Prof. Gayathri Manikutty
"LUMEN project was a maker-centred service-learning program funded by IEEE EPICS. The last two and half days before the project inauguration was like a Makeathon when thirty IEEE student members and seven IEEE Young Professionals (YPs) came together at the project site. The task was to install and commission ten 20W LED street lamps spread across the 300-meters run at Mangalath colony (a tribal colony) in Avoly Gram panchayat, Muvattupuzha, Kerala. Together, everyone assembled all the street lights from scratch (from cutting steel rods and fixing them on the poles to hold the LED lights, welding the rods, painting the poles, breaking the concrete road to route the wires and re-concreting to finish up everything, making the battery bank, and doing the wiring to connect the solar panel to the poles). In short, it was a fantastic technology-based community service learning opportunity for the students under the mentorship of the YPs.
And in two days, we installed and commissioned all the ten street lamps over the 300 m stretch of road leading to the tribal colony. Such an experiential learning program was a powerful lived experience for everyone involved. It helped build the student's self-esteem and developed a can-do attitude for real-life problem-solving. Girls rubbed shoulders with boys as equals, actively participating in every aspect of the project. As a faculty member, it was overwhelming to watch and learn from the youngsters how to make community service a joyful team-building event. And the glowing faces and pure happiness on the faces of the tribal community members when the street lights came on were truly priceless. "
LUMEN as the name conveys lightened the mind that was moving into darkness. While considering the technical side of me as an electronics student this gave me the confidence to work and experience everything with which I get interacted without any fear. Apart from the technical side, every one of us gained knowledge which is useful for our daily life basis. The main highlights of the online as well as the offline side of this project such as welding, cutting, designing, battery-pack modelling, painting and even travelling, have given me a bunch of friends for a lifetime.
Every moment of those 3 days was of sumptuous worth. We had a lot of funny, serious and best moments in this short time. It could be a major missing for me If I have not been a part of this team and it is indeed one of the best teams I have ever met to date. Each one of the team was inspiring in one or the other ways. All the mentors, our 'Ettans' crew and Gayathri mam will be forever in our memories.
LUMEN cannot simply be described by words, it has to be experienced!
"Tamaso ma Jyotirgamaya"
"We are LUMEN"