JOHN L. PAUL
They created some cars that wouldn't pollute the atmosphere.Elders may dismiss the creative ideas of kids as impractical and amateurish, unmindful of the wealth of information they hold. But nowadays, children dread taking a deep breath since increasing pollution has worsened global warming and has been causing a host of diseases. From the manufacturing stage till they are sold as scrap, automobiles spew toxic smoke and other pollutants.One hundred and thirty nine school children (aged six to 15) painted their dream cars, at the Toyota Dream Car Contest 2006 that was held at the Ernakulam Children's Park. The interesting aspect was that none of their dream cars ran on petrol or diesel. Over two dozen kids dreamt of cars that used water as the fuel. The source of power could be anything but fossil fuels like petrol and diesel, which pollute and harm the environment. Their dream cars ran on alternative sources of power like biogas, wind, electricity, LPG, CNG and even water. It is noteworthy to mention that pollution levels fell considerably in New Delhi, after CNG was made compulsory in autorickshaws and buses. Kavya V of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ernakulam, painted a sleek car that ran on electricity.
Environment friendlyHer dream car sourced power from an electric charger that resembled a conventional fuel-vending machine. Two wires ran up, to tap power from power lines. "No more pollution - have fun with electric cars", read the banner on the side. Vimal G Pillai of CCPLM Anglo-Indian High School, Thevara, drew four car models that had solar panels on top, to store solar energy. Krishna Priya C of Bhavan's Vidya Mandir, Eroor, painted a colourful double-decker car that ran on solar power. Athira Menon of St Antony's Higher Secondary School, Kacheripady, vouched for bio-gas as the future fuel. The passengers of her car coolly drove around in her dream car that was fitted with a bio-gas cylinder. "Reuse waste" - read the message of B Arjun of Al Ameen Public School, Edapally. His swanky sports utility vehicle had the dual option of bio-gas or CNG. Fed up with ever-increasing snarls in cities, Samyukta S of BVM, Girinagar, painted cars that can fly over traffic jams. She mooted an amphibious car that could travel even on water. Meenakshi L of Government Girls' Higher Secondary School, Ernakulam, found time to do two paintings - a glass car that ran on solar power, and a car that ran on wind energy. Drupa Dinnie Charles of Rajagiri Public School painted a romantic car painted with pink hearts. She called it Toyota Girlz and lo, there were two girls steering the vehicle. The car's exhaust pipe had as substitute a lip-stick of a popular brand. Her car used water as fuel, for it "causes zero-pollution, gives high mileage, is cheaper and stylish". Praveen Kumar of SRV High School, Ernakulam, showed how a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen was converted into water, to be used as his dream car's fuel. Goutham S N of Al Ameen Public School, painted a car carrying people to space. "It was a wonderful experience participating in the event. I am keenly interested in cars and want to buy a good one when the time comes." "We were looking for futuristic cars that appeal to generation next," said Eldo Benjamin, senior manager (Sales) of Nippon Toyota Moopan Motors. The paintings showed that children were very environment conscious and dreaded traffic jams. Most of the entries are about 'green' cars, he said. Last year, the maximum number of entries was from India, for the international event. The winner will get prizes worth Rs 3 lakhs, a trip to Japan and a visit to the Toyota factory. Then there were others who drew cars that were in the shape of flying saucers, powered by solar energy. Niza Kaladharan of Our Lady of Mercy School, Aroor, drew a colour-packed car that was powered using solar fuel.