“The intent of innovation is not just creating something new, but also empowering communities.”
Tata Center affiliate student Honey Bajaj received the Innovator of the Year Award this past September at the Flight to Freedom Conference in San Franciscio, California. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Engineering & Management at MIT and is a Legatum Fellow.
Honey has been an innovator for almost a decade and been involved in concepts, designs, and products including: an emergency response device for the deaf and hard of hearing, a low-cost infant warmer, an application for farmers to boost agricultural productivity, a manual and solar-powered water-filter for army jawans that converts snow into drinking water, and a device to help autistic children learn to read and write better.
“The intent of innovation is not just creating something new, but also empowering communities and putting a smile on people’s faces,” she says.
She received her BA from Sri Venkateshwara College, Delhi University. She also completed a four-year post-graduate training program in product and user interface design at Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology in Bangalore. When she was accepted to MIT, she reached out to 10 of India’s biggest philanthropists seeking financial aid. Honey got a response from Mr. Ratan Tata, and received a full scholarship for her first year at MIT. “It changed my life,” she said. “It was empowering for a small-town girl from Siliguri (West Bengal, India) to make it to MIT.”
With the Tata Center, she is working on developing a suite of health tools for India’s front line health workers, Ashas and Anganwadis.
Portions of this article are derived from an India Times report.