Sahithi Pingali and Sanaya Katrak receive prestigious Round Square King Constantine Medals for outstanding spirit of service and work for the community
Each year, the prestigious King Constantine Medal* is awarded to deserving students in Round Square member schools, who have shown exceptional acts of service to others creating a positive and long-lasting impact on the local environment and community and helped promote and support the ideals of Round Square in their school. This year Sahithi Pingali and Sanaya Katrak (from the Class of 2018) are our inaugural King Constantine medallists for their commendable efforts. Read more about their accomplishments below. Congratulations to both!
*The medal is named after the King of Greece, Constantine II, who is currently the President of the Round Square Board, as well as the Patron of Round Square. As a teenager, he attended Anavryta School in Athens which later became a founding Round Square member school, which started his
lifelong connection to Round Square.
Sahithi was first exposed to the impact of development on Bangalore’s lifeline – our network of lakes – in July 2015, when she won a scholarship from Inventure to participate in the American India Foundation (AIF) program, to study the impact of urban development on scarce resources. Sahithi was also part of the Inventure team that participated in the Our Lakes Our Voice (OLOV) (an Inventure Change Maker initiative) aimed at students from AIF and Inventure doing an experiential case study on Varthur Lake, a 450-acre water body in Inventure’s vicinity.
The team’s findings through OLOV prompted Sahithi (the Change Maker OLOV student coordinator) and her team to research the various factors that contribute to the pollution of our water bodies through surveys, sessions with experts, and interviewing people who live and work around the lakes, while carrying out regular testing on ten different Bangalore lakes, for over a year.
Sahithi went on to develop an integrated mobile phone app and lake monitoring kit which is being used to visualize changing lake conditions by crowdsourcing lake monitoring to citizens and students. All the collected data feeds into a first-of-its-kind live web-based water health map of the world which automatically indicates the status of each monitored water body. Sahithi won several awards for her research on ‘An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies’ at key Science fairs in India and the US.
Sanaya has been working for the environment since she was in primary school and successfully convinced her school in Delhi to switch from paper to electronic communication – thus reducing the use of paper. Sanaya joined Inventure in Grade 10 and has been doing much to share her love for our Earth and its inhabitants: including interviewing pourakarmikas and writing articles about them for Citizen Matters online magazine to contributing to our Our Lakes Our Voice project. Sanaya and Sahithi and their team worked together with faculty to set up a water testing lab at school.
Sanaya’s smiling face has been a constant in whatever she does: from helping to organize changemaker events at school, gathering volunteers for several projects to being the MC for our first ever changemaker challenge event starts UB City.