A casual labourer’s daughter and a farmer’s son from Jharkhand are among a group of young talented Indians who have been chosen to represent the country at a science congress to be held in Japan in May.
Bundu’s 15-year-old Pushpa Kumari and 16-year-old Anil Singh from Ramgarh will participate in the Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science (SAKURA Exchange Program in Science) for their innovative models.
Kumari, a student of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV), has been selected for coming up with an affordable baby food with a view to combat infant malnutrition in the country. Her product, Baal Amrit, costs Rs. 59 per kilogramme - a lot cheaper than other branded baby food available in the market.
“Baal Amrit has all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients important for the growth of a baby. It has been made using 15 food products including wheat, peanut, soya bean, basil and iodine salt among others,” Shashikant Mishra, her teacher who helped her develop it, said.
Kumari, who helped her family in rearing cattle at home and did not go to school till she was 11 years old, joined KGBV only in class 6.
Her hard work and talent paid off and she was one of the five students selected for the Inspire Award Scheme held at IIT-Delhi. The award is organised by the Union ministry of science and technology to promote and develop scientific talent among students.
Impressed by her efforts, the state HRD department has decided to launch her product in the market.
“We will provide her with the required help. We are planning to first test the baby food in a few Anganwadi centres and then launch it in the market,” Aradhana Patnaik, secretary at school education and literacy department, said.
Anil, a class 10 student at Pindra’s Sramik High School at Topa, was selected for the programme after he showed how coal mines could be used even after extraction of coal from them by putting dust material under the earth.
“I want to do something extra for my family and nation. I believe in high and positive thinking,” Anil said.
His model too was selected at the Inspire Award Scheme and has thrown open an opportunity for him to visit Japan.
“I am a farmer and my wife is a housewife. We do not properly know what my son has done but we know he is going abroad for his good work. May god bless my son so that he can do good for the country,” Anil’s father Krishna Karmali said.
District education officer Ratan Singh said Anil is extremely talented and will go a long way if he gets proper support.
“I am glad to share that teachers are contributing for his Japan visit.”