16 year old Chirag Bhansali awarded Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar

A 16-year-old student named Chirag Bhansali from Delhi Public School, Noida has been conferred the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) for his outstanding contribution in the field of innovation. He had launched a website called SwadeshiTech.in, which is basically a tool to search for alternatives of Chinese apps and products and it came right after the crackdown of the government on apps of Chinese origin.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also interacted with other selected children via video conferencing. The award is specifically given to those who have shown immense potential in various fields including innovation, education, sports, arts and culture, social service and bravery. Bhansali was awarded under the category of innovation. In a video conferencing message, PM Modi asked children to keep these three pledges in their mind — the first pledge was of consistency. “There should not be any slackening of the speed of the action,” said PM Modi.

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During the interaction, PM Modi also acknowledged the role of children in major behaviour-change campaigns like swachhata movement and said when children got involved in campaigns like handwash campaign during coronavirus crisis, the campaigns caught the imagination of people and achieved success.  He also noted the diversity in the fields in which awards have been given this year.

A resident of Noida, Bhansali has always been interested in technology and he is a self-taught coder and web developer who has taken online lessons on Udemy and YouTube. After the ban on Chinese apps, Bhansali created a website called Swadeshi Tech on June 12 and he learned to code at the age of 12. Previously he had designed a website that offered tools for designers. He got inspired by innovator Sonam Wangchuk’s video Cheen Ko Jawab, which called for Indians to boycott Chinese products, he created the website in 5 days and perfected it in the course of a week. Further, he divided the apps into various categories and thoroughly researched Indian alternatives for each of them. 

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