Meet 17-Year-Old Deepika Kurup, Recipient Of U.S. President’s Environmental Youth Award

The Logical Indian

October 1st, 2015

Image Courtesy: davidsonfellowsscholarship

This is a story of an girl Deepika Kurup who has taken a responsibility to change something & she did it.

She was just 14 years old when she realized during her trip to India that the kids like her are forced to drink dirty water & thought to change this scenario. And this dedication leads her to an invention.

She made a prototype of a water purifier that kills all the germs at cheapest cost. She was just an 8th grade student of Nashua High School South New Hampshire, USA when she invented a water purification system that uses a photo catalytic composite & sunlight to clean water. This child has done that which most of us didn’t even think.

This invention leads her to earn her recognition as America’s Top Young Scientist in 2012. Since then she is continuously working on her invention to improve it & she succeeded. After lots of hard work she is selected as a finalist for the 2015 Google science fair.

She highlighted some figures which is horrifying. According to her one-ninth of the global population lacks access to clean water. More than 2 million people die every year due to water related diseases.

When she was on a trip to India she saw a very disgusting scenario where the children are forced to drink dirty water available on the streets. They don’t have any other choice. When she compare herself she feels really disgusting. According to her access to clean water is a global issue. After seeing this scenario Deepika decided to do something to the society.

Initially she found that many water purification methods are expensive and potential hazardous. Normally people uses chlorine to clean water but it also creates harmful byproduct. Also you have to keep putting chlorine to the waste water to purify it. Her invention leads her to invent the new way to clean water which is both cheap & sustainable.So she came up with an idea of using a photo catalyst. It’s a substance that reacts with the impurities of water when kept in sun light & purify the water. She assures that this method is much cheaper than chlorine filtration.

According to her this system reduces around 98% of coliform bacteria immediately after filtration & rest of the bacteria are filtered after 15 minutes. Means you can drink your pure water within 15 minutes after filtration that too at cheapest price. The best part of the catalyst is that you can reuse it every time. It is not a consumable catalyst; it will not get used up in the reaction. So practically you can use this catalyst forever. Isn’t it amazing?

Her initial idea already won her the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist in 2012 & awarded $25000. She was also the recipient of the 2013 President’s Environmental Youth Award. She also won 2014 United States Stockholm Junior Water Prize and awarded $10000. She was also named in one of the Forbes Magazine’s 2015 “30 Under 30 in Energy”.

She is planning to study neurobiology at Harvard University. She is looking forward to taking her research from Lab to real life.

She is a real inspiration. She taught us that creativity has no boundaries. If you want to change something then pack your bag of ideas and step into the ocean of discoveries. That’s the only way out from a situation.

Keep discovering…!!

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