Vinisha Umashankar - PetriMed CA

Vinisha Umashankar: “I am Not Here to Speak about the Future, I am the Future”

20 Nov 2021

Vinisha Umashankar, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Tamil Nadu, India, took the center stage at COP26 and spoke her mind about climate change. She urged the global leaders to ‘stop speaking and start doing.’   

A 15-year-old Indian schoolgirl, who won the international award Children’s Climate Prize for her innovative and pioneering solar-powered ironing cart project, addressed the COP26 conference in Glasgow with a loud and clear call for global leaders to adopt green energy as soon as they can.

“I’m not just a girl from India. I’m a girl from Earth and I’m proud to be so. I’m also a student, innovator, environmentalist and entrepreneur but most importantly, I’m an optimist.” Vinisha Umashankar at COP26.

Hailing from the city of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, she is credited with innovating a solar-powered ironing cart, which is believed to be the best replacement for the traditional ironing device.

Photo Credit: Sky News

A Global Innovator Who Dreams of Changing the World

The idea of creating this eco-friendly ironing cart came to Vinisha when she found a ‘Press Wala’ submerging the burning embers in the water. And she also observed that how the wood coal is then discarded as it is useless and cannot be used again. It made Vinisha explore the use of charcoal in depth. What she read about charcoal was enough to motivate her to engineer a sustainable solution.  

Once Vinisha conceived the idea, she decided to bring life to her vision, and her parents also encouraged her to work on the solution. In 2018, she got her solar ironing cart’s design ready to bring it to reality. A group of trained engineers at the National Innovation Foundation in Ahmedabad assisted her in creating this eco-friendly ironing cart.