Pakistan is blessed to have an abundance of natural resources, which need maintainable development and extraction. With its large reserves of gold, coal and many other resources, the mining sector was experiencing inadequacies when it comes to regulations. This resulted in inefficient operations bringing high costs, even up to human lives!
Balochistan’s potential is profitable enough for the government and investors to show concern when it comes to the mining sector.
Coal miners are exposed to explosions, toxic fumes, chemical spillage as well as numerous other risks, making the coal mining process highly dangerous.
Pakistan’s mining industry:
In these types of accidents, thousands of miners already lost their mobility, employment, and their lives. Despite the fact that international safety guidelines are getting the attention it’s the implementation of such regulations which stay behind in Pakistan’s mining industry.
However, Ali Gul from Sanjawi Tehsil, a computer engineer who graduated at BUITEMS, got an innovative idea to develop a safety product that has the potential to save thousands of employees within the mining industry.
Monitoring explosion risks:
This happened after Ali’s brother survived a mining accident. Ali’s close association with the mining sector since a young age, his interest in technology and his intense repulsion regarding the using of ineffective tools as well as the absence of tech, motivated him in developing his eye smart helmet.
This eye smart helmet monitors the conditions within a mine and is equipped with the latest technology, whilst also monitoring explosion risks if toxic gases are present as well as both the miners’ health vitals and location within a specific mine.
The fatality rate of coal mining accidents has exceeded the casualties related to terrorism acts. During 2018 approximately 172 lost their lives, whilst 300 sustained critical injuries, according to Ali Gul’s tweet.
This Eye Smart Helmet should be deployed as fast as possible within operating mines and can be observed as the mine industry’s requirement of the hour.
This pursuance of a greater purpose-led Ali to more co-founders: Muhammad Jawad Azeem, an experienced entrepreneur, proficient in business operations; Muhammad Jawad, a CA (chartered accountant) with proficiency in financial modeling, operations, corporate affairs & investments.
These three co-founders ultimately met their Supervisor and R&D Mentor, Dr. Waheed Noor. As a result, a brand new company was established in Balochistan which portrayed the necessary conviction to challenge the state of affairs regarding mineworkers’ unsafe working conditions.
End to end solutions are provided by the company with appropriate dashboards which enable mine operators to monitor activities and analyzing the data to enhance productivity.
The scalability, feasibility as well as tight budgetary restrictions caused difficulty with developing the product. However, the team was successful in making a functioning prototype.
This prototype used the following technologies: IoT (Internet of Things), iBeacon, ZigBee Wireless, Machine Learning as well as a range of sensors for measuring whether harmful gases are present inside a mine.
However, the oxygen level, health status and the location of coal miners will also be monitored within a mine. Additionally, this technology will have the ability to predict coal mine collapses and accidents in the future to save the coal mining sector, millions of rupees.
The success of the eye smart helmet is unbound where regulatory constraints are concerned because customers are attracted to its economic advantages.
The startup’s incubation took place in NIC Quetta. The team’s operations started there. Although the team had many choices, they opted for the HEC Technology Development Fund’s offer, which was in line with their vision.
The HEC TDF, Mr. Ghulam Sarwar, assured the team of his continuous support. The team secured funding to the amount of Rs 14 million, which will be used for developing and production of the eye smart helmet.
A typical coal mining accident can halt the process for about 1 to 2 weeks. The experimental success of the prototype, demands the legislature’s support because the miners’ safety should be a crucial concern.
Mir Jam Kamal, CM Balochistan, had shown keen interest after this initiative surfaced via television and the Internet. He tweeted his support and encouraged the further development of the eye smart helmet.
Khalid Maqbool, Minister of IT, showed his interest too. CEO Ignite, Mr. Yusuf Hussain provided principal support during the company’s early days.
The vision of the team goes further than the mining sector and borders because it is their goal to turn the world into a better place. Although thousands of similar ideas exist within our societies, general awareness is needed for it to be successful.
To create a better Pakistan, all have to do their part in offering support and developing such ideas.