When other students were getting placed in multinational companies, college topper Hunny Bhagchandani was struggling to make a product for the visually challenged.
Despite failing 17 times in making a torch for the visually challenged, this Gujarat boy did not give up. He was determined to make their lives easier.
An industrial engineering graduate from Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar, Hunny featured in Shark Tanks. He approached the Sharks with an investment offer of ₹75 Lakhs for one percent equity in his company but the deal didn’t work in his favour.
He is the founder of TorchIt (Incubated at IIMA, CIIE). It is a social enterprise focused on empowering Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) through utilitarian and affordable assistive devices to the beneficiaries.
He was also a fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K. and the MIT Media Lab.
Hunny, who has an engineering background, always wanted to serve the community with his technical understanding.
During his internship in 2013-’14 at the Blind People’s Association (BPA), Gujarat, he happened to see the accident of a visually challenged person. This made him realize how an inaccurate assistive device would have almost taken the life of his friend.
“The biggest challenge so far was to develop a product from prototype. It took me around 20 months but I achieved my goal of motivation. In the 21st century, there is no dearth of technology but visually challenged persons still use the white cane. I wanted to make their lives easier.” he said.
He got an order for 10 devices when he presented his prototype. Some of his offerings were ‘Saarthi – New Smart Cane’ – an effective & world’s most affordable assistive navigation device to help the visually challenged persons walk comfortably and independently in any kind of setup. The second device he came up with was a
‘White Cane’. While the white cane is commonly accepted as a “symbol of blindness”, many countries still have different rules concerning what constitutes a “cane for the visually challenged”
The third product was ‘Handicare – an assistive device for lower limb disability’ – providing hassle free mobility access to persons with lower limb disability. This helps in reducing effort in their indoor navigation.