Pune Smallest Inventor set Limca Book Records and India Book of Records
Pune's Viraj Gapchoop has etched his name in the Limca Book of Records 2011 and the India Book of Records 2011. The 12-year-old collected Rs 1.5 lakh in donations in three months for his school through the sale of his invention, 'Viraj's semi-automatic water pump controller'.
The student of Jnana Prabodhini Navnagar Vidyalaya in Nigdi shot into the limelight in February last year when his film on saving water was screened at the Vasundhara International Film Festival in Pune. The movie epitomised the young lad taking a bath in a plastic tub and using the collected water to water plants, flush toilets and floor cleaning.
He made the 12-minute film at home with a handy cam and used his personal computer to edit and add audio. Narrated by him in a simple manner, he spread the message of water conservation by avoiding jargon. Viraj also invented a gadget that helps reduce overflow from overhead water tanks. It can be made from scrap almost for free by anyone who is willing to implement the concept. His invention, with its striking simplicity and cost effectiveness, found many takers.
Instead of selling the device, the teenager collected voluntary contributions from people willing to implement the system and the proceeds were given to his school that needed funds for social and construction activity. What he developed as a science project for school is now also under the process for registration under the Intellectual Property Rights Act, 2008.
Viraj said, "My wish is to save the environment. My question to my mates and parents is, 'If you (parents) in your childhood enjoyed all the joys of pure drinking water, big playgrounds and clean air then why are we being deprived of it?'."
Proud father and architect Dinesh Gapchoop said, "It's always a good feeling when parents are identified because of children. It's great when people say 'Viraj's parents' rather than 'Dinesh's son'!"