San Francisco: Four young people from India are among sixteen young environmental activists from across the globe to receive a 2022 International Young Eco-Hero Award, announced Action For Nature. This award honours eco-conscious youth ages 8 to 16 who are taking crucial steps to solve tough environmental problems.
Winners of the International Young Eco-Hero Award are selected by a panel of independent judges, including experts in environmental science, biology, and education. Since 2003, Action For Nature has recognised more than 341 Eco-Heroes from over 31 countries and 26 U.S. States.
Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu
Recognition: First Prize in the 8-12-year-old category for her project, “Prasiddhi Forest Foundation.”
Prassidhi Singh has been planting trees since the age of two. She has created her own forest organisation that has planted more than 75,000 trees, created 21 fruit forests, and created three community nurseries that can house 25,000 saplings. The Prasiddhi Forest Foundation is continuing to work toward its ambitious goal of planting 100,000 acres of trees by the end of 2022.
For more information about Prasiddhi’s project, visit prasiddhiforest.org.
Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
Recognition: First Prize in the 13-16-year-old category for her project, “Solar Ironing Cart.”
Charcoal-operated ironing carts are common in Vinisha Umashankar’s neighbourhood and other African and Asian countries. Concerned with air pollution and deforestation, Vinisha decided to take advantage of India’s abundance of sunshine and designed a solar-powered ironing cart that could save millions of trees, reduce pollution, and be less costly than charcoal. Vinisha’s plan is to soon begin production of the carts, starting with twenty in her own town, 100 for the State, and then scale up production for national and overseas distribution.
For more information about Vinisha’s project, visit linkedin.com/in/vinisha-umashankar-tamilnadu-india.
Recognition: Second Place in the 13-16-year-old category for his project, “Urvara.”
Adhi Daiv wanted to investigate what could be done to address the lack of water for people, crops, and livestock in desert areas like Rajasthan. He recruited hundreds of volunteers in rural districts to implement the Urvara Initiative, a special method to take advantage of the monsoon season for irrigation. In this irrigation method, a sapling tree is inserted into a deep hole filled with one litre of water. As the climate turns dry, the tree’s roots stretch down into the aquifer, allowing the tree to grow. The aquifer naturally replenishes when the next monsoon season arrives. The project’s pilot phase had great success with a 95 per cent tree survival rate and has saved approximately 725,000 litres of water.
For more information about Adhi’s project, visit vande-urvara.org.
Recognition: Honorable Mention in the 13-16-year-old category for his project, “Thermal Floater.”
Sparsh has had an interest in solving the renewable energy dilemma since he was young. His Thermal Floater device efficiently converts thermal energy from the sun into electrical energy using a complex yet small mechanical system that can generate up to 10 kWh of electricity per day.
For more information about Sparsh’s project, visit thermal-floater.github.io
“Young people have shown that the next generation of leaders is here, and they are taking action across the globe now to address the climate crisis and solve local, national, and global environmental challenges,” said Beryl Kay, President of Action For Nature, an international non-profit organisation that encourages young people to nurture a love and respect for the Earth and to take personal action to improve the environment. “The projects that these young people have created are having real and important impacts on their communities, helping to solve global climate challenges, and are inspiring others – including adults – to do what they can to help.”