Koraput, a district in the Eastern Ghats of Odisha is generally in the news because of Maoist operations, but this time it has earned headlines for a happier reason. A class IX student of DPS from Damanjodi, Koraput has grabbed the limelight for winning an award at the Google Science Fair in California on Tuesday. Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai won Google's ‘Community Impact Award’ for developing a low-cost bio-absorbent-based water purifier, which uses waste corn cobs to provide drinkable water.

Just a few months ago, the latest census showed that the state has 1,57,296 habitations but only 9,458 villages are covered under the rural pipe water scheme of National Rural Drinking Water Programme, thus creating an acute drinking water shortage in the state. With drinking water supply still a major crisis in the state, the water purifier developed by Srisai could be a game-changer.

Srisai, who competed in the age group of 13-15 years, bagged $10,000 as prize money at the fair and will be further supported by the organization to successfully build her project, which she describes in the video above.

The Google Science Fair is organised annually, inviting young innovators from all around the world to present ideas for future projects. This year, Google gave away thousands of dollars in prizes including projects like solar-powered silver solution for cleaning water, developed by Deepika Kurup and Pranava Sivakumar’s algorithm technique that automatically detects gravitationally lensed quasars in astronomical data.