Priced At Just Rs 10K, This Affordable Laptop By IIT-B Professor Is A Boon For Poor Students

Follow Us On

Life of a college student without a smartphone and a high-end laptop might be quite unimaginable for many of us. But the reality speaks otherwise. When IIT Bombay Professor Dr Kannan Moudgalya saw that even the students at IIT could not afford laptops he decided to do something about it. 

As a result, Dr Moudgalya along with a group of researchers at IIT-Bombay invented Affordable Laptop. A compact and high-performing device laced with cutting-edge technology that would cost only Rs 10000. Compared to popular brands flooding the market, Affordable Laptop offers similar features at less than half the cost. 

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

The Affordable Laptop Comes With High-End Features

The latest model of Affordable Laptop comes with an 11.6-inch screen, Intel Atom processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage space, 10000 mAH battery power and Linux Operating System. “One might wonder how we managed to create a model with such excellent specifications at such a low cost. Actually, for these high-end brands, a lot of money goes into the branding, marketing and sales distribution. But, for us, all of that cost was eliminated. We sell these laptops only in bulk orders, say, in a bunch of 100 or 200,” explains Dr Moudgalya. 

A prototype of the laptops was distributed among IIT-B freshers for free while an upgraded version is being sold to schools and colleges in interior villages. So far 1600 laptops have been sold along with an additional order for 200 units, which are currently being manufactured.

Support the cause you care for. Browse All CampaignsBrowse all campaigns
Work in progress

Empower Poor Women To Rise Out Of Poverty

1,36,505 Raised
Out of 3,85,000

Share

Many IIT Students Can’t Afford Laptops

“Few years ago, we designed a low-cost tablet which was an instant favourite among school and college students. But, to be honest, a tablet is a consumption device. For college students who constantly need to work on their computers, there is no substitute for a laptop,” Dr Moudgalya explains their inspiration behind the Affordable Laptop.

Affordable Laptop
IIT-B students with the Affordable Laptop

As a senior professor, he had seen many IIT freshers from villages and economically weaker families who knew little about using a computer. Their merit have landed them coveted seats in an IIT, but they were unable to progress at the same pace with their well-to-do batchmates, who did own laptops. “The students need personal laptops all the time to practise coding and everything else. So we decided to find a solution for them,” shares Dr Moudgalya.

Affordable Laptop
School students using the laptop

Unfortunate Experience With The Free Laptop Initiative

The first model of Affordable Laptop was launched around two years ago. With a 10-inch screen and ARM processor, the laptop was priced at Rs 7,500. Free prototypes of the same were distributed among IIT students.

“To our shock, within a week most of the laptops came back to us – broken, damaged and even beyond repair. In one laptop, I found that the screen was literally cut through in the middle with some sharp object. The student admitted his mistake of keeping a sharp knife carelessly and then closing the laptop screen,” Dr Moudgalya narrates the initial experience of on-campus students with Affordable Laptop.

The team of researchers soon realised that these students had had little exposure to technology throughout their school life. In addition, they did not assess its worth properly since it was given for free.

Affordable Laptop
The latest model of Affordable Laptop

“So, the next time, when we upgraded to a better model, we decided to charge a small fee of Rs 500 to the students for using the laptop. We also lease the laptop to them for a certain period with a security deposit of Rs 1000. Now, we do not face any reports of damages or mishandling of the laptops,” Dr Moudgalya narrates.

Affordable Laptop
The team of researchers who designed Affordable Laptop

Better Version On Its Way

Moudgalya and his team are currently working on phase 2 of Affordable Laptop project, where one can expect a bigger, better and sleeker upgraded version, with added specifications at a nominal cost. Efforts For Good sincerely appreciates the extraordinary initiative by the team and hopes that their Affordable Laptop can usher in the true essence of Digital India.

