There are seven ironing vendors in the neighbourhood where Vinisha lives. They burn charcoal to heat a cast iron box for pressing clothes and habitually throw the burnt charcoal away with the garbage. 13-year-old Vinisha was shocked that nobody was concerned by the implications that burning charcoal had on the environment. The burning of charcoal for ironing is still a common practice in India and is used by ironing vendors in developing countries. Burning charcoal produces air pollutions which is harmful to humans and animals and pollutes land, water, and air. Once Vinisha understood the dangers of charcoal to the environment, humans, and animals, she was determined to do something about it.
One day, in her science class, the teacher taught a class about solar power and photovoltaic cells to generate electricity. At that moment, Vinisha imagined whether it would be possible to create a solar-powered ironing cart to eliminate the use of charcoal. Vinisha researched for over 6 months to find out if solar energy can actually be used to replace charcoal to heat an iron box. She found out that there is no solar-powered ironing cart in India or anywhere else in the world. With the vision of building a solar-powered ironing cart, Vinisha wrote a technical paper and drew the design with detailed specifications. Innovating a solar ironing cart wasn’t an easy ride! There wasn’t a solar-powered cart that was built entirely on a direct-current (DC) system. It was difficult for her to obtain even a high-quality solar panel because she lives in a rural town where innovation is a very rare occurrence! While attending school and participating in environmental initiatives, Vinisha built the prototype of the solar ironing cart during the weekends