Delhi-based Vidyut Mohan’s agriculture-waste recycling project bagged him the winning medal among four others at the inaugural Earthshot prize organised by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in London on Sunday, October 17. He was rewarded with prize money of GBP 1 million ($ 1.4 million) for the winning project.
The project named Takachar was recognised as one of the winners due to its inexpensive, small-scale and portable technology innovation which recycles crop wastes emerging due to the harvesting process and converts them into commercial bioproducts. The innovative technology is estimated to reduce smoke emissions that occur due to agri-waste burning by up to 98 per cent and improve the depleting air quality which has reduced the life expectancy of the affected population by over 5 years.
Takachar was nominated in the final round of the ‘Clean our Air’ category besides another Indian project. Made by Vinisha Umashankar, a Tamil Nadu-based 14-year schoolgirl, the project envisages a solar-power run ironing cart.
Dubbed the Eco Oscars, Prince William holds that the ceremony will help push forth the fight against climate change leading up to the COP26 summit, scheduled to be held in Scotland at the end of the month, terming those shortlisted for the award “innovators, leaders and visionaries”.
Among others to win a prize during the ceremony included a scheme from Costa Rica which pays local citizens to restore natural systems and has resulted in the revival of the rainforest. The scheme won in the ‘Protect and Restore Nature’ category.
In the ‘Revive our Oceans’ category, a project named Coral Vita run by two friends to restore the dying coral reefs in the Bahamas won the prize. Meanwhile, The “Fix our Climate” category was won by a joint Thai-German-Italian team for the AEM Electrolyzer, which utilises renewable energy to make clean hydrogen by splitting water into its constituent elements.
Chosen by a panel of experts from more than 750 nominations, each of the finalists will be provided help from various companies to develop their projects.
During the broadcast, Prince William also announced that the 2022 edition of the Earthshot Prize will take place in the United States.