TN’s 14-yo gets nominated for ‘Eco-Oscars’ for her solar powered ironing cart innovation

ByLife Beyond Numbers
Oct 13, 2021 04:47 PM IST

The 14-year-old girl made an environmentally friendly ironing cart by substituting the damaging charcoal with solar energy.

Vinisha Umashankar, a Tamil Nadu teenager, is a contestant for the Earthshot Prize this year. The ‘Eco Oscars’, founded by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, in 2019, is given to people doing their part to help the degrading ecosystem move in a more sustainable path.

Vinisha with her solar iron cart.(Life Beyond Numbers)
Vinisha with her solar iron cart.(Life Beyond Numbers)
Vinisha with her solar iron cart.(Life Beyond Numbers)
Vinisha with her solar iron cart.(Life Beyond Numbers)

‘Clean Our Air’ is a campaign that encourages people to do so as well. Umashankar, who hails from the state’s Tiruvannamalai, has been named a finalist in the ‘Clean Our Air’ section of the awards.

While walking down to her school, she often observed the regular charcoal-ironing carts. And that’s when she decided to come up with an idea to serve the environment.

“She started looking into the impacts of charcoal because she was curious. She witnessed how vendors’ lungs are afflicted by smoke. She was also surprised to discover the link between charcoal and forest destruction: each year, large numbers of trees are cut to create charcoal,” as per the Earthshot Prize’s website.

The cart will run for six hours straight with five hours of sunlight. On the top of the cart, there is also a phone charging dock. Furthermore, it meets 13 of the 15 Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations (SDG).

Vinisha aims to sell it for a reasonable price and ship it to Asia, Africa, and other countries in the regions where the sun shines all year.

Vidyut Mohan, a Delhi-based entrepreneur, is also shortlisted in the same category. His idea, known as ‘Takachar,’ attempts to minimize pollution generated by residue farming in the nation’s northern regions.

Takachar is a small-scale, portable device that’ll be mounted to tractors. As a result, crop waste will be converted into bio-products such as fertilizer and fuel, which will help to reduce pollution in Delhi and the nearby region.

On October 17, the award ceremony will kick off with a speech from Prince William himself at Alexandra Palace in London. This will include Sir David Attenborough at his inspiring best, encouraging everyone to do their part to preserve the planet.

This was story was first published on Life Beyond Numbers.

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