Indian Teenager makes an Ardent Speech at COP26
The emphatic speech delivered by Ms. Vinisha Umashankar, the finalist of Earthshot Prize 2021 at the U.N. Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, the U.K. received standing ovations where she vociferously inferred the need to protect our environment for future generations to live in a ‘habitable world’. She was invited by the Duke of Cambridge to speak of clean technology and innovation at the Climate Conference. Among her audience were world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She appealed to the leaders that “young people have every reason to be angry and frustrated at leaders who have made empty promises and failed to deliver. We need actions rather than promises to live in a habitable world”. Ms. Umashankar, a student, innovator, environmentalist, and entrepreneur but most importantly, an optimist added that Earth should be fit for living for the future generations and they should “stop talking and start doing”. She also said that she is a representative of the planet Earth and not just a girl from India and that her generation represents the future and that they need support from the world leaders to build a “better world for all of us”.
Ms. Vinisha Umashankar, a class X student from Tamil Nadu has been recognized by the Duke of Cambridge for her concept for a solar-powered ironing cart to cut coal usage with the potential to improve air quality across India - a project she began working on when she was aged 12. A solar-powered ironing cart, which would replace the conventional charcoal ironing box, would power a steam ironing box to do its job. Ms. Umashankar’s mobile ironing cart has solar panels with a roof connected to a 100 Ah battery. A 12 volt 100 Ah battery needs about 1,200 watts of power to be fully charged. The solar panels produce 250 watts of power per hour. It takes five hours of bright sunshine to fully charge the battery, which in turn powers the steam ironing box for six hours. Her innovation brought her laurels from around the world, including the prestigious Children’s Climate Prize in November 2021. The prize given by the Sweden-based Children’s Climate Foundation is one of the most significant climate-related awards for young innovators. Vinisha's solar-powered cart offers a coal-free alternative and the idea could also be used for other kinds of street vending across the world.