A girl from Tamil Nadu named Vinisha Umashankar is one of the finalists for The Earthshot Prize this year. Created by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William in 2019, they are known as the 'Eco Oscars' which are given to people who do their bit to take the already-degrading environment in a more sustainable direction.
The 14-year-old girl created an eco-friendly alternative for the humble ironing cart as she replaced the harmful charcoal with solar energy. Instead of the humungous iron used, the electrical appliance will be used on the cart instead.
'Clean Our Air'
Hailing from Tiruvannamalai in the state, Umashankar is chosen as the finalist in the 'Clean Our Air' category of the awards. This idea came to her when she was walking to school and saw the usual charcoal-using ironing carts. "Curious, she began researching the impact of charcoal. She saw how smoke causes lung diseases among vendors. And she was shocked to learn of the connection between charcoal and deforestation- each year industrial quantities of trees are felled to make charcoal," The Earthshot Prize's website said about the brainchild.
With five hours of sunlight, the cart will be powered on for six straight hours. It has a phone charging point as well on the top of the cart. Along with that, it fulfils 13 out of 15 of the United Nations' 'Sustainable Development Goals'(SDG). Vinisha hopes to sell this at an affordable price and wants to export it to Asia, Africa and other places 'where the sun shines throughout the year.'
Not The Only Indian Finalist
Umashankar is not the only one who made it to the final race from the country. A Delhi-based entrepreneur named Vidyut Mohan is also nominated in the same category. His invention is called 'Takachar' that aims to reduce the pollution caused by stubble farming in the Northern parts of the country. It is a small-scale and portable technology that will be attached to tractors. In turn, this will convert crop residue into bio-products like fertiliser and fuel, which will do wonders in curbing the pollution menace in Delhi and other surrounding areas.
The award ceremony will take place in London on October 17 at the city's Alexandra Palace. The event will begin with an introduction given by Prince William himself. It will also feature Sir David Attenborough, who will be his inspiring best and encourage everyone to do their bit to save the earth.