Mangaluru: A whiz kid from the little town of Puttur is all set to represent India at the global young scientists’ meet, I-FEST2 (International Festival of Engineering, Science and Technology) in Tunisia from January 6 to 14. Aneesha Nayak, the class 10 Sudana High School genius was selected to display her revolutionary bio-science model after winning a bronze medal in an international Olympiad a few months ago.
Aneesha started her saga in November 2015 after winning gold and an honorary mention at the INSEF (Indian Science and Engineering Fair) at Pilikula Regional Science Center. Her project titled ‘Hydrophobicity of Colocasia as Wall Protector’ won the grand gold medal at Rajkot INSEF in January 2016 followed by a bronze medal at the I-SWEEEP festival conducted in Houston in April of the same year.
The exhibition of her project at I-SWEEEP (International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering and Environment Project) won laurels from the judges apart from the bronze medal. This is where the organizer of I-FEST2 Hatem Slimane invited her to the fest in Tunisia.
I-FEST2 is an international festival that will go on for nine days and brings together budding scientists from all over the world with regard to science and technology. The festival is organized by ATAST (Tunisian Association for Future of Science and Technology) and open to students and supervisors between the ages 14 to 24. The science fair will be open to lecturers and parents as well.
Speaking to News Karnataka on reaching Tunisia, Aneesha Nayak said that she is mighty glad that she gets to represent India for the second time in science fests. “As I am getting used to the weather here, I also feel a great aura of intelligence and perseverance here. I am indeed very excited to represent India again and this time it is more of a learning experience than a competition. Looking forward to meeting people of exceptional intelligence and scientific caliber”, Aneesha said on Whatsapp call.
Knowing that her representation of India in I-FEST2 will put India in the map of countries with top scientific acumen, she also hoped that there is more participation and representation from India in the science meets to come.
A setback in sponsoring Aneesha’s travel and stay was a hurdle. However, her mother Shaila Bhakta took a loan on her fixed deposit to fund the trip. ‘Olpa.in’ went a step ahead in extending their support to the mother-daughter duo by spreading the message online in order to receive contributions for Aneesha’s travel.
Thanking the administrators of ‘Olpa.in’ for their support, Shaila said, “Olpa admin had published my bank account number online through which a good amount of money has been credited. I would like to thank all the contributors for easing Aneesha’s travel and stay.”
Hydrophobicity of Colocasia leaves? What is that?
Just like a lotus leaf does not allow water droplets to stay on it, Colocasia (Kesavu) leaves used to make local delicacy ‘pathrode’ has the feature of water repellency. Aneesha took this feature, used some sorcery and got a cauldron full of water repellant liquid that can be sprayed on any surface to make it phobic to water.
When it comes to hydrophobicity of Colocasia leaves to be used as wall protectors, the water repellant liquid when applied on surface of walls, fungus and leaks are a thing of the past. “When applied to the surface of walls, there will not be any sort of discolouration of the walls and protect it from fungus at the same time”, said Aneesha while explaining her project.
Aneesha is also an Asian level surfer who is one of the surfer girls from Mulki Surf Ashram. She wil be featured in the documentary 'Chicks on Boards' filmed by German movie maker Dörthe Eickelberg.
Aneesha's progress in I-FEST2 will be published on News Karnataka.