IIT stands for Indian Institute for Technology, and is an elite technical school with campuses spread throughout the country. Professor Das of IIT Guwahati and his students made the first designs for Rickshaw Bank back in 2005.
Today we walked to the factory, where we met up with the Olin students to visit IIT Guwahati. We crowded into two SUVs for a wild ride through the city and across the massive Brahmaputra River. After about an hour ride, we arrived at IIT Guwahati, whose substantial campus boasts beautiful dorms, clean streets, nice sports facilities, and…(*drumroll*) bathrooms with toilet paper and mirrors. We ate a buffet-style lunch of Assamese food before touring some of the engineering projects going on at the university in the fields of electronics, bioengineering, and renewable energy. Later, Professor Das showed us his past and current rickshaw innovation projects. Afterwards, we were asked to give impromptu presentations about our respective projects. Our off-the-cuff presentations went pretty well, and we discussed future collaboration with Olin College and IIT Guwahati. All in all, our visit to the university was productive and exciting. It was interesting to learn about the type of work and research that goes on at one of MIT’s Indian counterparts.
After going to IIT, we split up from the Olin students and headed to downtown Guwahati. We enjoyed some delicious drinks at a neat coffee chain reminiscent of Starbucks. Later, we decided to brave the crowds at “Fancy Bazaar,” which turned out to be like a night market with a packed row of shops selling shoes, clothes, bags, and toys along the streets.