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WPP's Kinetic India and NGO 'Work in India' create GPS-enabled mask for Indian fishermen

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | May 18, 2016
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The 'Mukhota', or the mask, will ring an alarm alerting the fishermen not to cross the coastal border.

Headlines like "Forty five fishermen from Indian sea go missing", often make for frequent reads in leading dailies. But, for the fishermen who lose their near and dear ones, it's not just news, but a tragic loss, something that drastically changes their lives. These are fishermen who unknowingly lose their way across international borders and are lost forever.

The making of Mukhota

Alarm enabled mask

Led enabled mask

Fisherman with the mask

Keeping in mind such events, the NGO Work in India approached the digital and OOH agency Kinetic India, a part of WPP, to formulate some method through which fishermen could be stopped from crossing the international border.

After interacting with several fishermen, it was found out that the latter use a mask or 'mukhota' on their boats to keep the evil away. The NGO then came up with a plan of equipping the 'mukhota' with GPS which will also be coded in such a way that once it comes near the coastal border, an alarm would be set off to alert them of the approaching border. Kinetic India has already tested the device on a few fishing boats.

Work in India founder Salim Mulla says, "We read several reports on fishermen going missing at sea, and hence, took it as a challenge to do something that could save so many lives. We will be conducting awareness sessions at various fishermen colonies to inform them about the existence of 'Mukhota - the device'.

The NGO plans to receive financial aid from the Government of Maharashtra so that maximum number of devices can be produced and provided to fishermen free of cost.

Kinetic India national creative director Somnath Sengupta says, "We at Kinetic India, are involved in numerous CSR initiatives all over the country, and when (Salim) Mulla contacted us with his concern for fishermen, the feeling resonated in us, too. We have already tested this device for days on sea along with the fishermen, and the trials have been successful."

Kinetic India has also developed an audio visual that will be shown to fishermen at various fishing colonies to educate them on the functionalities.

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