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2 Indian American California Teens Among Finalists Selected for Children’s Climate Prize

2 Indian American California Teens Among Finalists Selected for Children’s Climate Prize

  • Reshma Kosaraju, 15, of Saratoga, and Yash Narayan, 17, of San Carlos are in contention for the winning prize along with three others including Anjali Sharma, 17, of Melbourne, Australia.

Two Indian Americans are among five finalists selected for the Children’s Climate Prize, recognizing young people who drive change in the world. The award is instituted by the Children’s Climate Foundation initiated by Telge Energi. The final winner will be announced on Nov. 8 in a digital broadcast, and will receive SEK 100,000 ($11,355), a diploma and a medal.

Indian American finalists include Reshma Kosaraju, 15, of Saratoga, California, and Yash Narayan, 17, of San Carlos, California. Joining them is Anjali Sharma, 17, of Melbourne, Australia. Her project, “Class-Action Environment Minister,” tackles climate change in the courtroom.

Nominations were received from all six continents. Over 30 countries are represented this year, “resulting in hundreds of nominations of young people around the world who are fighting for the environment and climate in different ways.”

Kosaraju’s project, “AI against forest fires – Where technology predicts and limits the damage of forest fires,” uses AI and technology in an innovative and savvy way in order to accurately predict the risk of forest fires while also accounting for the independent variables of climate, weather and human behavior. 

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Explaining the significance of her project, Kosaraju says: “Forest fires have steadily been increasing in frequency and intensity over the years,” and “are estimated to be responsible directly and indirectly for over 339,000 premature deaths worldwide every year and up to $350 billion in annual economic losses in the U.S. alone.” Adding that forest fires “result in forest degradation since they wipe out trees and vegetation cover, cause soil erosion, which can lead to secondary disasters like mudslides and the loss of microbial activity in the soil,” she adds that it leads to “a decrease in biodiversity since the habitats of many species are destroyed.” 

Narayan has found a good and interesting solution with great innovation. His project, “DeepWaste,” is an easy-to-use mobile application that leverages powerful artificial intelligence algorithms to provide accurate and instantaneous waste classification. For his project, Narayan says he leverages the recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) and the availability of increased computational power on everyday smartphones, to provide instantaneous, low-cost, and accurate waste classification. It is the “first AI-based mobile app for waste classification, that can be used right at the point of disposal, by anyone with a smartphone,” he adds. 

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