In a quirky way of encouraging mobile users to dispose of their unused handset safely, a 29-year old cell phone mechanic in Udupi will be hosting a 'mobile-throwing' contest.
The contest, to be held on October 7, claims to give away new smartphones to the person who can fling their old mobile phone the farthest. The contest has already received over 700 curious contenders across Karnataka, the organisers claim.
For the past six years, 29-year-old mobile repairer Roopesh Kumar says that he has heard horror stories of people disposing of their unused phone unscientifically.
According to Roopesh, if people exchange or sell their old phones while buying new ones, then it is fine since a few of the parts are reusable and the batteries are sent to e-waste recyclers.
"But then, most people keep the unused phones with batteries attached to them, at home and places easily accessible to children. It can be dangerous as the batteries may leak or its flammable chemical compound can react to external temperature or substances, such as fire, which can be dangerous," he says.
Giving in to his fear, Roopesh, who completed his month-long certificate course in mobile repair and is now running his own repair unit, says he decided to organize the unique contest.
"About six years ago, they had similar contests in Brahmavar (Udupi), but it did not receive much publicity. But due to WhatsApp, when I announced this contest, the news spread and I am receiving enquiries from Mangaluru, Bellary, Chitradurga, Davanagere and Kodagu, among other places,” he says.
Roopesh explains that while the participants won’t be getting their old phones back, the unused devices will be handed over to a Mumbai-based authorised E-waste recycling agency.
"We are in talks with one such agency, others are welcome to join in as well. The ultimate idea is to dispose as many unused devices safely as possible and to avoid untoward incidents," Roopesh says.
The event will be held in Government PU College at Goliangadi, located about 44 kilometres from Manipal, between 9 am and 5 pm on Sunday (October 7). While the first prize will be a 4G smartphone, the second prize will be an Android model. To cover the expenses of the event, Roopesh has set a registration fee of Rs 20 per head.
Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP.)