasing their creativity.

Altogether 32 innovators from the NE states and West Bengal participated in the two-day exhibition. They displayed their various innovative devices.

“We are thankful to the Regional Science Centre, Guwahati for providing us with the place to conduct the event. I also thank all the innovators for joining the festival wholeheartedly and boost our morale,” said Sailen Pandey, son of Dinanath Pandey.

Mission director of Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission Krishna Baruah was present as chief guest and K Raka Sudhakar Rao, a social activist, journalist, public speaker and author from Hyderabad were present as guest of honour during the prize distribution ceremony on February 12 evening.

The project coordinator of the Regional Science Centre, Guwahati Sujay Das and a scientist of the National Innovation Foundation, Assam Rajiv Mili were also present on the occasion.

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