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Nethra students see the world through Robotics

Updated: May 5

In a world where the language of robots, AI, and machine learning is the new frontier, a tale of unyielding determination, relentless grit, and unwavering commitment takes flight. These subjects, complex and intricate, pose a formidable challenge even to many conventional students. Yet, in this world of coding and robotics, a bold and audacious idea is born.

The return of the FLL national competition in India after a long break kindles a spark of inspiration. Why not equip our visually challenged students of Netra Vidyalaya for this challenge? The task is monumental; teaching robotics to visually impaired children, nurturing their innovative ideas, and refining their presentation skills. But, a flame of confidence, fueled by past experiences of their indomitable will, burns bright.

The journey begins with the blessing of VTSeva CEO, HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji. His thoughtful insights and unwavering support bolster the resolve. The flame spreads, igniting the passion of our subject matter experts and the dynamic teachers of Netra Vidyalaya. Doubt is absent; instead, electrifying energy fills the air as they embrace this ambitious goal.

Within days, the teachers select the students who will be part of the FLL competition. They are introduced to FLL bricks, coding, and how to build a robot using Legos. For two months, they worked tirelessly to understand, design, test, rebuild, and make their innovative ideas work. They not only improve their skills in robotics but also get better at presenting their ideas eloquently in English. For the whole two months, all the students, teachers, and mentors worked together to turn these nine children into proud representatives who can stand tall on the national stage. They named their team ‘Thought Notch Robotica’.

The two-day national competition in Goa sees participation from 350 teams from all over the country. Against all odds, the Netra Vidyalaya team did exceptionally well, showcasing their innovative idea of ‘Sudoku for Visually Challenged’ and their passion for ‘Cricket for Blind’. Their performance was outstanding, and the judges praised their effort. Their project caught everyone’s attention. They presented real solutions to the problems they face as visually challenged individuals. The Sudoku idea they presented is the first of its kind for the blind. They gave it their all and did just as planned. The result is a testament to their hard work - they won the ‘Champions Award’. The children, teachers, and mentors are overjoyed, all their hard work for two months has paid off. It’s not just about the win, but they gained much more - they get to see the world of robotics and stand on the national stage with special approval. The "Thought Notch Robotica" team is scheduled to present on Friday 4/19 from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM as part of the conference session. Our team is not competing in Houston.

Many thanks to the FLL organizers for not only giving a chance to a completely visually challenged team but also not charging them an entry fee because they are a nonprofit organization. Special thanks to Mr. Chandra Polisetti (FLL 54520 and FRC 2976) from Seattle for being a mentor and guiding the team every step of the way, and also for getting his friend Mr. Siddarth from Vizag to help the team in person. Without their support, this would not have been possible. This victory would not have been possible without our Netra Vidyalaya teachers, they are the backbone of this win. Many thanks to our donors who believed in them to sponsor their education.

This is a story of triumph, a story of overcoming odds, a story that inspires us all.

This is an uplifting tale about seizing an idea, fully embracing it, and giving it your all. It’s a story that sparks inspiration. This is their story for all of us.

"This is a moment that etches itself in our hearts, serving as a beacon of inspiration. There are days when we find ourselves in the labyrinth of life, seeking purpose and motivation to persevere against all odds. These children, with their humble backgrounds, and the teachers, devoid of luxuries, find their sole motivation in the triumph of these young souls. Let this narrative ignite a spark within us during those times when life seems to be an uphill battle. Let it remind us that even in the face of adversity, victory is possible. This is not just a story; it’s a testament to the indomitable human spirit."

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