In times of global warming, it’s very important to develop a resilient relationship with water. In India, especially in summer, talk about water crisis is on everyone’s lips. Elaborate editorial columns are written in newspapers and discussions held on ways to tackle the crisis.
Everything from rainwater harvesting to best farming practices, restoring water bodies to interlinking rivers, is written about or discussed. So, when two boys from Himachal Pradesh developed a water-saving toilet cleaning solution, it didn’t come as a surprise that they won a national level science contest for their innovation.
The two boys — Kartik Dhiman of Government Senior Secondary School, Ghalian, Kangra, and Vinayak Rana of Kutlehar Public School, Balh, Una – won the ‘Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Award-MANAK’, in 2019. The event was organised by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, at IIT-Delhi on February 14 and 15, 2019. About 850 students from across the country and 31 from Himachal Pradesh participated in the competition. Of these, 60 participants were declared winners.
Talking about the innovation, Kartik said how he decided to come up with this solution when he realised the huge amount of water that was being wasted when students in school use the washrooms. “Even if they wanted to save water, there was difficulty because of the brush used and of course so much of water was always being wasted.”
Kartik’s device has a switch to rotate the brush attached to the device and also one that works for water. And since the pressure of the water is less, it ensure much less is wasted.
MANAK, which stands for ‘Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge’, aims to motivate students in the age group of 10 to 15 years and studying in classes six to 10. The main idea behind MANAK is to inspire people and children with a target one million original ideas or innovations which are rooted in science and societal applications. This needs to be done in order to foster a culture of creativity and innovative thinking among school children. Under the scheme, till September 30, 2020, schools could nominate five best original ideas or innovations of students.
In a country like India, where safe drinking water is a development goal, such citizen-led initiatives can only help prevent wastage and turn the tide. It doesn’t require rocket science to figure out that water use for toilets accounts for an alarming amount of wastage. So, to bring that proportion down, the innovation by the boys is perhaps the easiest way to instantly reduce the amount of water that is wasted every day.
With each passing, worsening water shortages are leaving people across the country more dependent on aid. To address that issue, at the citizen level, people should start taking more initiative to help conserve the resource.
Be a part of the Harpic – News18 Mission Paani campaign, take the Pledge to Save Water and catch all updates to the Waterthon here.