Thursday, September 29, 2011

Joy of Giving - Card 4 - Pune's Water Warrior

When it comes to saving water, I cannot but share this wonderful home video created by a young 13 year old boy from Pune. He was 11 when he made this movie.

I've written many articles on him. Am reproducing one here.

12 year old Viraj Gapchoop is an achiever of the rare kind. A student, a film maker, a water prodigy and an avid photographer, Viraj may seem to wear too many hats for one so young, but his passion for each is endearing.

This young water warrior who recently entered the India Book of Records 2011 edition, has made a film on saving water through simple methods that he admits he learned at home. The filmed that was screened at the Vasundhara International Film Festival in Pune in February 2010 epitomised the young lad bathing while standing in a round plastic tub and recycling the collected water by watering plants, flushing toilets or even swabbing the home.

His passion for the subject began when as a young boy living near the banks of the gentle Pavana river he witnessed the steady desecration of the river.

“People were dumping garbage, washing clothes on its banks and all this affected him. As a young boy of three or four, he would ask his grandfather why people spoiled the river” recalls his mother Manasi fondly.

To add to his exposure, the Gapchoops are a conscious lot, saving water on a day to day basis, that is more like a way of life to them. “We turn off the tap while working in the kitchen, and recycle water from washing and bathing for many uses. Viraj grew up doing all this and also realising that this was important to save water” said his father Dinesh.

The idea of a movie came to him when he thought of spreading his message of water conservation and water recycling. He made the film at home with a handy cam and used the computer to edit it and add the audio. The film, about 12 minutes long is narrated by himself in a simple way avoiding jargons, spreading the message of water conservation.

Since he made the movie, Viraj has been honoured at several forums and continues to be reckoned with as a child prodigy and young innovator.

Simultaneously this young lad also invented a simple system that helps reduce overflows from overhead water tanks. Christened the Semi Automatic Water Pump Controller, the device can be made from scrap almost free of cost by anyone who is willing to implement the concept. 

Viraj’s invention, with its striking simplicity and cost effectiveness has found many takers. He does not sell the device and the proceeds of the contributions he receives from people who implement the concept have been given to his school Jnana Prabodhini Navnagar Vidyalaya, located at Nigdi that needed funds for social and construction activity.

In the past few months, Viraj’s water saving device has fetched the school over Rs 1.55 lacs, all as voluntary contributions!

What he developed as a Science project for his school is now also under process for registration under the Intellectual Property Rights Act.

Watch PART 1  and PART 2 of Viraj's movie and do remember to show it to the children at home and in your neighbourhood!

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