Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
Be it poverty, lack of access to education and healthcare, improving women’s rights, or environmental change, Hamza Farrukh and his team of like-minded young millennials are finding innovative and sustainable solutions.
Hamza completed his undergraduate in Economics and Political Science at Williams College and spent a year studying PPE at Exeter College, University of Oxford.
Trailblazing Hamza Farrukh, after graduating, clinched a coveted position with the fortune 500 company Goldman Sachs.
Hamza later founded international non-profit organization Bondh E Shams (The Solar Water Project) as a cost-effective, and sustainable solution to the global water crisis that affects millions of people worldwide.
Bondh E Shams is an idea conceived by Hamza during his time at Williams College in Massachusetts. He and his non-profit organization have won the coveted Lady Diana Award for bringing sustainable clean water to water-stressed communities. Established in 1999, the Lady Diana Award supports outstanding achievements of young people.
“Bondh E Shams is not just another water charity. It’s a global movement of like-minded and tech-savvy students and young professionals committed to climate action and to solving the global water crisis leveraging the gift of renewable energy and IoT,” Hamza tells The Logical Indian.
Bondh E Shams’s innovative solution called the Oasis Box uses solar energy to power water pumps that last for decades and is able to provide clean water at 1% of the cost of bottled water. Hamza combined conventional and existing technology with solar panels and created the first affordable and green solution to water scarcity of its kind. Initially, the goal was to bring water to his ancestral village in Pakistan, Jurr Village.
In March 2014, his idea received the International Davis Projects for Peace Prize including a $10,000 grant allowing Bondh E Shams to become much more than just an idea. In the backdrop of winning Davis projects for peace, Hamza toured Pakistani high schools to recruit volunteers – 15 students at Roots School System and Beaconhouse School in Rawalpindi joined his cause.
The group visited Jurr Village in Pakistan to understand the context of the area, survey and collect data, following which they started work. Building on the issues of water scarcity in the area and how it is impacting and affecting the lives of local residents, they contracted local solar providers and hired local labourers to start off Bondh E Shams.
Since then, the team has expanded to 50 volunteers across Islamabad, London, New York and South Sudan. Hamza’s idea also won the 1st prize at the Analyst Impact Fund at Goldman Sachs London, winning $150,000. This solution is currently being used by and is benefiting 13 communities in Pakistan with three solar oasis boxes in South Sudan.
“Bondh E Shams began with my story – the story of a young boy from Pakistan who went to study in America and used his resources to set up a solar-powered water pump in his ancestral village. But now it is the story of a team across Pakistan, India, the UK, the US, South Sudan and more, which is bringing our flagship technology, the Oasis Box, to villages all over the world,” says Hamza.
Hamza is an Associate in Securities Division at Goldman Sachs and a Forbes ’30 under 30′ Social Entrepreneur. He vows to continue his pursuit to uplift the marginalized communities in Pakistan.
“The future of Bondh E Shams is simple: there are 1.2 billion people without safe water, and we aim to reach every single one of them,” Hamza says.
Hamza Farrukh has also begun advocating for other vital causes, including better educational opportunities for girls, and youth enfranchisement via entrepreneurship.
With #MySocialResponsibility, we aim to bring you more inspiring stories of individuals and organisations across the globe. If you also know about any changemakers, share their story at [email protected] and we'll spread the word.
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