PUNE: A team of blind men from Niwant Andh Mukta Vikasalaya, an NGO, stole the show at the inaugural of the ninth edition of First Tech Challenge (FTC), which was organised by InfinityX Tech Systems at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi.
More than 47 teams from various schools across the country participated in FTC 2019-2020 India Championship held on February 1 and 2 in the city. In the championship, teenagers in the age group of 12-18 years assembled a robot, which will compete on Skystone, a theme based on Star Wars of building a city in space. The objective is to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education among students.
“This edition of FTC is historic in the sense that for the first time any team of blind people is competing with teenagers of normal eyesight. Bishop’s School Robotic Club (BSRC) extend required help to the Niwant team for making them eligible for participating in the FTC,” InfinityX Founder Ashvin Savant said.
The team of NGO Niwant, which works for skills and career development of visually-impaired, was mentored by Sumesh Jaiswal and Arun Garg, IIT Kanpur alumni.
“As a part of FTC outreach programme, BSRC took their previous edition’s robot to Niwant. After experiencing the concept, the youngsters at Niwant decided to take up the challenge and assemble a robot and practice to participate in this competition. It was a relentless effort of the last two months where these teenagers from Niwant took extraordinary effort to assemble their robot,” said Arun Garg.
Two winning teams from the championship will represent India at the global championship to be held in Detroit, USA, in April this year.