Indian finalists to join Prince William’s ‘Eco Oscars’ ceremony virtually

By Aditi Khanna
    London, Oct 10 (PTI) A 14-year-old Tamil Nadu school girl's solar-powered ironing cart project and a Delhi entrepreneur’s agricultural waste recycling concept will be among 15 finalists competing for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, dubbed the “Eco Oscars” for their carbon neutral setting.
    Vinisha Umashankar, with her solar-powered street ironing concept, and Vidyut Mohan, with his cheap tech to convert crop residues into sellable bio-products, will go head-to-head with worldwide finalists as they join the star-studded event virtually.
    The five winners of the Earthshot Prize, created by William – the Duke of Cambridge in December 2019, will each receive 1 million pounds in prize funding.
    “A truly global event, the ceremony will connect London with the finalists and winners all over the world, showcasing the incredible global community working to repair our planet,” the Earthshot Prize announced on Sunday.
    “The ceremony will be a carbon neutral production and broadcast, taking a zero waste to landfill approach, including the set design and staging across all locations,” it noted.
    Performances, storytelling, and state of the art technology will make up the one-hour ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London, to be broadcast on BBC and Discovery channel’s Facebook page next Sunday, October 17.
    The ceremony will feature performances from globally renowned artists Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, KSI with Yemi Alade, and Shawn Mendes.
    Mendes will perform virtually and a fossil fuel-free set designed by world-renowned set designer Peter Bingemann, made using recyclable or reusable material, with low-energy or LED lighting.
    “This will be an award show unlike any you’ve seen before that will entertain you and inspire you to take action to repair the planet in this decisive decade," said Jason Knauf, CEO of the Royal Foundation, behind the prize alongside Prince William.
    The Earthshot Prize is designed as a global search for the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet.
    “Over half a century ago, President Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’ programme united millions of people around the goal of reaching the moon.  Inspired by this, the Earthshot Prize aims to mobilise collective action around our unique ability to innovate, problem solve and repair our planet,” William had said earlier, in reference to the initiative.
    He unveiled the finalists last month, with Bangladesh, China, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Switzerland among the other country projects in the running besides India.
    The Indian finalists are both competing in the “Clean Our Air” category, with Vinisha’s solar powered cart making the cut for its concept of replacing dirty charcoal with clean energy from the sun.
    Vidyut Mohan’s social enterprise Takachar was picked for its efforts to combat the very serious health impact on people in Delhi and its surrounding areas from the burning of agricultural waste, a leading cause of air pollution and reduced life expectancy. PTI AK RUP

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)