IISc Developing System to Make the Kumbh Mela Accident-Free

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The Kumbh Mela is known worldwide for the sheer number of devotees that it draws to it. The recently concluded Ujjain Kumbh Mela was no different, with a recorded footfall of almost 7.5 crore people! With such numbers, it isn’t a surprise that accidents take place at the Mela, at times causing severe injuries, and sometimes, even death.

The IIsc team that visited this year’s Kumbh Mela hopes to change all that.


Photo source: wikimedia

The team, headed by Ashish Verma, consisted of around 180 experts, including professionals and software developers. The team was  also working with experts from the University of Amsterdam.

They camped in the city for a total of 44 days, studying the pulse of the fair on the ground and collecting data.

This data will be used to create algorithms and other sophisticated methods to aid event managers in the future.
The system consists of an early warning system that can prevent accidents from happening by informing civilians beforehand.

“It’s a three-year project. We’ll build a software that can take live crowd numbers and calculate disaster threats real-time and warn of the same 20-30 minutes in advance. We are creating benchmarks on data collection and crowd dynamics, also because this is the single largest gathering of people, unrivalled by any other community celebrations across the globe,” Ashish Verma told Indiatimes

The Ujjain Mela was relatively accident-free, but a tent collapse on the May 5, 2016, left seven people dead. The team aims to use the massive amount of data that it has collected to prevent such accidents from taking place in the future.

Although a perfectly fine-tuned model compatible with any program will take a minimum of two years to create, the result would surely be worth the wait. Let’s hope the team achieves success in creating an accident-free Kumbh Mela in the future!

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About the author: Varun Jadia is a high schooler who has just completed his Class 10 boards. He enjoys listening to music, playing his guitar, playing badminton, writing and reading. Math is his favourite subject, and in the future, he wishes to pursue a career in economics.

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