Realising the need of the Internet in everyday life, two commerce graduates decided to give free WiFi to people in exchange of a cleaner surrounding with an unique initiative — a ‘WiFi Trash Bin’.
“When somebody dumps trash into a dustbin the bin flashes a unique code, which can be used to gain access to free WiFi, says Prateek Agarwal, one of the two founders of the initiative.
Mumbai-based Agarwal and his partner Raj Desai, a self taught programmer, travelled extensively to countries like Denmark, Finland, Singapore etc and realised that keeping surroundings clean needed apart from a difference in structure, a change in the attitude of people.
“We took a lot of help from countries like Finland, Denmark, Singapore etc and decided to build a system similar to that,” says Pratik.
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The duo hit upon the idea while visiting the NH7 Weekender a music festival which is spread around a large area and as music festivals go is home to music, food, drinks and, of course, a lot of garbage.
” …It took us six hours to find our friends. Since there was no network, we could not reach them through a phone call. It was the trigger for the idea and we thought why not provide free WiFi to people using hotspots,” says Pratik. Keeping the place clean and helping to connect with their friends were the driving force behind their innovative project.
The self-funded experiment with support from operator MTS proved to be a success at the various Weekender Festivals held in Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi but is not operative at the moment.
The founders say they have received queries from GAIL and talks are in due process.
“We wanted to change the attitude of the people and how things are structured, thus affecting an individual’s behaviour,” says Raj Desai.
The venture, though not operative now aims to satisfy the need of Internet at every step in the modern day world.
“… We want to work more for it,” says Pratik. The duo say they tend to setup a network of WiFi bins thus helping to bring about a behaviourial redesign among people.
The venture was recently showcased at “Networked India”, a unique initiative by Ericsson and CNN-IBN that aims to identify and facilitate clutter-breaking innovations in the field of connectivity and mobility.