Social Innovators recognised for breakthrough innovations

MUMBAI’S Mayur Ramrao Ladole, Gaurav Ghanshyam Dastane, and Nilesh Lakshman Jadhav won gold award for building a novel water disinfecting hand pump, at the Aarohan Social Innovation Awards announced by Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic and CSR arm of Infosys.

Pune-based Swapnil Chaturvedi, Samagra Empowerment Foundation bagged the gold award for building SmartLOO, to aid women safety and empowerment, while Mumbai-based Chirag Bhandari, Siddharth Gala and Kavya Ananth won award under jury’s special mentions category for creating ‘The Yelo Bag’, a school bag designed to convert into a writing desk to aid infrastructure related challenges in government schools in India.

Ajinkya Vikas Dhariya, of Pune won awards under jury’s special mentions category, for developing ‘PadCare’, a decentralised sanitary pad sterilisation, segregation, and disposal unit.

The Aarohan Awards were established with a vision to recognise and reward individuals, teams or NGOs that are developing unique solutions for the social sector that have the potential to positively impact the underprivileged in India, at scale.

The Foundation identified winners across six award categories: Healthcare, Rural Development, Destitute Care, Women’s Safety & Empowerment, Education & Sports and Sustainability. The winners were selected from a pool of more than 900 submissions by a distinguished jury comprising Prof Trilochan Sastry, former Dean, IIM Bangalore; Padma Shree Arvind Gupta, an Indian toy inventor and science expert; Prof Anil Gupta, visiting faculty member, IIM Ahmedabad, a globally renowned scholar of grassroots innovations and founder of the Honey Bee Network; Prof GVV Sharma, faculty member of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Coordinator, Teaching Learning Centre, IIT Hyderabad; Sumit Virmani, senior vice president and Global Head – Marketing, Infosys, and Infosys Foundation Chairperson and renowned author Sudha Murty.

The winners of the Aarohan Social Innovation Awards 2018-19 are:

Platinum Award Winners, each team receiving prize money of INR 30 lakhs

  • Healthcare: Prashant Gade from Madhya Pradesh, for a low-cost myoelectric prosthetic arm called ‘Inali Arm’
  • Education: Khushwant Rai and Anjali Khurana from Punjab, for creating an affordable personal braille printer

Gold Award Winners, each team receiving prize money of INR 20 lakhs

  • Sustainability: Mayur Ramrao Ladole, Gaurav Ghanshyam Dastane and Nilesh Lakshman Jadhav from Maharashtra, for a novel water-disinfecting hand pump
  • Women’s Safety & Empowerment: Swapnil Chaturvedi, Samagra Empowerment Foundation from Maharashtra, for the‘SmartLoo’ platform

Silver Award Winners, each team receiving prize money of INR 15 lakhs

  • Destitute Care: Sumanth Mudaliar and Vishrut Gaurangkumar Bhatt from Gujarat, for ‘Handicare’, a mobility device for the specially-abled
  • Healthcare: Aakash Bhadana, Vasu Kaushik and Rahul Gupta from Haryana for ‘Caeli’, smart automated drug delivery and anti-pollution mask for respiratory patients

Bronze Award Winners, each team receiving prize money of INR 10 lakhs

  • Rural Development: Sharwan Kumar Bajya from Rajasthan, for ‘Wider’, an affordable weed removal machine that processes weed into green manure
  • Education: Sanskriti Dawle from Karnataka, for developing ‘Annie’, an audio-tactile device to address low braille literacy in India

Jury Special Mentions, each team receiving prize money of INR five lakhs

  • Rural Development: Karibasappa MG, Dayananda K, and Anil Kumar MK, from Karnataka, for developing a solar insect trap that reduces the usage of chemical pesticides in agriculture
  • Women Safety and Empowerment: Ajinkya Vikas Dhariya from Maharashtra, for developing ‘PadCare’, a decentralised sanitary pad sterilisation, segregation, and disposal unit

Felicitating the winners, Sudha Murty, chairperson, Infosys Foundation, said, “The Aarohan Social Innovation Awards were conceived as a means of creating impactful change at scale, by encouraging people to address social challenges in India. All the winners have showcased this spirit at the core of their creations and we are proud to recognise their efforts. I would like to congratulate not just the winners, but each and everyone of the 906 participants who are working tirelessly across the length and breadth of India to create social innovations with the aim of making a difference. Infosys Foundation is committed to providing continued encouragement for such innovations and helps scale their impact to change the lives of those in need.”

Furthermore, to help incubate and scale their innovations, the platinum and gold award winners are also eligible for an eight-week residential mentorship at IIT Hyderabad, costs of which will be jointly sponsored by IIT Hyderabad and the Infosys Foundation.

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