Odisha’s ‘Google girl’ invents low-cost water purifier


She nourishes a passion for serving the society through scientific research of mass interest. For the class IX student, age is never a bar for quenching libido sciendi, as if inspired by the Wings of Fire.

Bestowed with a gift of curiosity, the roadside corn fields filled Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai’s head and heart to go in for a project to develop a low-cost water purifier.

The 13-year-old student from Odisha’s tribal dominated Koraput district has earned laurels by winning the ‘Community Impact Award’ at the prestigious Google Science Fair 2015 held in California recently.

The ‘Google girl’ said, “I’m fond of visiting villages and observing the lifestyle of the villagers. While going on the road, I often see corn cobs lying scattered over. An idea dawned on me that they could be of immense use to society. I related it to waste water purifying and later approached my school teacher Pallavi.”

Her prized project ‘Cleaning Waste Water With Corn Cobs’ is basically a cheap and raw method of purifying waste water released by domestic and industrial sources.

The student of Damanjodi Delhi Public School feels elated at getting an award from an international platform as it, according to her, would definitely help in carving out her future career and play a big role in paving a path for her to pursue scientific research.

She said, “It’s quite a big moment for me to get an award from an international platform. It would decide my future career, play a big role to boost my curious bend of mind and pursue scientific research for the mass benefit of society.”

Father of the Indian Green Revolution M.S. Swaminathan is her icon, and the Google girl says she always dreams of going in for such research work that would better up our agrarian society.

Averring that invention knows no age bar, Lalita said curiosity in one’s self should never be curbed and one needs a true mentor to reach the destination.

Lalita said in her message to fellow students, “I feel that innovation has no age limit. If you have a keen interest and are patted by a good mentor, the curiosity in you gets a shape and figure in one day or other.”

The girl has not only bagged $10,000 (Over Rs.6,60,000) as prize money but also would be supported for one year by Google to work on her project.

While Google Science Fair competition received entries in 15 languages, 90 regional and 20 global finalists were shortlisted.

The Science Fair is an online competition which has been sponsored by companies like Google, CERN, Lego, National Geographic and the Scientific American, said sources.

Started in 2011, the Google initiative covers scientifically tempered children between the age of 13 and 18 the world-over.