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News & Press: Apr 2010

A rain of awards to BP Agarwal! - Catch the BITSian community service story

Friday, April 30, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: BITSAA Newsletter
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Dr. B. P Agrawal (alumnus of BITS from class of 1968), founder and president of the nonprofit corporation Sustainable Innovations, emerged the winner of this year’s Energy Globe World award. His innovative project was voted the best by the audience at a colourful ceremony held on June 3 in Kigali, Rwanda. He has also received the $100,000 Lemelson-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Award for Sustainability. Last year, with the partnership of the Indian Institute of Health Management Research and the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Agrawal launched Arogya Ghar, for which he won a second World Bank Marketplace Award, where mobile kiosks-based clinics are used to deliver health care to villages and urban slums in India. He said he would use the $100,000 to expand Arogya Ghar "to have more kiosks to deliver health care to 100,000 people, 50 villages this year."

MIT noted that 80 percent of health problems and 5 million deaths per year in developing countries are linked to inadequate water and sanitation. 'This, coupled with the lack of medical attention for rural villagers, highlights a dire need for reliable access to clean water and health care, problems that Dr B P Agrawal aims to solve,' the university citation said.

He conceived Aakash Ganga, a self-sustainable domestic rainwater harvesting system, to provide safe drinking water in perpetuity. Aakash Ganga is now poised to provide drinking water to 250,000 people by 2012. Dr. Agrawal who grew up in a small village in Rajasthan, India, had to carry water daily in his childhood and this experience gave him an idea for the rain water harvest project dubbed, “River from heaven,” that today serves 10,000 people with clean safe water.

Speaking after his victory, the award winner expressed that people should never give up on finding solutions to major issues in society, emphasizing that these initiatives, however, should be in line with environment conservation as well. Way to go sir, you are truly an inspiration for all the budding innovators hoping to contribute to the environment and society in their own way.

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