When Bhagyashree Rasal and Sneha Dhoot, studying in a Zilla Parishad School in Parbhani, 400 km from Mumbai, submitted their invention for a state-level science exhibition, they didn’t expect to win.
Not only did they walk away with the first prize, their invention caught the attention of state legislators and ministers at Vidhan Bhawan.
The device invented by Rasal and Dhoot can help curb highway accidents that are caused by vehicles using high beams at night.
While the Legislative Council was discussing accidents along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Tuesday, Parbhani legislator Fauziya Khan mentioned the girls’ project. Anil Deshmukh, minister of state for public works, wanted to know more. “Give me the details of the project,” he said. “We’ll see how we can use it.”
The girls, now freshers in college, are thrilled. “It can help save lives,” said Rasal (16), an aspiring engineer.
When two vehicles — both fitted with the device — approach each other, they automatically switch from high to low beams, reducing the strain on the drivers’ eyes. The girls claim it can be manufactured for as little as Rs 50.
The girls struck upon the idea while travelling to another district for a sword-fighting match. “I was sitting next to the driver and realised how difficult it is to drive with the headlights of an approaching vehicles blinding you,” said Rasal, daughter of a farmer from Nandapur village, 13 km from Parbhani.