“Some scientists from the USA also came to meet me. I also got invitation from NASA, but Always wanted to do something here in my country so that I could give back to the society something,” Gopal ji said.
He is just 19, but he has wise head on his young shoulders. If his achievements at such a young age speak volumes of his mettle, his life’s objective amply demonstrates his vision for the future not only for himself, but for the society at large.
Today, he is an innovator, a researcher, brand ambassador of a digital education firm and a motivational speaker all rolled into one. He has already got two patents for banana and paper bio cells, while work is under progress on other experiments. He has also been invited among the 30 startups from 10 countries at Taipei exhibition. And he is still a student, doing his B.Tech.
He is Gopal ji, resident of a nondescript village in Bhagalpur district of Bihar. He studied in a government school, not usually equipped to add wings to the dreams of youth, but he always had other ideas. Not the kind to confine himself to the shackles of poverty, which he grew up with, he started thinking out of box once he got the Inspire Award when he was in Class 10.
It was a simple innovation of developing charge from waste banana leaf. His father, Prem Ranjan Kunwar, a marginal farmer, did not have the resources, but that was no handicap for the promising boy. He thought of pursuing higher studies and continue with his innovative pursuit. On August 31, 2017, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It was just a short meeting of 5-10 minutes and from there I was directed to the department of science and technology, from where I was sent to national Innovation Foundation (NIF), Ahmedabad, where I made 3-4 inventions. It was here that I started getting invitations from abroad, though the first invitation came after my banana leaf innovation that fetched me the Inspire Award,” he said.
One of his inventions was the Goponium alloy, which can withstand very high temperature. “Some scientists from the USA also came to meet me. I also got invitation from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) , but I always wanted to do something here in my country so that I could give back to the society something,” he added.
Third among four siblings, Gopalji said that nearly 75% of the students in the country must be facing the kind of poverty and hurdles in education he experienced in his early life. “My father just earned enough to make both ends somehow meet. He sent my sister to maternal grand parents’ place, as there was not enough space in the small house we lived in,” said Gopal.
Today, he gets a big signing amount as the brand ambassador of a digital educational platform and gets invite as motivational speaker from different parts of India and abroad. “I am doing my bit to motivate students below class 12 for science and innovation. The main idea is to develop temperament of school students for science, as they can do wonders if shown the right path at an early age” he said.
Still pursuing his B.Tech from Graphic Era University, Dehradun along with his research, he said he would get his Ph.D in five years. “But my main aim is to groom 100 young innovators. “We are working in that direction with our team that is spread across the country. I am a firm believer that good work is always appreciated and one should never give up, no matter how heavy the odds may appear,” he added.
He has just got an invite from Dubai to be the chief speaker at the annual conference, hosted by the chartered accountants of India in Dubai. Another invitation is for the annual science fair in UAE in April. “There is also another one from Singapore. I like speaking to children,” said Gopal ji.