KUALA LUMPUR: Klang boy Ganesh Muren beat over 300 applicants from 43 countries to the coveted Here for Good Award that recognises game changers from the one million strong student network of Laureate International Universities.
The plucky 24-year old with a passion for engineering and a penchant for entrepreneurship is known for his contribution to marginalised communities.
A solar-powered water filtration system he developed while at INTI was his way to save lives in underserved communities, and it has earned Ganesh the highest accolade for students driving social change within the network of Laureate International Universities, which is present in 28 countries.
INTI International University and Colleges where he honed his engineering skills is a member of the Laureate network.
As the founder of Saora Industries, Ganesh has put his entrepreneurial and engineering skills to good use by getting the solar-powered devices producing clean water and electricity placed in rural Orang Asli communities and other villages across Malaysia.
His invention uses solar energy to drive the pump that accelerates the output of water going through a tiered filtration system. The excess solar energy is used to power generators in small villages with limited access to electricity.
Through Saora Industries, Ganesh hopes to reach out to over 10,000 households by 2018, and his US$10,000 cash award will promptly be reinvested into the business he founded.
“From selling grasshoppers when I was a young boy for some extra pocket money to developing a device that could potentially save lives – I always believe that perseverance, creativity and hard work pays off in the long run,” he said.
“When I started this journey, my goal was to help a 6-year-old Orang Asli girl lead a normal and healthy life by giving her access to clean water. She didn’t survive long enough for me to help her but her legacy will save many lives,” he added.
Ganesh said it was his obsessive attention to details, guided by inspiration to save lives through improved access to clean water that helped him drive a small but meaningful change.
“I have so much more to achieve, and I am humbled by the Here for Good Award, as it also means we can create so much more awareness on this fundamental basic right to clean water,” he said.
“When I was younger I wanted to make a billion dollars. Today, I want to save a billion lives,” he added.
INTI International University & Colleges CEO Rohit Sharma said Ganesh is a great example of a student who developed practical solutions to problems while generating jobs and benefiting the community. Ganesh received his award last week from the founder, chairman and CEO of Laureate International Universities Douglas Becker at a ceremony in Chicago where he shared his personal journey of becoming a social entrepreneur.