Naugachia boy, city girl excel in innovation3 min read
PATNA: Bihar is known for its brilliant students. Two such students are Gopal Jee from Naugachia town in Bhagalpur district and Shalini Kumari from Digha in Patna.
Gopal Jee, a Class XII student of Model High School Tulsipur, has invented an eco-friendly means of producing electricity from banana stems. “I got the idea when I was in Class IX. One day my shirt got stained from the banana juice and it was impossible to remove it. I asked my teachers and they made me realize that acid leaves a similar stain. I got curious and thought if banana juice is acidic in nature, it can produce electricity as a battery fluid does?” said an excited Gopal.
Gopal has secured 75% in the intermediate exams the results of which were declared by Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) on Tuesday.
His father, Prem Ranjan Kumar, is a farmer and has a banana plantation. Naugachia is a town famous for banana plantation, but the area gets flooded almost every year. Gopal recalls how, during the 2008 monsoon, all the banana crops of his father’s farm were destroyed in floods. He realized that his idea could turn all the waste into a method of providing efficient green energy. He researched and bought two electrodes.
“I bought two electrodes — one zinc and one copper — and placed them in a cell and connected them to two lengths of banana stems measuring one foot each,” said Gopal. This produced 3 volts of electricity, enough to light one LED bulb for three hours. To produce electricity further, he added more stems and electrodes and created a circuit that would produce up to 12 volts of electricity.
He competed at the ‘Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)’, which is a national programme implemented by the Department of Science and Technology. Gopal was among the 1,000 students from all over India who were awarded a certificate of participation by science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan in 2017. Among several awards and certificates, he has also received the award for being the ‘Pride of Bhagalpur’ on Bihar Diwas by the district administration. He said his invention helps him and his sister, along with six friends, in study at night during power outages.
Gopal is developing an alloy that can sustain 1600 degrees Celsius temperature. “I want to test the alloy at 6,000 degrees Celsius, but don’t have a lab. I hope to meet CM Nitish Kumar and request for his help,” he added.
A passout of Shree Chandra Senior Secondary High School, Shalini Kumari has ideated a walker that will help people climb stairs along with it. She got the idea when her grandfather, who loved his terrace garden, had an accident and could not climb the stairs to reach the terrace. Her father is a businessman and mother a housewife.
She submitted her idea to the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology set up to provide institutional support to innovators. He received an IGNITE award by late President A P J Abdul Kalam in 2011. She has developed a prototype with the help of NIF. The walker has spring-loaded, self-locking front legs which help navigate stairs along with it easily.
She has exhibited the walker in exhibitions and won several awards for the same. She visited the Rashtrapati Bhavan this year in March for its in-residence programme where she met President Pranab Mukherjee and many dignitaries from India and abroad. She aspires to be a medical professional and has recently taken the AIIMS exams.