Wazeer Hayath, a 52-year-old grassroots innovator from Karnataka, has developed a walking stick with an audio alarm to assist blind people. Going with the feedback that blind users suggested the smart walking stick have a ‘vibration mode’ for the alarm. Additionally it has a proximity sensor.
Hayath had to discontinue studies early to support his family. He was a bore-well mechanic and then moved to electronics repairs and opened a shop.One day, while working in his shop, he saw a blind man slip and fall into a slushy pothole on the opposite side of the road. He could not help the hapless man on the other side of the road but the incident left him feeling sad. He thought of doing something so that such an incident could be prevented. Using his knowledge of electronics, he thought of developing a stick which would assist the blind moving about safely.
He then began work on the walking stick and gradually developed three variants of the same, namely, a talking folding stick; a sensor-based folding automatic stick; and double-sensor based talking folding stick. These sticks run on chargeable batteries and have a recorded voice system which alerts the user about water or an obstruction ahead.As soon as the sensor detects water, the signal gets transmitted to the controller which actuates the audio alert.
In crowded places, the user can get a voice alert, ‘Excuse Me. Side Please’ just by the simple press of a button. Having an inbuilt sensor system and alert facility, this walking stick reduces the chances of accidents for blind people.
Hayath has since sold many units of different variants in India and abroad.