“I was born in Connecticut and when I was 4 years old, I moved to North Carolina. I grew up in the US until I was 12 years old. I moved to India in 2018. Growing up in the US, I was quite familiar with solar power because almost every house has one installed. When I moved back to India, I was surprised how they are not putting the abundance of resources to good use.
I wanted to build on the available resources. I did a course in solar power under the guidance of Mr Solanki. Eventually, I went on to become the protege of Mr Srinivas Sankoratri. He used to take workshops on solar energy to school children. I had interned under him and worked on solar energy presentations and workshops. It is always good to learn something beyond school and textbooks.
I wish our predominant education system focused on extracurricular activities, soft skills and skills-based learning too. It will lay a strong foundation for children. There should be a holistic focus on all the subjects besides Math and Science.
With my inclination towards the environment and social service, I started a foundation and initiatives on my own, besides attending school and classes. Climate change, planet-saving and nature conservation always fascinated me. Solar energy seemed the most viable renewable energy in India and I had a keen interest in taking it up and working around it.
With the support from family and with the help of a few volunteers, I went around Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to provide solar power lamps to more than 700 children from rural areas. With no uninterrupted electricity, they are deprived of access to light and other basic needs. I distribute to build your DIY solar lamps with an instruction manual in different languages. I teach them how to use the lamp, charge it and maintain it. Earlier, I used to go in person and teach them, now I take online workshops on how to assemble the lamp and use it.
While I launched the solar lamps distribution initiative in October 2020, I had catapulted an NGO called Care Good Foundation in April 2020, where I distribute medicines to people in old age homes. Whenever I would come to visit my grandparents in India, I would visit a few orphanages and old age homes along with them. I am close to both my maternal and paternal grandparents. I wanted to ensure I showered love and concern for everyone’s grandparents. With Covid-19 cases soaring, I wanted to make sure no grandparent suffered, at least within my capacity.
A lot of people didn’t take me seriously because of my age. However, I didn’t let that stop me from chasing my endeavours. I raised funds through crowdfunding and with the unwavering help of my family professors and volunteers, I managed to work with medicines dealers and delivery agents.
I continue to work on both my ventures- medicine distribution to old age homes and solar panel lamps to children. I am going into my 10th standard and with time, I only hope to grow further with my aspirations.”
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