2 young Naga innovators win prestigious awards

2 young Naga innovators win prestigious awards
Peihauding and Zenwang Konyak
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JUL 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/4/2018 11:58:57 PM IST
By virtue of dogged determination and untiring efforts to innovate, two young Naga college students- Zenwang Konyak and Peihauding- have made Nagaland proud and made the rest of India stand up and take notice after being rewarded for their unconventional inventions. 
Zenwang Konyak, a second year BSc (Botany) student from Kohima Science College who was awarded the prestigious ‘Ashoka Youth India Youth Venture Fellowship’ in May this year for his popular work “Grow Your Plants”, a guidebook for children on how to grow indigenous plants in their homes and backyards, is travelling to Bengaluru to join 15 other bright young minds from across India to be part of the ‘Cohort’ 8 of Ashoka Fellowship scheduled next week. He is backed by his 24-member team ‘Echo Inspiro’.
The other young innovator, also a student of Kohima Science College – Peihauding- was selected to receive an amount of Rs.2 lakhs by Entrepreneurs Associates to fund his ‘Organic Healing Paste’ invention, which acts as a paste to heal the injured parts of a plant and to enhance the roots and bark formation during grafting. The work won an award at the IIT Tech Expo in Guwahati last year and was also declared the ‘Best Northeast Project.’ 
Shiroi from Entrepreneurs Associates informed Nagaland Post that Peihauding will be given the amount by the end of July.
Meanwhile, speaking to this reporter before leaving for Bengaluru, Zenwang said he would be part of a week-long workshop and seminar to get national exposure on how to lead a team and be champions of new patterns of social good. He said the process started earlier in February this year when Entrepreneurs Associates nominated him for Ashoka Youth Venture Fellowship, a programme that identifies and supports teenagers between 12 and 20 years of age who come up with innovate solutions for problems faced by their communities. 
He finally received a call to pitch his venture at Bengaluru in March this year after the Ashoka board was impressed by his work.
Out of hundreds of brilliant student innovators and scientists who have been nominated from across the country, Zenwang made the cut along with 15 other young innovators who would be provided financial support in early stage and a lifetime membership into an expansive network of peers and partners, enabling them to achieve their vision and have even greater impact. 
What makes Zenwang stand out from the rest are his  innovations that focus to create and expand economic opportunities for people at the lower rung of the social and economic order, those without  access to clean water, reliable energy and good health and nutrition.
On being asked what the fellowship meant to him, he said, “It has provided a platform for young change makers like me from across the country and letting us exchange ideas and experiences through one’s work and interactions. During workshops we understand the cause of failures and learn from them. Being an Ashoka Youth Venturer, I come across people who are as hungry as me in seeking a change in the society. It has enlightened me about leadership, inspiration and creativity. ” He also thanked Entrepreneurs Associates for guiding and mentoring him.
Zenwang also has more inventions to his name – a water harvesting technology called UHarvest, a thermo-electric device that can generate electricity form fireplace using the Seebeck Effect, the Hydrowingen and a tea leaf cutting machine.
When asked what message he had for young innovators, he said every youngster was a potential change-maker. He appealed to the youngsters to be passionate for becoming agents of change in their society as they were very dynamic.
Like Zenwang, Peihauding’s inventions also aim at helping farmers eliminate challenges that affect crop yield. His other notable inventions are a Plant Organic Absorbing Device (POAD) to extract minerals from plant without cutting it and Bio Enhancer, an organic fertiliser to enhance growth of plants and promote soil fertility by absorbing harmful chemicals present in the soil.
Peihauding had represented Kohima Science College (Autonomous), Jotsoma at the TechExpo organised by IIT Guwahati from August 31 to September 3 last year and his “Organic Healing Paste” was awarded first prize and given Rs 60,000 as reward in the senior category of the expo. His project was also adjudged the “Best Northeast Project” at the event. Nagaland Post was unable to reach Peihauding. 

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