Published: 27th July 2021
Like gramps, like granddaughter: Kerala 10-year-old develops mosquito trap using everyday materials
Indira Arjun develops an ovillanta trap made from household items that can protect up to seven acres of land from mosquito infestations
We often aspire to take after our heroes. Sometimes, those heroes are within the family. Which is precisely what happened with this fifth grader from Thiruvananthapuram who followed in the footsteps of her grandfather in developing a preventive measure against harmful mosquitoes. Meet Indira Arjun, the little genius who came up with the idea of developing a working model of an ovillanta mosquito trap using common household items. It is effective in attracting Aedes mosquitoes to lay their eggs in the trap which can later be destroyed, thereby keeping the nearby areas safe from the vector-borne ailments like Chikungunya and the like.
Indira is a student at Kendriya Vidyalaya 2 in Kalpakkam, Chennai. Her grandfather is a scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research and studies vector-borne diseases and Indira says that he was the inspiration for her mosquito trap model. "She has really taken after her grandfather in this regard," says the mother of Indira.
Indira, the daughter of a nuclear scientist said, "The ovillanta trap is effective in controlling the population of mosquitoes upto an area of seven acres. We can continually control mosquito numbers by collecting and destroying larvae every three days." Ovillanta traps have been reported to destroy upto seven times more mosquitoes than any other traps.
The trap itself owes its origin to researchers at the Laurentian University in Canada, who then tested for its effectiveness in Mexico and Guatemala. The materials required for the trap include a 13-inch old tyre, a hanger, a 1-inch PVC pipe, silicon glue, a ball valve, PVC glue, filter paper, 2 litre bottle of water, a cutting blade and a magnifying glass. The ovillanta video has the most views on her YouTube channel with over 13,000 views as of now.
And this is not a one-off innovation either. Earlier, she made good use of the time staying indoors due to the pandemic and utilised Augmented Reality (AR) to release a video on the human skeletal system on YouTube which is informative and a creative use of technology. It has racked up over 4000 views so far. She also came up with another AR video which dealt with introducing different wild and domesticated animals. "The video was even appreciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself," says a proud mother of Indira.