India’s Takachar on Sunday night won the first-ever prestigious Earthshot Prize with a cash prize of £1 million, given by the BBC for innovation under the Clean Out Air category.
According to the Takachar website, its aim is to ‘fight climate change by transforming massive amounts of waste biomass into marketable products around the world.’
Reacting to the honour, Takachar’s co-founder, Vidyut Mohan, said that how the deteriorating air pollution in Delhi had prompted him to innovate technology that converted farm waste into useful products without damaging the environment. He said that his granfather would be proud of his achievement.
There were two Indians nominated in the category with the third one being from China. 15-year-old Vinisha Umashankar was nominated from India for being the brain behind her invention of ironing carts that run by solar power instead of charcoal was another Indian to be nominated for the award.
Even though she failed to win the prestigious award, the organisers of the award would provide her help in taking her invention to a new level.
The Erathshot Awards will be held in different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030 to recognise five winners. Five, one million-pound prizes will be awarded each year for the next 10 years, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.
Attending the inaugural award was Sir David Attenborough, Liverpool footballer Mo Salah and Prince William among others. Prince William urged youngsters too keep working on new innovations to tackle the challenge of climate change. He also announced that the next year’s award would be held in the US.
After the awards, each winner will receive a global platform and prestigious profile, with their stories being showcased over the decade with the ambition that their solutions lead to mass adoption, replication and scaling.
The organisers of the award said that the £1 million in prize money will support environmental and conservation projects that are agreed with the winners. Shortlisted nominees will also be given tailored support and opportunities to help scale their work, including being connected with an ecosystem of like-minded individuals and organisations.