While many people talk about their aspirations and ambitions on a daily basis, this girl is quite literally reaching for the stars; in fact a star of her own. Sahithi Pingali, a class 12 student of the Inventure Academy in Bengaluru, will soon have a minor planet in the Milky Way named after her.
The achievement comes after Pingali presented a paper – "An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies" – at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and won plaudits for it. In the paper, she spoke about the much-discussed polluted and frothy lakes of Bengaluru and how she developed a mobile phone app and lake monitoring kit to obtain details of the issue, reported The Hindu.
While she did garner a lot of appreciation for her initiative and also won an award, The Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has decided to name a planet after her. Speaking about how excited she was, Pingali told the Hindu: "I definitely didn't see this coming. I was expecting one special award at most. I haven't yet digested the fact that I have a planet named after me."
The Indian contingent reportedly won 21 awards out of which Pingali won three. Pingali also won the "overall second place in the Earth and Environment Sciences category. She is now pursuing an internship at the University of Michigan's Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Centre and plans to improve the app so that it can detect water pollution with higher efficiency.
"I want to make it more accurate and expand it to detect arsenic," she added.
Her father Gopal Pingali, vice president at IBM Global Technology Services Labs, too is clearly pleased with his daughter's achievements. "No one in the family has achieved something like this to make the country proud. She's put our name in the sky," he told the Economic Times.