The Extraordinary Teenager

lalita- Parenting resources by Zenparent

The culture of materialism and a self-centred approach that is prevalent around affects children too. It is like a high tide that affects everything in its path and one cannot blame the young minds, this tide overpowers them too. However, we would like to believe that there are some confident young minds, which recognize their ability to contribute and connect with people around them. These children are resilient and are rooted in a belief that they must contribute to the world and give back to society.

One such bright and extraordinary teenager is Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai, who belongs to Odisha and is only 14 years old and studying in Class 9. She is poised to contribute to the world with her latest invention that speaks volumes of her willingness to look beyond the ordinary.  When Lalita was younger, her lone strolls along the countryside would take her across farms and she would watch with rapt attention as the farmers worked in the fields. For her these walks were trips to gain insights and question much of what she saw. Her young mind was constantly thinking about the heaps of corncobs that lay spread in the blistering sun.

Her curiosity got the better of her and she enquired from the farmers as to the use of the discarded part of the cob. One such conversation led her to the idea of using the dehydrated corncobs as part of a filter for contaminated water. Lalita devised an apparatus that uses corn to mob up dirt and grime from water collected from drainage pipes and natural water tarns. Her invention has been lauded at the 5 Annual Google Science Fair, a competition that recognizes, celebrates and rewards innovation. She received the Scientific American’s Community Impact Award and a cash prize of USD 10,000 from Google. They have also promised to mentor her for a year to help build the project.

Lalita is ecstatic and is very excited to carry this project to fruition. In addition, she said that to purify the water even more, after it has passed through ‘the invented filter’, boiling or adding iodine tablets would suffice. Before it can be marketed to the farmers, the invention would require some more physical and chemical examinations. Lalita is hopeful that her invention will be a cost effective and eco-friendly solution to purifying ground water and industrial tanks.

The invention should reinforce our belief in the fact that if there is a willing and open mind, great things are possible. Pursuing a career in agricultural studies is what Lalita plans to do in the future. We wish her the very best and are sure that her thirst for knowledge and zest to contribute to the world, will inspire many more young minds.

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