Clean Tech

Young innovations to clean our air

Preeti Mehra November 14 | Updated on November 15, 2021

Two Indian winners of the Earthshot Prize make their mark at COP26

If the world is serious about mitigating climate change, then it must find new ways of reducing greenhouse gases.

This was reinforced at the just concluded COP26 in Glasgow when the winners and finalists of the coveted Earthshot Prize reportedly came together for the first time. They took part in the ‘Accelerating Clean Technology and Deployment’ event at the World Leaders Summit, where Prince William delivered a speech and showcased their solutions to environmental challenges.

Of the two young Indian awardees in the ‘clean our air’ segment, 14-year-old Vinisha Umashankar from Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, had designed a solar-powered ironing cart for ‘dhobis’ — those who iron clothes for a living from roadside kiosks in cities. Most of them use charcoal to heat the iron and dump the cinders as garbage.

Umashankar researched the impact of charcoal smoke on human lungs and the environment. She also learned about the link between charcoal and deforestation.

Her iron cart is not only non-polluting, but also ensures mobility and, thereby, added income for the dhobi.

Her solution aids 13 of the 15 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The young girl plans to use the prize to manufacture an affordable solar ironing cart and export her invention to sunny countries in Asia and Africa.

The second Indian awardee, winner Vidyut Mohan’s solution has an even larger scope — it offers an alternative to burning crop residue, which severely impacts air quality.

His venture, Takachar, enables farmers to harvest value from crop residue rather than burn it.

Thirty-year-old Mohan and his US partner Kevin Kung have built a low-cost machine that farmers can attach to tractors. The machine can process agriculture and forest waste into fuels and fertiliser. The £1-million prize will help the innovators scale up to make a big difference — cut emissions by up to 98 per cent .

The Earthshot Prize will continue to annually reward five climate innovators for the next ten years.

Published on November 14, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like