VayuJal: Potable water from the air

This continuously improving product could be the answer to the water crisis we are eventually going to face. Read how Ramesh Kumar is trying to solve a humanitarian challenge.

The mildly spoken Ramesh Kumar Soni shyly discloses, “I am the first engineer in the family, and will be the first IIT graduate as well. My father is a farmer and a jeweler, and we come from a small village in Rajasthan where drinking water is a perennial problem.”

In 2010, when the fresh-faced high school graduate was searching for the right engineering course to enroll in, his friends and advisors encouraged him towards nanotechnology. And so, his search brought him to SRM Engineering College in the outskirts of Chennai, where he sailed through a four-year program.

After college, he continued to work on research-based projects at various institutes—the IISc, IIT Chennai, and other places, but soon realized that these internships really didn’t shake out to some concrete outcomes and were quite short-lived. “Some of these projects were all of sixty days! What can you do in that timeframe?” he recalls.

He then went to IIT Chennai and began volunteering at the labs, and started working on surface material research with Professor Pradeep Kumar, eventually landing…

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