Bubbling with bright ideas | Daily News


 

Bubbling with bright ideas

In conversation with President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH
In conversation with President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH

 

She had proved that age is just a number and being young does not restrict you from trying to implement new ideas to transform the society. With around 17 innovations to her name Tharushi Vidushika Rajapaksha makes coming up with new innovations sound easy. However those who know the know-how of the field realize that it is no walk in the park.

The 18 year old school girl of Sumana Balika Vidyalaya, Ratnapura, who is studying in the arts stream for her G C E Advanced Level examinations achieved yet another triumph recently when two of her inventions, a clock which shows the inauspicious times of the day (Rahu Kalaya) and an environment-friendly and disposable lunchbox, won gold medals at the ‘Sahasak Nimevum’ national inventions exhibition which is organized annually by the Sri Lankan Inventors Commission which functions under the Ministry of Research and Technology.

The clock which  shows the inauspicious times

Tharushi’s panache to explore new ideas and implement them comes from her genes. Her father, owns a repair shop and young Tharushi had the opportunity to assist him when he repairs vehicles. This not only helped her sharpen her knowledge about how certain equipment and machinery works, but also opened doors for her to try her hand at experimenting with the equipment.

“My father too had won medals at the previous ‘Sahasak Nimevum’ national inventions exhibitions. He has around 50 inventions to his name. I was inspired by him to make new inventions to better peoples’ lives,” Tharushi explained.

Her debut attempt at innovations came in 2013 when she was an eighth grader. The result was the clock which shows the inauspicious times each day.

“The Rahu Kalaya lasts for about 90 minutes each day. As I dug further into the subject I soon discovered that although it changes from one day to the other, each day of the week has a fixed period marked as the inauspicious time. I divided the face of the clock into different sectors accordingly and named the sectors with the date. The fact that Rahu Kalaya is common for both day and night made my work much easier. This is easy to use. Anyone will be able to look at the positioning of the hour needle and check the sector that the hour needle is in which depicts the particular day,” Tharushi elaborated.

Tharushi Vidushika  Rajapaksha

Next came a rat trap which is made out of the knowledge she had acquired by studying the mechanisms used in Japanese bamboo water fountains. This nature friendly means of trapping rodents ensure that the animal can be disposed of somewhere alive instead of having to kill it.

All of Tharushi’s inventions are quite simple to use but very effective. The environment-friendly and disposable lunchbox known as the ‘Easy Food Pack’ is rather popular at her school.

“I was struck by the idea for the lunchbox after witnessing how difficult it was for the school officials to keep the premises polythene free. They had to check our bags for polythene bags and even our lunch is checked as lunch sheets were not allowed inside the school. My intention in introducing this product is to save everyone from this hassle,” she said.

Though many methdos have been introduced to rid the country of the polythene menace, they have been ineffective. What sets Tharushi’s invention apart from other inventions is the similarity of her lunch packet to the traditional lunch packet that everyone is so use to bringing their lunch in.

“The inner part of the lunch pack comprises of a waterproof fabric that is used for making umbrellas. Food is wrapped in this fabric and it can be tied into the shape of a bun. The container of the lunch packet is made out of non-woven fabric that naturally degrades. A couple of Velcro pieces holds everything tightly together sans spillages. The handles of the container makes it handy for the user to carry it without trouble,” Tharushi said adding that the containers are made using products which are easily found.

“The number of different pieces which are used in making the lunch pack is also minimal. This makes it easy to produce them.” These factors have triggered the interest of a number of commercial companies who have shown eagerness to purchase Tharushi’s finding.

Lions Club International District 306 A-1 will be presenting Tharushi with the Most Outstanding Citizen award under their slogan ‘Exceptional Contributions to the Society’ this year. She is probably the youngest individual to receive the award.

Two of Tharushi’s inventions have even been selected to be presented at the Geneva International Competition which runs from August 23 to 25 in Korea this year.

“All the rest who will be presenting their inventions for the event in Korea are male students. I was the only female student chosen for the event. That is a honour for me. However the event falls on the days in with the G C E Advanced Level examination is held. This is an issue that I am currently facing as I definitely need to face the exams unless some kind of solution is presented to me. I have already informed about this to the Sri Lankan Inventors Commission,” she said.

She is grateful to President Maithripala Sirisena for giving her a donation on Natures Day at the BMICH to help her enhance her innovative streak. She also extends a big thank you to N D R Pathirathna, Principal Jayantha Chandrani, the arts stream staff members and her fellow students for giving her strength to embark on the journey to where she is today.

“My goal is to come up with many more inventions which will create a better life for the society and bring pride to my motherland,” she concluded with a smile.

Environment-friendly and disposable lunchbox

 


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