Student innovation to change the lives of street vendors


A power bank working on Solar Power for street vendors!
Prerna Wadikar from Bengaluru has built a device that makes access to portable energy more affordable.

Prerna Wadikar, a student from Bengaluru has invented a new portable battery that can be charged with solar power. This uses lithium-ion technology.

Prerna had done her degree in engineering, computer science. She did her master’s in public policy from IIM-Bengaluru. She later went on to pursue MBA from Oxford University. For her effort in making a socially conscious innovation, in 2021, she received the Vice Chancellor’s Social Impact Award from Oxford University – the award is given to university students who show exceptional achievement and commitment to positive social change.

She was awarded not only for her invention but also for her contributions to Oxfordshire. There she worked with immigrant communities and also extended the Oxford India Business Conclave to the students of India.

Prerna says that she was raised in a family that gave importance to educating females. Both her mother and her grandmother have been an inspiration for her.

Her invention named ‘Jeeva’ which resembles a ‘power bank’ is a portable charging device that can either be charged by solar power or by an electric charging grid. Prerna says that Jeeva takes about an hour to be fully charged. And once fully charged Jeeva gives an output of 75Wh and can run three devices simultaneously.

Prerna says that she invented Jeeva for the poor street vendors and pushcart vendors of not just India, but all around the world. These are the communities that are deprived of government support and livelihoods especially due to the pandemic. With her invention, Prerna intends to support this most deprived segment, micro and nano entrepreneurs. She further added that her invention can also be used to run vaccine refrigerators in primary health centers, fans and bulbs in shops and also to light homes in rural areas.

Prerna developed this device with the help of the company Livaah Innovations Pvt Ltd. The company has been working on green infrastructure for a long time.

Prerna is aiming to scale up her product and also using her green energy enterprise, Jeeva Global, to reach out to the small entrepreneurs, public and social organizations.

Written by Poorna Krishnan

Poorna is from Trivandrum, Kerala, and likes to write novels and poems. She is a graduate of ‘The Film and Television Institute of India’, Pune.

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