B.P. Agrawal Awarded $100,000 Purpose Prize for Bringing Drinking Water to Indian Villages
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Posted by: Ankit Rastogi
B.P. Agrawal, a Virginia-based innovator, has been awarded the prestigious Purpose Prize for changing the lives of impoverished villagers in India. He has developed a system to harvest enough rainwater in just a few months for drinking water. The Purpose Prize is the U.S.’s only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good. The system lasts several villages an entire year and saves hundreds of hours of women’s time in grueling labor.
"India’s chronic water scarcity keeps girls out of school and women out of the workforce. It denies people good health,” said Agrawal, 68."The Purpose Prize will help us improve the quality of life in the region where I was born, and I am grateful.”
Engineer Bhagwati (B.P.) Agrawal long wanted to mitigate the water shortage in his native India by using the expertise he developed in the United States, during years of bringing technologies from lab to market. Through his Fairfax, Va.-based non-profit, Sustainable Innovations Inc., in 2003 he founded Aakash Ganga, or River from Sky. As Agrawal expands Aakash Ganga to dozens of other villages, he is focusing on unleashing the potential of the children and women who no longer spend hours fetching water. His non-profit is training them as health care workers who can diagnose and treat common illnesses in their villages.Marc Freedman, founder and CEO and of Encore.org and author of The Big Shift says, "Because of B.P. Agrawal’s work, thousands of people in remote desert villages have access to a vital, life-sustaining resource, he’s an inspiration for all of us who want to use our experience in new ways to help others.”
This is a video exemplifying his efforts.