Krishna D. Naithani – Quito, Ecuador

Hello world, my name is Krishna D. Naithani, a 20-year old Civil and Environmental engineering student, actively exploring my new founded interests for sustainable development and applying engineering principles in clean water and sanitation and renewable energy sectors. Since birth life has been a series of adventures of adversities and victories. I made my entry into the world, 2,800 meters above sea level, in Quito, Ecuador with a medical condition called Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, lying lifeless for weeks in an incubator, patiently waiting to resurrect. Since then, overcoming physical and cognitive challenges has been an integral part of my life, and has shaped my personality in ways beyond belief. Crawling backwards, stumbling at every step, and not being able to speak until age five, pushed me at an early age to defy all odds. As I approached middle school, I transformed the negative comments of people about my accent and delayed learning in academics, sports and music into positive actions. My music and P.E. teacher in India wrote me off that I would never play a sport or an instrument. My 9th grade resource teacher doubted my abilities for public speaking. If only they could could see me now. Additionally, I ran for class president and became a drag queen in spirit of fundraiser activity for Relay for Life (American Cancer Society). The underdog in me became a force of nature.

I continued my passion, extending my helping hand and achieving the so called impossible, into service projects in India. India is my heart and soul. I grew up there and it always breaks my heart that such a beautiful country is struggling so immensely. The economics of the country is ruled by immense disparity of prosperity and poverty, side by side. Living my impressionable life, I was bombarded on a daily basis with vivid imageries of contrasting urban and rural culture of India, the endless crowds and stark realities of depravation that seem to seep every nook and corner of urban jungle of Delhi. With these facts in mind, I worked as a project manager during the summer of 2016 in India for a Ngo called EduCARE. My focus was on eco-building/SWASH projects. I successfully designed and implemented a sustainable greenhouse made from solid waste plastics and bamboo. This project was dedicated to cleaning up hard plastic from the ground and educating the local community about recycling and environmental impact of solid waste. Additionally, I build a Biosand filter for clean drinking water. The filter has the ability to clean 98% of bacteria, 100% of viruses, 99% of parasites, protozoa, amoebae, and worms, 95% of heavy metals, and with a slight modification, 93% of arsenic. Overall, this experience strengthened my understanding of the importance of sustainable development and engaging and promoting social entrepreneurship at the local community level. I firmly believe empowering local communities using local resources for economic growth is the most effective ways of long term sustainable development. I am proud to serve communities as a Chime In youth ambassador.

┬áThe Peoples Climate Change March…

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