Niranjan Karagi, a 22-year-old mechanical engineer is today the owner  of successful product 'Niranal', which means water filter, that can solve the problem of providing clean drinking water in just Rs 30.

As a student, Niranjan went to play at the stadium, that was situated next to a government school in Belgaum, Karnataka, where he saw students drinking unclean water from the tap, coming out of the overhead tank that was seldom cleaned.

This bothered him even after getting home and the next evening he went to the market to find out if he can buy a large filter. But the cost of the filters blew his mind and neither he nor the government school could afford  the water filters available in the market.

So, putting his studies to use, Niranjan worked hard for days together and prepared a simple tap, that can be inserted into the bottle you are drinking water from. The small filter can clean up to 100 litres of water.

When the instrument was ready, he showed it to his professors at Angadi Institute of Technology (where he pursued his engineering course) in Belagavi, but they were  not interested in it as it was too small a project, they thought then.

But Niranjan decided to follow his heart, but was worried about the small investment he needed to start a business to provide it at an affordable price. Then , recognising his work, Deshpande Foundation gave him some money.  He invested Rs  12,000 and brought a small machine to prepare these tap-like filters.

The filters were made available at Rs 30. The initial price was Rs  20 but after the introduction of GST, he had to raise it to Rs 30, which is far more feasible than any filter available in the market. But to make them popular, he had to wait  for some time, as people did recognise his work. Later, his efforts mainly spread through social media.

In fact, this special filter got mentioned at a radio programme 'kuch kuch baatein' produced by Indians in Dallas, broadcasting across 40 regions  in the US. After the programme, Niranjan started getting orders for his product.

With the news spreading outside India too, his business gradually grew and now he gets orders from USA, Singapore, Qatar, Africa and India. His filter is gaining popular in Karnataka and Maharashtra too.

His product has won awards at various programmes including seed funding of Rs 20 lakh at the Elevate 100 event organised by the Karnataka government. He won the prize among 1,700 participants. He has won praises from the Azim Premji foundation and the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI). He even received the Bengaluru Youth Entrepreneur Award on September 7.

"I'm currently developing an advanced filter that can clean up to 2000 litres of water and the tool might cost Rs 100 to Rs 150," said Niranjan speaking to My Nation.

At a time when everything is costly, this filter available at an affordable price and can guarantee clean drinking water at places that cannot afford a filter from the market.

Niranjan's 'Nirnal' can ensure safe and clean drinking water in India.