On Tuesday, 13-year-old Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai from Odisha won the Community Impact Award at the prestigious Google Science Fair 2015 held in California.
Lalita's project, titled 'Cleaning Waste Water With Corn Cobs', basically developed a cheap method of cleaning waste water from domestic and industrial sources by using "one of the most under-utilised agricultural wastes" — corn cobs — as the key ingredient.
The Class IX student who hails from Damanjodi in Koraput district, Odisha, said, "I like to visit nearby villages and observe their lifestyle. They live in harmony with their surroundings by utilising natural resources, without affecting the ecological web. Their lifestyle revolves around agriculture, in cultivating many varieties of crops. This developed an interest in me to focus on science and develop something new, related to agriculture."
"My inspiration is Dr M S Swaminathan, the father of the Green Revolution in India," she added.
Lalita, who studies in Delhi Public School, received 10,000 USD (more than Rs 6,60,000) as prize money. She will also be supported for one year by the organisation to work on her project.
According to a report in Hindu, the teachers in her school are elated. In fact, the headmaster of the school said, "We have planned a major function on the campus to honour Lalita, when she returns.”
Winners of the Google Science Fair 2015