The frustration of low battery life on his mobile device led Vallamkonda Nagamani Teja to design a solar bag capable of charging mobile phones and laptops on the go for an inter-school competition organised by Global Indian International School (GIIS) last year.
Little did he know that the bag would earn him the NRI of the Year award in the field of academics.
The Class 10 student, who has also won competitions in athletics and represented the school in dance competitions, was one of 27 students that the school nominated for the award.
"Nagamani is an inquisitive and dexterous student who has not only proven himself in academics but has also demonstrated innovation skills and excelled in the field of sports and performing arts," explained the secondary school coordinator for GIIS East Coast campus Shyla Menon.
The second edition of the awards, held on April 10 in Mumbai, saw 16 Non-resident Indians (NRIs) from four main regions - North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and the UK - lauded for their successes in their respective fields.
Three NRIs received the award in the field of academics, with Nagamani being the sole winner in the category from the Asia Pacific region.
The 15-year-old was overwhelmed with joy on winning the award. "This feeling cannot be expressed in words as receiving such a prestigious award at such a young age is amazing," he said.
He added that he was appreciative of the organisers for coming up with the recognition for NRIs.
Nagamani has a passion for athletics - he is one of the school's fastest runners - and contemporary dance. He dreams of being an entrepreneur and giving talented young Indians the opportunity to showcase their skills.
The student also got the chance to meet Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who received the India's Global Icon award.
He stood next to the actor on stage for group photos and, for Nagamani, it was certainly an unforgettable moment.
He said: "Mr Khan wished me and said, 'Congrats, keep on doing well and do your best!'"
GIIS partnered with Indian television network Times Now for the awards. Said the co-founder and chairman of Global Schools Foundation Atul Temurnikar: "The commendation conferred by the NRI of the Year award to these outstanding individuals with remarkable achievements is a befitting honour for an international school with excellence in its DNA."
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