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Mermaid dream but model close to earth

Rudrarup Das has dreams unlimited, some of them reaching below the sea into the world of imagination.

Rudrarup, a student of Class XII of Fulia Shikshaniketan, wants to research mermaids and find out what led to their stories. But before that, his experiments, which began when he was 14, and which are grounded in solid earth, have earned him accolades.

The most recent one came in September. The State Youth Services department chose Rudrarup as the winner of the state-level science model competition (higher secondary level) that was held at the Kshudiram Anusilan Kendra during State Science Fair.

With the model Rudrarup, who wants to be a bio-technologist, shows that how Ti Plasmid, a transferable DNA available in soil, can be used to produce nitrogenous enzyme, increase yield and develop natural resistance in plants and crops and at the same time reduce the negative impact of nitrogen-based fertilisers on the soil.

He won a cash award of Rs 35,000 for the model, which he calls: “Ti Plasmid: A Blessing Tool”. The judges’ panel picked Rudrarup’s model as the best for its feasibility in implementation as well as its cost effectiveness among the 38 other models submitted by participants from 19 districts.

Rudrarup will only get a part of the money. But that too will come in handy. He comes from a poor family, which can barely afford his education. His father works as a night guard in Fulia market.

“In my model I have tried to show that Ti Plasmid, a transferable bacterial DNA, if properly used in the soil, can work as a blessing for agricultural production as it is a self-sufficient enzyme that produces nitrogenous enzyme. It selects its hosts automatically and gets multiplied naturally to spread over the field through “transgenesis”, a bio-technological process, and develops crops into a disease-resistant high yield variety.”

Rudrarup’s zoology teacher at school, Tanmoy Sannyal, helped him a lot.

“Sir advised me to think of something that would benefit the common man and particularly agriculture. Zoology is my favourite subject, so while studying bacterial enzymes I found the positive characteristics in Ti Plasmid. I told Sir, who advised me to develop a model. After some rectifications I first submitted it to the Nadia district youth science festival held on August 29, 2013, in Krishnagar, organised by State Youth Service Department,” Rudrarup said.

“My model won the best award there and I was selected for the state-level competition that was held in Calcutta on September 9-11,” he added.

“Rudrarup has a very good understanding of science. I was stunned when he developed a model on production of water using humidity in the air,” Sannyal said.

“However, poverty is his main obstacle. It would be great if the state government came up with a monthly scholarship for such students, instead of a one-time prize money,” he added.

According to the rules of the competition, out of the prize money, the school will get Rs 25,000 and the student Rs 10,000.

Rudrarup, who will appear for his HS examination next year, passed Madhyamik examination in 2012 with 84 per cent marks. His sister Shreema studies in Class VII. His father Robin Das earns around Rs 4,000 per month.

“Talents are dying untimely deaths due to poverty, for which the state government should accept responsibility, otherwise there is no justification in organising such a science fair. The government should take full care of their education and use their talents in scientific research works for the benefit of the country,” Sannyal said.

The school has decided to approach Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya to get Rudrarup’s model examined and make a project out of it.

Arabinda Mitra, director of Comprehensive Scheme of Cost Cultivation, a central government project under agriculture university, said: “I have heard about the Rudrarup’s model. I have asked for a demonstration of the model before our scientists. If they give the nod we may consider implementing it practically.”

Rudra’s dream...

Rudrarup, 18 years old and a Class XII student, wants to research on mermaids and
find out what led to their stories

... and achievement

The boy has won the first prize in the state-level science model contest

hurdle ahead

Rudrarup comes from a poor family that can barely support his education. His teacher said it would be great if the state gave a monthly scholarship for students like him, instead of
giving a one-time prize money