Inspiring Stories
A collection of personal Interviews with celebrated leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos or any success stories.


A girl with Fire inside!

India doesn't stand behind when it comes to young innovators. Here's a story of a young lady who dreams of revolutionizing the education system in India to foster scientific inventions and entrepreneurship development.
A young dynamic girl of 22 has blossomed as an inventor, technology educator and Motivational Speaker from the age of 9 years.  A learner in her was reading a newspaper with problems mentioned in it and finding solutions which has so far brought to her name 12 innovations like Burglar Alarm, VIP Security System, Conveyor Belt System, High-Tech Train Toilet, Fuel Dispenser, 3TK Box, Flameless Seal Maker, Mechanical Porter, Anti Sinking Alarm, Paddy Transplanter, Tea Plucking Tray and GO AHED which are brain children of none other than Masha Nazeem, a young scientist who makes India proud. Masha is currently pursuing M.Tech (Power Electronics and Drives) at  SRM University, Chennai and has love for Physics, Electricity and Magnetism, Electronics, Mechanical, Space Science just to name a few. 

“An idea of hi-tech train toilet ignited when I read a newspaper report wherein the Railway minister warned those who defecate the railway tracks will be penalized,” she mentions. This hi-tech train toilet which curbs the problems of soiling the toilet wastage on tracks in Indian Railway was presented by Masha at the state level Science Fair 2005, but it did not receive even a consolation prize. And just after a month she won the ‘Southern India’ first prize for the same followed by presenting her innovation at the Railway Board Meeting in the presence of Railway Minister and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, then the President of India at Rastrapati Bhavan. This is also one of her internationally acclaimed project. “If I had given up the plan after my failure to win a prize in the state level expo I would not have achieved such a breakthrough. Hence we must always look forward to the best and only acquire positive lessons from our experiences,” she says.
Masha Nazeem
Her innovation of a device named Flame-Less Seal Maker was another thought that ignited in her from a TV news report on fire in an examination valuation centre. Likewise she was up to designing her eighth model named Mechanical Porter which was born on facing difficulties in lifting the luggage at airport during her Japan visit. It is a project which took Masha almost 2 years of hard work besides studies. Recently, she has come up with GO AHED- Governor to Avoid Human Errors in Driving; Masha believes that 90% of the road accidents are manmade crisis. Also statistics reveal that bad driving behaviour is the main factor for the accidents rather than any other technical reasons. “GO AHED is a new device to solve crisis which is not any usual device meant for driver’s comfort but actually to control, monitor and command the drivers in real time to ensure good driving behaviour. It is an integrated device that comprises of Anti Sleeping, Alcohol Sensor and Monitor & Control driving behaviour in real time,” she narrates.

She started with Masha Innovation Centre at Kanyakumari especially to inculcate creativity and inventiveness among school kids.  Already four students have won prestigious National awards for innovation from the hands of Dr. Kalam. Now, she dreams to develop this centre into a National centre of excellence in entrepreneurship and creativity. “School kids in India lack proper guidance and support for their interest in science models. Due to the academic syllabus pressure the teachers are also unable to support them fully. Parental support for such activities is very rare. Even science teachers fail to inform or motivate the students on science fairs which are the best opportunities to display one’s talent. There is still a vacuum in this field and the Innovation Centre is just an attempt to fill the big vacuum in this sector right from Kanyakumari,” confides Masha. Also the factor that inspired Masha to establish this centre was the success gained by two students for their science projects that were built under her guidance and motivation at IGNITE2013 which was a National Award won by Masha in 2009 and 2010 which sums up her awards list to have 2 International, 5 National, 5 Southern India awards and 1 National Science Fellowship (KVPY scholar).

Masha having contributed to the nation with her innovations got the chance to meet Mr. Narendra Modi, now the Prime Minister of India. “The meeting with Modiji at his residence was quite informal. We conversed very casually just like I was his granddaughter. He enquired about many technical aspects and the commercialization of my device Flame-less Seal Maker. He affixed seals himself on a cover and put his signature in Hindi over it. During these 25 minutes I observed the qualities of good technocrat, enthusiastic entrepreneur, and a loving and humorous grandfather,” confides Masha Nazeem.

In 2007, at the World Toilet summit, Masha was invited as a special invitee among the delegates from 46 countries attended in this global summit on sanitation and hygiene. This was soon after her successful demonstration of simple toilet system for trains with the then President Dr. Kalam at Rastrapati Bhavan.  “I was not at all prepared for a paper presentation at this summit as earlier I was only told to exhibit my innovation in the expo. I worked throughout the night and prepared my paper work,” explains Masha who was the youngest person at the summit. When she moved to the dais for presenting her paper, she could not face the audience as the mike stand was taller than her which hid her completely. She recalls, “The organizers ran from here and there and finally came with one wooden stool, standing on which I started my speech. There was a pin drop silence when I started. In between my talk there were applauds while in the end the high profile dignitaries who came from different countries gave me a standing ovation,” says Masha smiling.
According to Masha, Indian class rooms need to change the scenario with innovative study tools which are student centric and provide a study environment which is more vibrant and practical oriented. She has been selected for the prestigious Entrepreneurship Development Training Programme in the United States. She is one among the eight students selected for the Rajeev Circle Fellowship by the Motwani Jadeja Foundation (MJF), headquarters at California.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 13th May 2015.
IJ Anita Tejwani
IJ Anita Tejwani is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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