Opportunity! It’s the one word which defined most of our reactions when we first came to know about the Solar Decathlon. It wasn’t just a competition. It looked like a journey. A journey down a road no team from the Indian subcontinent had ever ventured upon. Were we scared? A little bit, yes. I remember our faculty advisor, Prof. Rangan Banerjee saying to us, “You don’t know what you are getting into!” But we didn’t need to know. We were in it for the experience, the journey, the ups and the downs, defeats and victories, and the euphoria we believed it would bring. It was a one-time opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with professors, PhD, Post-Docs and Undergraduates like ourselves. We weren’t going to miss that!
When we took up the challenge, we were always confident we would get through. We had only about a couple of months when we found out about the competition. Building a team, writing the proposal, the designs, getting institute and corporate letters of support and last but not least compiling it all and sending it on time! We did it all, and we did it well. It was the 21st of December 2012 when the results came out and we were a part of 20 teams selected from across the globe. It was one of the proudest moments of my life!
Today, as we prepare for submission of Deliverable #2, we have come a long way from Day 1. Through numerous discussions, countless night-outs and endless debates, we have come out wiser. I’ve come to understand that it’s all about battles. We should not forget the bigger battle while getting caught in the smaller ones. So while we are in the Decathlon to win it, we are cognizant of the bigger picture. We are here to overturn the increasing demand for energy caused by the rapid needs for housing infrastructure in our country. Growth and progress is important for India, but what is even more important is the ability to sustain it. We want to change the perception of the industrialists and the policy makers towards sustainable housing and provide the stepping stone to a better tomorrow.
We believe that us “Decathletes” are looking to lead the path towards a more sustainable future, and we sure hope the world is behind us!