At 20, the Ashoka Young Changemaker’s contributions have already been recognised with accolades and awards from India’s Prime Minister's Office, Chief Minister of Haryana, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Curious about how he does it all? Read on to find out more about this phenomenal innovator, and his Dream Team.
Did you know what you wanted to do when you were 20?
Most would agree that turning back the clock, 20 years old is an age where they are still figuring out what they want to pursue and exploring various options. It’s all too relatable to feel lost, directionless and confused, but not Akash! Since Class 10, he always knew that he wanted to change the world and make an impact.
Born into a farming family, Akash’s parents always had high hopes for him to become an engineer, the time-tested path to success in India’s competitive society. And boy, was he talented! He grew up tinkering with inventions, and created a wind harnessing machine at the age of 15, which provided an eco-friendly supply of electricity. Later, together with 3 classmates, he invented a self-irrigation sprinkler which could work for a range of 30 metres and prevent water wastage in his town. He even created a self-powered generating walking stick, inspired by his grandfather’s walking difficulties in old age. Not only did it help the elderly walk with more ease, it even came equipped with its own mobile charging port and torch.
Soon after, Akash came across his greatest challenge yet. While pursuing a diploma in Engineering in 2018, he realised a lake he used to frequent became polluted by temple waste. Scratching beyond the surface of this issue, he also realised the tremendous air pollution was caused by the burning of incense in temples (up to 800ppm). Given the large number of religious places of worship in India, he realised the severity of the water and air pollution caused by the production of religious waste. These tainted the water bodies and posed a health threat to the nearby communities. Furthermore, there was a lack of effort to combat these issues. Concerned, Akash decided he had to do something about the situation and got straight to work for his next big idea that could help solve the problem.