I don’t know if anything similar actually exists (would be happy if I am the one who coined it for the first time) and not sure whether there is any need for it or not but I am using it (my engineering knowledge) for social cause. You may ask aren’t other engineers who are doing jobs in any public sector units like ONGC, BPCL, HPCL etc not doing it for public welfare? My view is that they are doing the same thing but at different level and the benefit of their work is received less or not at all at grass root level. The engineer in charge of monitoring any process in any plant of petroleum company is also doing it for public but the benefit is received mostly to the urban community compared to rural community. I am talking about specific engineering designed to solve problems of rural areas.
Just like we have organizations like TISS, XISS, IRMA we need to have more engineering institutes for rural areas which are aimed to solve technical problems specifically for problems faced in rural areas. That is also one way to engage more and more youth in social sector and will open more jobs for engineering students because a whole new world of opportunities is waiting to be explored.
I would like to share one of my experiences which, if any budding engineer is reading, will give a glimpse of what they can contribute to this sector. I am working for the social enterprise DRISHTEE where I am working with a batch of 20 farmers and my project is entirely on agriculture at this moment and while working farmers share their problems and those include technical problems as well. One of the farmer was having problem related to hydraulic pump which he wasn’t able to operate due to shortage of electricity and hence was not able to irrigate his field on time. I went with him on the field just for monitoring purpose and I saw that using SIPHON action water can be brought to his field because geography was such that siphon action was possible. Problem solved without any penny being expended. That moment I realized that I can use my engineering knowledge to great extent here as well. Lot of things after that I decided to work on and the joy it gave me I can’t express. At present other than my project I am, with my friend who is a computer science engineer, working to build a switch which can be operated by a cell phone so that the farmer doesn’t have to go to the field in midnight at freezing cold temperature just to turn the switch of motor on (electricity is available in shifts in my place so sometime it is in daytime and sometime it is available at night). I know this technology is very old but still very few are using it and also there is always a scope for improvement.
To conclude I will say there is a whole new field to be discovered for an engineer and I feel there is a need as well for this. #WeCanContribute