Friday, October 22, 2021

Meet the 14-Year-Old Girl Whose Solar-Powered Invention Is a Finalist for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize

A ‘smart’ bracelet is in the running to create the world’s first ever male-free menstrual cup

Meet the 14-Year-Old Girl Whose Solar-Powered Invention Is a Finalist for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize

Waste-to-energy company Voltaic was awarded the Prince William 7th Global Impact Award – in recognition of its end-to-end ecological footprint: 99% recycled waste and free from landfill. But there’s more to Voltaic than recycling! It’s also the company behind a solar-powered menstrual cup designed to prevent school-age girls from suffering from bleeding in developing countries!

Mira Shukla, CEO and co-founder of Voltaic, says: “We have created a menstrual cup that enables girls to wear simple everyday clothes that are more hygienic, provides a sanitary need while enhancing their hygiene, and avoids the need for a collection centre each month!”

The team at Voltaic gave us all the deets on their efforts to set the world a new standard.

How did you get started in your business?

Voltaic believes that it can change the world, period! We have been delivering sustainable goods to some of the world’s poorest communities for about 3 years now. Since our focus is on women and girls – we’ve endeavoured to improve their livelihoods in major ways, one of which being the production of a menstrual cup designed to prevent their suffering from bleeding in developing countries!

If you could design a material that’s fit for a top designer, what would it be?


How does your invention work?

Voltaic reusable menstrual cup has a unique design that utilizes solar panels to charge a built-in wireless transmitter. The transmitter wirelessly signals to a specially equipped smartphone which transmits the form factor to our wearable technology. The smart menstrual cup has a broad range of functions – communication, communications, GPS tracking, and charging of the device itself!

Where were your first experiences of making a difference?

We are proud to have made an impact on over 300,000 women in emerging countries, contributing to the healthier lives of some of the most vulnerable communities in the world! The cup was originally created to prevent bleeding during periods in Africa, but we soon found that we needed to make a difference in other regions, as well. So, our business journey hasn’t been lost!

What is the best innovation you’ve ever seen?

The combination of active ingredients in a bright green shampoo and we were in the process of creating a trailblazing multi-functional cleansing bar (a skincare and laundry hybrid!). Inspired by our new product, we wanted to bring the beneficial effects of environmental cleaning to our human product.

If you were in charge of creating the next major design that would impact the world, what would you name it?

We believe that the most important innovation of the future should be inspired by nature – perhaps nature itself. We will work to contribute to a sustainable world.

What are your plans for the future?

We will continue developing our product, in collaboration with global experts, to offer a solution for a sustainable feminine care product to women and girls around the world.

What do you miss most about school?

We miss the good old days!

Have you used this product before? How does it feel?

Yes, we use our reusable menstrual cup to take care of our personal needs. It’s not a much bigger one than a full size tampon! And we do feel that this little innovation has changed the world!

What’s your best and worst advice?

Give it all you have.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My best influence would be my mum. She is the best motivator.

I’m proud to be able to teach female empowerment in the second generation. That’s exciting!

Do you use any other devices?

I don’t use any other devices like a mobile phone or a watch. They are for men and not me.

What does failure mean to you?

I don’t have any failures. But I believe everyone is guilty of it at some point in their life.

How do you approach your business?

Take inspiration from nature.

These stories were produced in partnership with Voltaic Ltd, London.

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