Man on a mission to provide clean, cheap drinking water in Belagavi

An engineering student has developed a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution to make drinking water available to everyone.

Published: 19th February 2017 05:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2017 05:42 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

BELAGAVI: Safe drinking water is a mirage for most people in the country. While some urban areas may still have access to potable water, it’s not so in the hinterlands. Despite scientists trying to develop new technologies to provide clean water, they are yet to reach rural areas.

But an engineering student has designed and developed a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution to make safe drinking water available to everyone.

Niranjan Karagi, a final-year student of Angadi Institute of Technology and Management in Belagavi, has come up with a portable water purifier called ‘Nirnal’ that costs just Rs 20.

Ask him how he came up with the idea and the 22-year-old explains, “There is a playground near my house where schoolchildren play daily. I often see them filling up their empty plastic bottles with dirty water from a tank nearby. The sight of children drinking unclean water motivated me to design the purifier.”

He added, “After a few days of working on the product, I filtered some water and sent the sample to the Chief Food Divisional Office in Bengaluru and the results were good.”

And then, there was no looking back for the young engineer. He decided to take the project to the next level and approached Leaders Accelerating Development (LEAD) programme of Deshpande Foundation in Hubballi and Sandbox Startup. Both the organisations partially funded the project and guided Niranjan on developing the filter unit. In July 2016, the product was launched.

“As of now I have sold more than 8,000 units to schoolchildren, farmers and daily wage labourers,” says Niranjan. He also supplied the units to Army commandos who came for training at the base camp in Belagavi in January.

He has also received bulk orders from countries in Africa, and Qatar. At present, he is working on a prototype of the purifier that can be fit into a bottle of any dimension, not just pet bottles. The newly-designed product will be launched in March.

“It is in the final stages of completion. I am also planning to tie up with the Karnataka government so that I can reach more children across the state and distribute the purifier free of cost,” he says.



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