A doctor in the making!

Meghana Ganjam recently won a bronze medal in this year's international science fair competition, I-SWEEEP, at Houston.

Being born into a family of doctors, it’s no wonder that Meghana Ganjam aspired to become one herself too! Having her roots in both Hyderabad and Nellore, the 17-year-old is studying grade 12 in Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando. She recently participated in The International Sustainable World (Engineering Energy Environment) Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP), a science fair held at Houston, and won bronze. Incidentally, she’s the only person with any kind of Indian origin to have won the award.

Sharing her interest on the subject, Meghana says, “I always wanted to become a doctor since childhood. My grandparents were physicians and my parents too were doctors in Hyderabad before they moved to the US in 1992.”

Recalling her entry in the competition, she reveals, “I have been part of several science programs and competitions. My ticket to I-SWEEEP was Dr. Nelson Ying Orange County Science Exposition, in which I won the first place. Although I was born in the US, my roots are in India. It is important for me to be part of my heritage. Since I felt that not enough research has been done on sesame oil, which is used in Ayurvedic medicine, I submitted a paper on sesame oil and its extensive use in Ayurveda. I am glad that my work has been appreciated. This award means a lot — it shows that my research is valuable and empowers me to further make a difference.”

However, it wasn’t a cakewalk for her. “Around 4,676 projects by 6,053 students from 70 countries have been submitted, so the competition was very intense. Being a high school girl, researching in a University was difficult. Sometimes, the authorities do not give permission. Also, gathering the material on the subject was quite a task.” Meghana credits her parents and Prof. Sampath Parthasarthy for her success. “I worked under Prof. Sampath (a Nobel Prize nominee) in the University of Central Florida, to get valuable insights into my paper. He was instrumental in enlightening me on various aspects of my paper. Personally, my parents have been of great emotional support — they drove me all the way to research labs and other places to support my work.”

Her friends and teachers are a proud lot too. “My friends are thrilled with the achievement because they know how difficult it is to get such awards. My faculty too is proud as the news was widely published in the media. Her recent visit to India has only made her wiser. “I visited Ongole and Hyderabad, and realised that the amount of work to be done was high. I collected important information about sesame oil and Ayurvedic medicine from various sources and have begun strengthening my study.” So how good is she in Telugu? “It’s decent — I speak Telugu at home,” she says with a smile as she concludes.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story