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India’s agricultural waste recycling project wins Prince William’s Earthshot award


A Delhi-based entrepreneur’s agricultural waste recycling project was named among the winners of Prince William’s first Earthshot Prize, dubbed the Eco Oscars, at a gala ceremony in London on Sunday evening.

Vidyut Mohan, head of Takachar, won the £ 1million award for his inexpensive technological innovation aimed at converting crop residues into salable bioproducts in the clean air category.

He was one of five global winners of the award, created by William, the Duke of Cambridge, to recognize people who are trying to save the planet. “Time is running out. A decade does not seem long enough, but humanity has an exceptional record of capacity to solve the insoluble,” William said in a recorded message broadcast at the ceremony, which was broadcast on the BBC. and in the presence of celebrities. and included performances by singers Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.

Takachar was named the winner for its technology that reduces smoke emissions by up to 98%, aimed at helping improve air quality which is currently reducing the life expectancy of the affected population by up to five years. If scaled up, it could reduce a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, described as a victory for Indian farmers will be a victory in the fight against climate change.

Takachar has developed low-cost, small-scale portable technology that attaches to tractors on remote farms. The machine converts crop residues into salable bioproducts like fuel and fertilizer, notes the Earthshot Prize with reference to the winning project. He adds: Globally, we generate $ 120 billion in agricultural waste every year. What farmers cannot sell they often burn, with catastrophic consequences for human health and the environment.

Burning agricultural waste causes air pollution which in some areas has reduced life expectancy by a decade. This is played out every year in the fields surrounding New Delhi. Smoke from the artificial hells fills the air, with serious consequences for the health of the inhabitants.

One of them is Vidyut Mohan. His social enterprise, Takachar, puts out the fire. Takachar took on another Indian finalist in the solar-powered ironing cart project of 14-year-old schoolgirl Vinisha Umashankar from Tamil Nadu. The last five winners were connected to the eco-friendly awards ceremony by global broadcast, and no celebrities came to London for the ceremony, no plastic was used to build the stage. Guests were asked to “consider the environment” when choosing an outfit, with actress Emma Watson walking the green carpet in a dress made up of 10 different Oxfam dresses.

The name of the Earthshot Prize refers to America’s “Moonshot” ambition of the 1960s, which saw then-President John F Kennedy pledge to send a man to the moon within a decade. Each year for the next decade, the prize rewards £ 1million each to five projects that work to find solutions to the world’s environmental problems.

The first winners were selected from five different categories and were chosen from a shortlist of 15 judges, including broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, actress Cate Blanchett and singer Shakira. Costa Rica became the winner in the Protect and Restore Nature category for a program paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems that has led to a rainforest revival.

A project led by two best friends who farm coral in the Bahamas and designed to restore endangered coral reefs around the world won the award in the Revive Our Oceans category. A waste initiative from Milan, Italy won the award in building a waste-free world and a renewable energy project to produce hydrogen by dividing water into hydrogen and oxygen from Thailand, Germany and Italy won the award in the Fix our climate category.

Each winner received a one-of-a-kind medal, designed by award-winning Dutch artist Christien Meindertsma, inspired by the iconic photo of Earthrise taken of the earth from space during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968 and created from materials recycled. The 15 finalists will receive personalized support from the Global Earthshot Prize Alliance, a network of philanthropic organizations, NGOs and private sector companies around the world who will help advance their solutions. The awards ceremony in London ended by revealing that the Earthshot Prize will travel to the United States in 2022, with nominations for the 2022 prize opening in January.

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