Success Story

Know How This 22 Yr Old Farmer’s Son Makes Drone out of Junk

Vivek Verma
Vivek Verma
Pratap
Pratap

22 year old Pratap has achieved what many can only dream of. Winning first prize at a drone competition in Japan to getting honored by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this young boy is an inspiration to our youngsters. 

The accomplishments of Pratap have been talk of the town & have inspired many youngsters to achieve their dreams. However, the path for this success was not easy for Pratap & was full of difficulties.

Beginnings:

Pratap native village is Netkal in Malavalli Taluk of Mandya district in Karnataka. Marimaddaiah, his father is a farmer & Savita, his mother is a housewife. Earnings of few thousand rupees in a month was just enough to feed the whole family. Since his childhood, Pratap was fascinated by helicopters, eagles & other flying objects.

His fascination for flying objects created his interest in science & electronics. While at school, he started by building small robots from waste materials. With his science projects, he won many prizes in his school.

While studying he makes himself familiar with various websites such as Space, Aviation, Boeing 777, Rolls Royce cars, etc. by browsing from a cyber cafe near his house. He wanted to pursue engineering but his family could not afford the course fees & so he opted for BSc in Physics at JSS College, Mysore.

He was thrown out of the hostel for not able to pay his college hostel fees. He was forced to sleep at Mysore Bus Stand & had to wash his clothes at public toilet. These circumstances can shake anyone but Pratap did not deter & continued his learnings with computer languages such as C++, Java, Python on his own. The path to his success got opened when learnt about creating drones through e-waste.

Road to Success:

Pratap failed nearly 80 times while creating his first drone. He did not lose hope & learnt a lot from his failures & finally was able to develop a drone that was good for participating in a contest. With his drone, he participated in a drone model competition at IIT Delhi. All the other competitors at IIT Delhi were neatly dressed & Pratap was looking shabby in front of them. But Pratap focused on the competition instead & won the second prize. After the organizers urged him to participate in the world-renowned International Drone competition in Japan that was to be held November 27 to December 2, 2017.

It was not an easy & straight road for Pratap. For his eligibility his thesis about the drone he was to build, had to be approved by an academic Professor at a Chennai college. He gathered the necessary money &7 went to Chennai for the first time. With great difficulty he was finally able to get the approval of the professor. Next, travelling to Japan and related arrangements required money & it was the next big difficulty. With the family background, arranging Rs.60,000 was a huge task.

Luck came at time for him as a philanthropist from Mysore sponsored his flight ticket, but more money was needed for the entire trip. The rest was arranged by selling his mother’s Mangala Sutra. He then managed to reach Tokyo all alone in his maiden flight. After landing he had only Rs.1400 left in his pocket. He could not afford the bullet train, so he decided to carry is luggage along with his drone in a regular train. He paid little extra as the luggage & drone weigh around 360kg. As taxis/cabs were costly, he covered some distance by walking. Finally he reached at the destination where competition was supposed to take place.

In the Drone competition there, participants from 127 nations were also present. Pratap showcased his drone & flew it in the competition & the audience was mesmerized. He called his drone ‘Eagle’. Pratap thought he would not win & thought of leaving the competition, so when the results were announced and he got first prize, his joy knew no boundaries. He was awarded $10,000.

His victory at the Drone competition in Japan was the beginning of the accolades he was yet to receive. Upon returning, he was congratulated by MLA's and MP's of Karnataka and later by PM Modi who called and congratulated him.

Afterwards, Pratap participated in competitions in other countries as well & also won the 'Albert Einstein's Innovation Medal' at the 2018 International Exhibition in Germany.

Motherland Above All:

As his achievements were recognized in various countries, he got offers from many government agencies which offered him millions of rupees, houses & other perks as well. But Pratap wants to work for his motherland & his very clear about it. He says that APJ Abdul Kalam, our former President has inspired him to work for the nation.

Pratap’s drone named Eagle has the technology to detect people/ intruders at the border instantly. He also is working on drones that will help farmers in panting crops, soil quality etc.

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