The Gift of a Torch...The Flashlight
Innovation: Wind Activation
The origin of the project: our crew often interviews farmers in many regions of Sri Lanka. While in the South we stayed into the evening with a farmer who has spent decades keeping elephants from his paddy field. We watched him string up a couple flashlights to nearby trees. Having never seen this before, we stayed the evening and were taken by the possibilities of enhancing this simple device (he had placed a torch into a 2 liter plastic bottle, suspending it by string from a branch.
The flashlight is perhaps the greatest nighttime deterrence a farmer can have against a crop-raiding elephant. SavingGanesh has manufactured a wind activated flashlight which, when hung from a branch or other support, mimics a farmer's actions and deters elephants from crop raiding. For our testing, we selected a farmer who we have collaborated on other projects over the last few years. He cultivates rice in a 5 acre field near to the Sigiriyia UNESCO heritage site.
We’ve enhanced the device with a waterproof enclosure and a wind vane to catch subtle wind. Our device moves by the slightest draft off of the paddy field. In the darkness, it looks like a farmer flashing his light. With relatively poor eyesight, the elephants don’t know the difference. We brought our device to the North of Sri Lanka where there is major crop raiding on a nightly basis. Farmers there had never seen such a device. We will be monitoring its efficacy and consider enhancements with solar recharging capability and a photosensor