Millennium Post

Schoolchildren make lightning arrester using bicycle wheels

Kolkata: In a significant stride to prevent farmer deaths after being struck by lightning, the West Bengal Radio Club(WBRC), an organisation of ham radio enthusiasts, is promoting a unique lightning arrester device made with bicycle wheels by schoolchildren in and around Sodepur in North-24 Parganas.

Students from Sodepur Deshbandhu Vidhyapith for Boys with the assistance of WBRC have installed such an arrester in an agricultural land in the area and are convinced about its effectivity.

Students of the school guided by Pasupati Mondal , Physics teacher of the school had submitted a project on this matter titled "Way of Saving the Life of Farmers from Lightning and Thunder while working on Wet Land" at the 27th edition of National Children Science Congress 2019. It has been selected primarily at the national-level.

"We have found out that farmers are most vulnerable to lightning strikes as they have to venture out during rain and thundershowers for agricultural activities. There have been several deaths of farmers in the recent past. However, they do not have the financial capacity to install lighting arresters for their safety. This device made with cycle wheels is cost effective," said Ambarish Nag Biswas, custodian and secretary of WBRC.

The device requires a bamboo pole of minimum 30 metres in length and a bicycle wheel is tied up at its top by an electrical wire.

This wire is then connected to a metallic object which is used for earthing purpose. The base of the bamboo while being fixed to the ground needs to have things like wood, coal and salt.

The WBRC has displayed this model in a number of schools as part of its awareness campaign on saving human lives from lighting and thunder and have aroused curiosity among the students. The latter are interacting with the farmers of the area and showcasing the model to them.

"We feel that the students talking with the farmers and explaining the technology is the best means of awareness among them," Nag Biswas said.

He said the special arrester needs to be installed at a place in an agricultural land which is not wet and at a fair distance away from a tree for reaping its benefits.

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