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January 13, 2022 Thursday 01:53:31 PM IST

Vinisha Umashankar to be Batonbearer for 2022 Queen's Baton Relay

Sports & Games

University of Birmingham has chosen 14-year old Vinisha Umashankar, talented innovator and environmentalist as the Batonbearer in India for the 2022 Queen's Baton Relay. 

She designed a mobile ironing cart which uses solar panels to eliminate the need for polluting coal for ironing said, “I like using science and technology to look at things in a different way. I’d love to become a scientist and invent useful products that improve people’s living standards. Being the University of Birmingham’s Batonbearer in India is fantastic and I’d like to thank the University for this awesome opportunity.”
“Being the University of Birmingham’s Batonbearer in India is fantastic and I’d like to thank the University for this awesome opportunity. The University’s scientists are really inspirational – they are living my dream of finding solutions to the big challenges that we face. I like the way the experts at University of Birmingham work with partners in India forming this unique living bridge of UK-India experts in fields like surgical hygiene, environmental pollution and sustainable cooling – fields of research that can help improve people’s lives.”.

University of Birmingham experts are leading a series of high-profile events exploring how researchers can help to solve global challenges affecting the people of India. The events celebrate the Baton’s arrival in India. 

In India, the events feature a range of top British and Indian experts, and cover areas such as: Future of Work, Gender Equality, Women in STEMM, Sports Science for Performance amongst others. These events will be underpinned by Commonwealth-wide celebrations for staff, students and alumni and campaign #gamechangingbirmingham.

British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is a global journey from Birmingham to every nation in the Commonwealth and I am thrilled to see the baton reach several Indian cities during India’s 75th anniversary year. The UK and India have a unique living bridge of people, ideas and culture that bring our two countries together, often through our love for sport. We look forward to inspiring generations to come through the first ever carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games.” 

The University’s environmental scientists have helped create a hi-tech ‘heart’ for the Queen’s Baton, which contains atmospheric sensors with laser technology that analyses the environmental conditions wherever it is in the world. Augmented Reality (AR) will be used to visualise creatively data captured throughout the journey to invite conversations around air quality across the Commonwealth.

Data collected on the Baton’s journey will contribute to ongoing research projects being conducted across the globe by a team led by atmospheric scientist Professor Francis Pope who said, “Atmospheric data captured during the Baton’s global journey will be highly valuable in starting important conversations around air quality across the Commonwealth. We have several air quality research programmes in India and look forward to receiving data from the Baton during its time in country.” 

The University of Birmingham is planning a series of events to mark the Baton’s progress through countries where it has particularly strong research and education partnerships.