DK gal wins eco-award

The project on bio-pesticide prepared by a tenth standard student of Vivekananda English Medium High School has won her recognition, at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, in which 1,500 young scientists from 70 countries participated, writes Naina J A

Education, in India, generally means cramming for examinations. Any opportunity given to students to prove their capability, will surely give wings to their imagination and come out with wonderful creations. The knowledge on science, engineering, technology, and mathematics provide a ground for creativity which can help in solving the pressing problems of the future world.
 Little encouragement and guidance will flare up the imagination of the students. This has been proved by Sindura Saraswathi, a class 10 student of Vivekananda English Medium High School, Puttur, by winning international science prize for developing a bio-pesticide.

Her project was one among the six projects selected from India in the International Science and Engineering Fair, held at Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and won Second Award sponsored by Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty Foundation for Environmental Sciences.  Speaking to City Herald, she said it was a high school science research competition wherein 1,500 young scientists from 70 countries had taken part. “I had developed an eco-friendly bio-pesticide for controlling the tea mosquito bug (Helopeltis antonii sign. or ‘Tea solle’) in Theobroma cacao L. 

She said she used information provided by her father Muralidhar Bhat Bangaradka, who is a engineer turned farmer. She learnt about the pesticide from her grandfather, who used it on eriophyid mites in coconut trees.

“Here I have made a biopesticide with five plant extracts. The extract of  kasarka,’ ‘meki soppu,’ ‘raav beeja,’ ‘kahibevu’ and ‘norekai’ (soapnut) were used for making the solution. The solution should be diluted by 1:10, for using the cocoa plant to control the tea mosquito bug,” she says.

The disease affects cocoa plants. 

“Though we can control the disease affecting the plants, using chemicals, they are toxic and have an effect on environment unlike eco-friendly pesticides,” she says and adds:

“the bio-pesticide can also be used for vegetables. Initially, I had tried it on vegetables like lentils, beans, lady’s finger and so on. I started the work on the project eight to ten months ago with the help of my father.” 

“I was happy to represent India in an international-level competition. I was excited about the whole situation. It was a thrilling moment when they announced my name,” she recalled.

“I was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during mid-May, where we had an opportunity to interact with Nobel laureates. It was an unforgettable moment. We interacted on science and science research.”  

On her favourite subjects, she says: “Mathematics and science are my  favourite subjects. I want to carry on my studies in Nano Technology in the future.”  Sindura Saraswathi says the competition like this encourages millions of students to improve their skills for innovation to develop solutions for challenges of the world.”

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