“Pleading to solve a problem is ordinary; pondering with possibilities to solve a problem is eXtraOrdinary.” – Naveen Lakkur
It is indeed common for people to complain when they encounter problems and expecting others to find a solution. However, eXtraOrdinary people ponder over a problem and come up with possibilities to solve them.
Story 1 – School Student Rejuvenates Polluted Lake
The Union Territory of Puducherry is known for its talented individuals in all fields. Due to the interest of its citizens in sustainable innovation, the Puducherry government introduced an innovation policy worth Rs. 10 crores in December 2019. One such innovative young scientist from Puducherry is Shanmuga Priya, a class 6 student from St. Patrick’s School.
During an open house in the residence of Hon. Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, the young scientist took the opportunity to meet the Hon. Lt. Governor, accompanied by her father. She explained to Hon. Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, what she thought about lake pollution and went a Little Extra by giving a solution for rejuvenating polluted waterbodies.
This eXtraOrdinary young girl was patiently listened to and given the opportunity to run her experiments on Kanagan Lake in Puducherry. She was one of the inspirations for people to come forward to restore Kanagan Lake. Watch this video to see how this brilliant young girl presented to the Hon. Lt. Governor and earned her respect.
Story 2 – Mexican Cactus Becomes Fashion Statement
All over the world, leather companies use cowhide to make leather. This is bad for the environment and for the animal. The reason is that cows have to drink a lot of water, and then the leather making process is bad for the environment, with lots of toxic byproducts it gives out. Many people wished for someone else to solve this problem.
Mexico is known for enterprising people and lots of cactus. It grows easily and needs less water. Two eXtraOrdinary Mexican individuals, Adrian and Marte turned to cactus to make this alternative, the vegan leather. They sought out mature leaves for the process and left the small ones to grow into big leaves. In the process, they are letting the plant grow too.
This vegan leather they made from cactus can be used in the auto industry to make the interiors, the fashion industry, and also for furniture. They cost the same as animal leather and lasts for up to 10 years. They then went a Little Extra by founding their startup Desserto to sell their finished product. Watch this video to see how they met and came up with this eXtraOrdinary solution.
Story 3 – Making Breast Cancer Detection Possible with AI
Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and the second most common cancer overall. Annually, breast cancer accounts for 2.09 million cases and 627,000 deaths globally. In India, breast cancer is 14% of all cancers in women. Most of the cancer cases advance because it is not detected on time.
It is treatable when detected early, but women shy away from tests. They go to the nearest clinic only when they feel a lump on their breasts, which happens only at a later stage. There are many ways to detect breast cancer that include invasive methods. Mammography is a standard breast cancer screening method that uses low-energy X-rays to examine the breast for diagnosis and screening. However, it is expensive and is out of reach of the poor.
Dr. Geetha Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur decided to change this and bring breast cancer screening to the masses. They co-founded Niramai, went a Little Extra, and developed a new technique called Thermalytix™, a computer-aided solution to identify cancerous and pre-cancerous patients. Dr. Geetha Manjunath holds a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Nidhi Mathur is an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).
These two eXtraOrdinary individuals want to eradicate breast cancer from India by 2027. They understood the pain of invasive tests and equipped with technology, founded Niramai which stands for ‘Non-Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Intelligence.’ It can detect early-stage breast cancer and the procedure takes less than five minutes.
A thermal device is placed in front of a patient and five images are captured. The software tool analyses it and the report is sent to a radiologist. Thermalytix™ is radiation-free and can detect tumors as small as 4mm. Watch how their technology works.
It is one of the few startups that participated in the Google Launchpad Global Accelerator program in 2018, it was selected by Philips for their first edition of HealthWorks program in India, and won the Amazon AI Award in Healthcare category. It has also won several other awards.
While many affected women are pleading to solve this problem, Dr.Geetha, and Nidhi as women entrepreneurs being a little extra, pondering with possibilities to solve this problem of breast cancer. Truly eXtraOrdinary!