Indian Student’s Socially Innovative Project Inspires Google


Harine Ravichandran

Necessity is the mother of invention they say, add to it a pinch each of curiosity, determination, desire and an idea and you have the perfect recipe to invent something that, in Steve Jobs’ words, has the potential to make a dent in the universe or at least a significant impression in your life and in the lives of those around you.

Such is the case of Harine Ravichandran, a 16 year old girl from a small town in South India. Harine saw her grandparents and other people in her locality endure extra efforts and pains due to bad or fluctuating voltages and the lack of a stable power supply and one day decided to do something about it. That’s when she designed a regulator to improve the voltages and if possible, completely do away with the power cuts.

This invention of hers took her all the way to the finals of Google Science Fair 2011, the largest online science competition in the world for students between 13-18 years organized by Google in partnership with CERN, The Lego group, National Geographic and Scientific American. Harine was one of the top 15 participants and the only one from India to have made it to the Finals of the event. Unfortunately she could not emerge as the winner of the competition. But the story doesn’t end here. This is where the actual story begins.

Harine’s project inspired Google to add a whole new category to their Science Fair this year – the Scientific American Science in Action Award. Quoting from the official Google Blog, “We were so inspired by 2011 finalist Harine Ravichandran’s project, which attempted to solve energy surges in rural villages, that we decided to recognize an outstanding project that addresses a social, environmental or health need to make a difference in the lives of a group or community, as Harine’s project did for her grandparents’ village in India. The winner will also be flown to Mountain View for the finalist event in July.

Harine, is appearing for her Intermediate second year examinations in March, and her dream is to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says The Hindu. We wish Harine all the best for all her future endeavours and hope that her dream to bring stable power supply to rural India comes true really soon.You can watch Harine narrate her story in the video attached.

Google Science Fair 2012: How can I bring stable power to remote villages?


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