Idea and Startup Fest 2022 was recently held in Dhangadhi, Sudurpaschim, organized by Living with ICT and ICT Foundation Nepal. More than 30 ideas and startups from the state participated in the fest.
Prakash Mahata was one of the three participants. The 22-year-old Prakash had brought a helicopter called ARC to the fest for display, which he had just built himself. The helicopter was the main attraction for the more than 2,000 observers who came to observe the fest.
The helicopter, which is yet to be fully ready, does not need a pilot like other helicopters. It can be connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth and controlled from Ordino.
So far he has not blown it up. But being a producer himself, he is sure to fly. “I will complete the rest of the construction work in a few days and fly it to the sky soon,” he said in an interview with ICT News.
Prakash, a permanent resident of Darchula, a remote hilly district in the far west, is an electrical overseer. He came to Mahendranagar a few years ago in search of quality education.
While studying 8th class in a school in Mahendranagar, he first built a small helicopter. To operate the first helicopter built at the time, he used a remote control for toy cars using AC-powered relays.
While learning to make, he made many tools. Following his passion for electrical equipment and machines, he studied Electrical Overseer in Mahendranagar after SLC.
Meanwhile, he returned to his village Darchula. In the remote hilly region of Darchula, there were no facilities like in accessible Mahendranagar. There were no wide roads to use threshers like in Terai.
So he made his own mini thresher for the village. Not only this, he also made a light handy fan using power trailer and aluminum.
Seeing such extraordinary talent at an early age, his village honored him with various honors programs. At the same time, the villagers urged him to continue such good work and support him.
After receiving assurances and encouragement from the villagers, he started working on the construction of the helicopter four years ago in the hope of getting help again. Prakash started the work but could not get the expected help from the villagers.
He felt that his work should not be left unfinished. He says that he has spent Rs. 1.9 million in the last four years to complete the construction of the helicopter. The helicopter, which was built with the help of its own strength, weighed about two quintals and weighed about 10 quintals.
But due to low engine capacity, it was not possible to fly it. So Prakash turned the helicopter into a drone. The drone is 17 by 17 feet in length and width.
At present, the entire construction and finishing work of the drone has been completed. But the test flight remains. He is confident that the drone will fly. But they do not have the space to test such a large drone.
“I asked the municipality to set up a place for systematic testing,” said Prakash. “They responded positively, but the election environment postponed everything.”
Although the drone work was completed, Prakash’s dream of building a helicopter was still unfulfilled. That is why he has been building a small helicopter using the ‘mechanism’ of a big helicopter since one month ago.
The construction of this small helicopter named ARC has not been completed yet. It still needs to be tested by connecting and finishing some materials.
Prakash has built the present small helicopter using the mechanism of the big helicopter. Prakash had brought the same helicopter to the venue for the Idea and Startup Fest 2022 organized in Sudurpaschim.
He said that the big helicopters built earlier had to be operated manually while the smaller ones can be operated from Ardino by connecting to the mobile via Bluetooth. It has a 55 cc engine and petrol engine.
This helicopter built by Prakash is completely handmade. He has made all the goods used in it himself, he has not imported any goods.
He has made it by cutting and welding some materials and parts from big truck to small bicycle.
He did not have enough money to buy the most important lathe machine needed to build a helicopter. So he made it himself.
“Everything made by hand is not as strong and effective as machine made,” he told ICT News. “This lathe machine is not as efficient as machine made. But Gajjabal does the work. ‘
Helicopters can be built faster, faster and more sustainable if you get the equipment and machines you want, he says. But it takes a lot of time and expense to make all the tools yourself, he says.
He says that there is some weakness in the relay because everything is handmade. That is why he has brought the relay from outside. As there was no relay in Mahendranagar, he asked for a relay from Kathmandu. He says that the relay has just arrived and now it will take 3-4 days to complete it.
For many, the dream of building a helicopter at the tender age of 22 is unimaginable. If everything outside of one’s imagination is impossible, then common perception is pervasive.
The tendency here was always to discourage Prakash from his dream of flying a helicopter. Many said that it was not in our power to do everything we wanted to do.
He believed that only finishing goods imported from abroad could fly. The crowd was more critical than motivated.
Taking such thinking as a challenge, he decided that one day he would make a helicopter and fly it.
‘Always comparing with foreigners? We cannot jump like a foreigner all at once. Foreigners have a much more developed foundation than the foundation we have in the beginning. This is the only way to compare when starting at the same level.
But it is customary to compare our small efforts here with the latest developments of foreigners. ‘ He says
He said that while constructing the helicopter, he also saw the government’s tendency and system to discourage the youth in innovation and development. It also made him very frustrated.
I went all out to solve the problem that came up at different stages. But everyone said it was not our business and even advised to quit.
“It simply came to our notice then. So no matter how much I borrowed, I stopped making this machine. ‘
Today his helicopter and drone are ready. All finishing and construction work has been completed. The ability and confidence inside the light is sure to fly the helicopter. But unfortunately there is not even a fast place for him to test his helicopter.
The rainy season is starting. There is no space inside the lab for his drones and helicopters. All of them are covered with Tripal and kept outside. For the past four years, his helicopter has recently been transformed into a drone, sinking in the rain and enduring the sun, waiting for test time outside.
He has no money to make it himself. Prakash has no shortage of skills to earn money. But he is afraid that his dream of making a helicopter and flying it will remain unfulfilled if he tries to earn money now.
“I am ready to work 24 hours a day as a worker, I have the capacity and the skills,” he pleaded. Have the courage to I just want to create a suitable place and working environment for testing.
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