In a moment of pride for India, class IX student Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai, 13, from a small town Damanjodi in Odisha has won the Community Impact Award, - the ‘Women of Worth’ for her project at the Google Science Fair. The event was held in California, in the US.
The awardee developed an innovative and cost-effective way of cleaning waste-water, which uses waste corncobs as a key ingredient. The eco-friendly purifier cleans waste water by flowing through different layers of corncobs, immobilizing the contaminants in ponds, reservoirs and water tanks. Corn, an important staple, is widely grown in India. While corn kernels have widespread uses, the cob itself is considered waste. In her experiment Prasida found that waste corncobs are able to absorb contaminants such as salt oxides, detergent, suspended particles, coloured dyes, oil, grease and even some heavy metals.
She was awarded $10,000 as prize money and she will be further supported for one year by the organisation to build on her project.
Prasida said she likes to visit nearby villages and observe their lifestyle that revolves around cultivating varieties of crops, from which she developed an interest to focus on science and develop something new related to agriculture