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Meet Vinisha Umashankar who designs an iron with solar panels

Who is Vinisha Umashankar

Ground Report | New Delhi: Who is Vinisha Umashankar; Vinisha Umashankar, from Tiruvannamalai town in India, began to care about the environment at the young age of 12. One day when he returned from school, he noticed a man with an ironing cart that was throwing burned coal into the street, which made him reflect on the pollution caused by the combustion of charcoal. 

solar panels

This merchant had an old iron box, which he had to fill with a hot coal to proceed to iron the clothes. In India, street ironing stands are very common, only in his neighborhood of the town of Tiruvannamalai Vinisha counted up to six ironing businesses. There are around ten million ironing stations in the country, generally run by men.

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The combustion of charcoal is one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, increasing the temperature of the planet and with devastating effects on the environment. This prompted Umashankar to start studying other more sustainable formulas for generating energy. The problem of the ironing business in India is the use of charcoal for the irons since each ironing cart consumes around 5 kg of charcoal per day.

After researching and reading college-level physics books, he concluded that renewables were the right way to go. In addition, the power of the sun in India is infallible, which caused that in 2019, at the age of 12, he designed a car with solar panels to power his steam iron. This project was then born as Iron-Max, his blue ironing cart powered by solar panels.

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The combustion of charcoal is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions

Vinisha Umashankar had the opportunity to present her project at the National Innovation Foundation, headed by the Government of India. The concept went ahead and he enlisted the help of engineers to design the prototype. Iron-Max is attached to a bicycle that allows it to be moved from one side to the other, thus facilitating the work of traders. In addition, the project so impressed the Department of Science and Technology of the country, that they helped him to patent it under his name.

Umashankar, at his young age, told Reuters: “I calculated the enormous amount of charcoal that is being used, the pollution that generates and worsens climate change, damages Mother Earth and human health. I wanted to create a renewable resource to replace charcoal. “

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With five hours of sunlight, the ironing cart is ready to run for six hours, and the energy is also stored in a battery to avoid power failure on bad weather days. Iron-Max also has a coin-operated phone and a charging point for people to charge their mobile.

Vinisha Umashankar won the Swedish Climate Prize, in the children’s category, for the development of its sustainable ironing cart. This award gave him 10,000 euros as a reward. But this has not been the only award for which the young Indian has been nominated.

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Who is Vinisha Umashankar

A native of the rural town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, Vinisha describes herself as the ‘Chief Innovation Officer’ on her LinkedIn page. The environmentalist began her journey when she was just 12 years old – working on a ‘Solar Ironing Cart’. As per The Hindu report, she got the idea when she would accompany her mother to give clothes for ironing to an old couple. Seeing how they ironed with difficulty in the heat from cast iron boxes filled with charcoal, he then began to work to clean up their lives and the environment.

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