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When most of the 12th standard students are stuck with the aim
of scoring high in the upcoming board exams, Sahithi Pingali has a
planet in the Milky Way named after her. The 16 year old student
When most of the 12th standard students are stuck with the aim of scoring high in the upcoming board exams, Sahithi Pingali has a planet in the Milky Way named after her. The 16 year old student of Inventure Academy has been recognized in a rather diverse way for her contribution in cleaning up the citys polluted lakes.
Sahithi developed an app to gather information on the frothy, polluted lakes of Bengaluru through crowd-sourcing. Her interest towards this mission began after she got a chance to be part of Inventure Academy's change-making initiative; Our Lakes Our Voice (OLOV).She conducted an experiential case study on the foaming Varthur Lake and found its present condition extremely disheartening.
She was shocked to see the extent of the pollution contaminating the lakes across the city, and also by the number of lakes that have simply disappeared due to encroachment. In her interview with NDTV, she said that her system aimed to help citizens collect data through a low-cost, easy-to-use mobile-based water testing kit. She also added that the mobile app works with electronic sensors and chemical test strips to let the user collect several physical and chemical parameters of a water sample. The chemical test strips work with automatic phone-camera based color recognition and mapping software that she had built into the app. All you do is put the test strip inside a dark box, point your phone camera and flash at it, and click. The app maps the captured strip color to the contaminant concentration value, making everything easier and more accurate, explained Sahithi Pingali.
She was one among the top three finalists, out of the 2000 participants around the world, in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). For her achievement, the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) decided to name a planet after her.
Currently, Pingali is pursuing an internship at the University of Michigans Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Centre. Along with congratulating her whole heartedly, let us join her in her venture of saving the lakes.