The idea of Drishti is so simple but so new that we had to do a double take the first time Mani Teja Lingala tried to explain it to us. We’re sure the good folk shortlisted for the James Dyson Award, an international student award, were equally baffled. No wonder the idea is one of the finalists for the prestigious award.
The duo | (Photo: Drishti)
Designed by students from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, Mrudul Chilmulwar and Mani Teja, Drishti helps the visually impaired identify banknotes in two easy steps. “The visually impaired had their own tricks to identify the notes at the beginning, then the demonetization came, which made it even more difficult for them,” says Mani Teja, from Yernagudem, a village in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. . And they deduced it by doing their research and talking to the Ahmedabad Association of the Blind. “The new tickets are all different in size, which makes the task of identifying them even more difficult,” said the 29-year-old. And that’s when the idea for Drishti came to Mani Teja and Mrudul who have their own studio in Ahmedabad and Amsterdam, named Carbon Studio.
They followed a three step process work on the solution – research phase, solution phase and test phase
Drishti itself is a simple model, made from polypropylene plastic sheets. Think of the model as a simple sheet against which, when currencies are placed, they can be identified. With the different cutouts made in the template, identifying notes becomes even easier using just two parameters: width and height. When the notes are sized against the model, if the width exceeds the model, it is an old note. Now, when it comes to categorizing using pitch which tells you the denomination, the pattern has different edges (think of them as steps) at the top that helps identify notes based on pitch. “It’s not just simple, it’s a cost effective approach because the cost of the model is less than five rupees,” says Mani Teja, who grew up in Hyderabad. The best part? There is no braille involved. “About 60% of visually impaired people, especially those in rural areas, do not know braille. So Drishti can really serve them as well, ”he explains.
The model | (Photo: Drishti)
There is a short course called Design for Special Needs at NID where they have to identify a problem statement and then come up with a solution. That’s when the idea came to them, reveals Mani Teja who graduated in March this year. “We spoke to a number of visually impaired people and tried about five to six solutions before focusing on this one,” he explains. This idea also made them finalists for the Lexus Design Award 2020 and they were also congratulated by the Association of the Blind. Procedures!
Steps to follow to use Drishti
1. Place the note in the lower left corner of the template and line it up with the left and bottom edges of the template to identify whether it is an old or a new note.
2. Check the height of the banknote by referring to the steps in the template to identify the denomination of the banknote.