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Meet William- the Genius teenager who built a windmill from books he read in library

They say an idea can change your life. Likewise, books, too change people’s characteristics and it eventually makes a huge difference in their lives as well. William Kamkwamba is now a successful person because of the science book that he went through in his village library.

His intriguing story is one that needs to be told to those who think how to make use of the available resources to good effect. Today he is an inspiration to students across the world.

Credits: University of Lowa

William hogged the limelight in his country Malawi in the year 2007 when he alone managed to build an efficient and effective wind turbine to steer a few electrical appliances in his house with the help of blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials that he collected in a local scrapyard.

He didn’t stop there as he built a solar-powered pump which supplies the first drinking water in his village as well as two other wind turbines at an altitude of 12 meters (39 ft). He is planning two more wind turbines, including one in Lilongwe, the political capital of Malawi.

Poverty issues troubled William and his family. So he had to rely on farming to survive. The turning point of his life started when he read a book called “Using Energy” that gave rise to innovative ideas. He decided to convert his fruitful ideas into innovations.

He made up his mind to create a makeshift wind turbine. Initially, he experimented with a small model using an affordable dynamo and he managed to make a functioning wind turbine that triggered some electrical appliances in his family’s house.

During free time, he enjoyed playing with his friends, Gilbert and Geoffrey using recycled materials. As per his autobiography, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”, his father has not been getting along with changed after becoming a Christian.

Owing to the scarcity of food, Kamkwamba was forced to drop out of school, and he was unable to return to school as his family found it difficult to afford the tuition fee.  William Kamkwamba was desperate to get in touch with education.

So he decided to visit the village library more often than not. This was his life-changing moment when he well and truly discovered his true love for ‘electronics’.  He developed this good habit of reading books since then and hence grasping a great deal of knowledge became much easier for him.

Written by Chaithanya G

Hailing from Chennai, Chaithanya G is the Managing Director of TheYouth. He has dedicated his whole life to reading and writing.

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