The Times of India | Sangamesh Menasinakai | TNN | Jan 15, 2017 |
Hubballi: Nirnaal, a water purifier developed by an engineering student, is attracting the attention of commoners in North Karnataka. As it is cost-effective, poor people are buying it for pure drinking water. Niranjan Karagi,, a final-year engineering student of Angadi Institute of Technology and Management, Belagavi, shared his success with STOI during his recent visit to Hubballi. “We see that pure drinking water is available only after paying some amount, which is a burden on the poor and middle class. I wanted to revolutionize the idea of a cost-effective filter for those staying in rural areas and envisioned this social problem as an opportunity. When I used to play with my friends at my house, I used to watch little schoolchildren drink impure water from pumps using disposable plastic water bottles. Contaminated drinking water can cause anything from mild gastrointestinal distress to serious bacterial diseases. Then I felt the need to make the lives of these children better. Then I pitched the idea of a filter which would be cost-effective, portable and able to purify water easily,” he explained.
Karagi approached Leaders Accelerating Development (LEAD) programme of Deshpande Foundation, Hubballi, and got funding and guidance to develop the filter. “Finally, the idea materialized on July 2016. As of now, I have sold over 5,000 units at a price of Rs 20 to schools and colleges in Belagavi, Raichur and Dharwad,” he said. Karagi informed that he has hired his classmates and juniors as market interns to scale up his production. “After completing BE, I aim to bring out newer versions of Nirnaal at the same price for households, schoolchildren, trekkers and public at large,” he said. Abhinandan K, programme coordinator, LEAD, said that Karagi has taken projects like hydrogen kit and hydrogen welding device to solve the problems of society through technology. “However, Nirnaal has emerged as a popular project and has won the Best Leader award in Yuva Summit of Deshpande Foundation,” he stated. Shankar Ganti, a weaver, said that the filter is like an oasis for people like him.”Earlier, we used to drink unfiltered water or were buying mineral water during journeys. Now, we are getting purified water with one-time investment of Rs 20,” said Ganti. – Courtesy