Love this story? Want to share a positive story?
Write to us: [email protected]
Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram

Let us know your thoughts on this story

Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

MyStory: “Two Months After I Joined IIT For My PhD I Was Diagnosed With TB”

Follow Us On

A person suffering from Tuberculosis (TB) not only battles the ‘Mycobacterium tuberculosis’ bacteria inside his lungs but also from the stigma attached to the disease. It weakens the patients in many different ways in their fight against the dreaded disease.  

My fight with TB was also filled with stigma. I joined IIT Kharagpur for my PhD in January 2015. Two months later, in March 2015, I was diagnosed with TB. I had to take sick leave from March 2015 that eventually lasted till June 2016. Initially, I did not respond well to medication. Further tests revealed that I had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB). This meant that the type of TB I had was resistant to two or more of the antitubercular medication I was taking.

About a year after the intensive phase of my treatment, I felt better and applied for readmission to IIT in July 2016. A prerequisite for rejoining was that my faculty members had to verify my application. With the formalities completed, I resumed my education, but I felt that something was amiss. 

My guide indicated that he did not want his work to suffer on account of my illness. I also heard from a senior colleague that my guide had said that I would spread the disease like an ‘infested animal’. I was disheartened at being subjected to this indignity by my supposed mentor.

However, my primary concern was defeating TB, so I didn’t dwell on it. Today, as I reflect on it, I realise the reasons behind the stigma were ignorance as well as fear.

Even among the educated, there are misconceptions about TB. People think all forms of TB are contagious. Others believe the patient is infectious for the entire length of the treatment. Some even believe that TB spreads through touch. This breeds the fear of contracting the illness.

As we know, people stigmatise and discriminate when they fear. I felt the impact of the stigma on two levels – in my professional life and my personal life.

Support the cause you care for. Browse All CampaignsBrowse all campaigns
Work in progress

Empower Poor Women To Rise Out Of Poverty

1,36,505 Raised
Out of 3,85,000

Share

Professionally, the reluctance of my supervisor to mentor me and his discouragement affected me. I could not decide whether I should wait for the IIT authorities to tell me to leave or drop out. That decision was made for me by luck when I found out that my CSIR grant application was never processed. 

This meant that I would have to pay for my education. Given the expenditure on my treatment, this was unaffordable for me. This was the final nail in the coffin. I was forced to drop out and could not go back to completing my PhD.

What I faced was not technically illegal. I was discouraged from doing my PhD, but it was still a form of stigma. The external stigma I faced led to depression and isolation. 

Eventually, I realised I had to fight. The treatment for TB is difficult, requiring strict compliance and the management of side effects, and these demands resolve. I began motivating myself. I began following a proper diet and completing my treatment to ensure I could recover. I also turned to books as they transported me to other worlds and helped with my isolation. I also focused on reviving my old relationships.

Gradually, things improved. I could not proceed on my desired career path, but I am an educator now. I constantly realise that I have a role to play in shaping young minds. 

Workplace stigma has tangible consequences. It affects an individual’s career, financial opportunities and their right to work with dignity. So what can we do to address this stigma? 

First, we need to sensitise people by educating them about TB, and the impact stigma has on patients.

Another measure is group counselling involving the patient, the employer and the immediate supervisor. Informal versions of these sessions happen in the workplace in the context of illnesses like cancer. Why should it be any different for TB? 

The goal of this session would be to ensure that the patient is in a supportive environment. 

Finally, at a systemic level, there needs to be a workplace policy on stigma mitigation and a mechanism where the patients can anonymously register their concerns about stigma at the workplace.

A person’s career or job is often their calling and a provider of financial security. Workplace stigma creates a hostile work environment, affecting a person’s ability to do their job and their financial security. Financial insecurity and stigma make it harder for the patient to fight TB both in terms of means and motivation. Therefore, addressing stigma in the workplace is critical to patient well-being and recovery but also to their right to work with dignity.

Let us know your thoughts on this story

Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
Next Click right arrow to read the next story Previous