The Inspiration of the Holy River Ganges leads FUHAR DIXIT’s search for Pure Water

Born and raised on the bank of the holy river Ganges, this inspires Fuhar Dixit’s search for pure water.

Born and raised on the bank of the holy river Ganges, this inspires Fuhar Dixit’s search for pure water. His research focuses on the application of low-cost treatment technologies for the removal of physical, chemical, and microbial contaminants from municipal waste-water to ultimately improve the efficacy of its reuse, thus, bringing down the cost of potable water reuse by making it affordable for communities in water-stressed regions of the world.

Fuhar is a second-year Ph.D. candidate and a Vanier scholar at the University of British Columbia, investigating practical solutions to address the global challenge of drinking water scarcity.

Fuhar has been interested in environmental protection and water treatment since the beginning of his undergraduate studies. He joined the Indian Institute of Technology in Varanasi (IIT-BHU), bolstered by his desire to become a contributing member of a renowned research institution. The initial experiences at IIT sparked his passion for scientific research in the field of environmental engineering. Hence, he has channeled this enthusiasm and dedication to investigating distinct cost-effective technologies for water purification.

During his Master’s at UBC, he worked to provide high-quality drinking water to residents of rural communities in Canada affected by seasonal algal blooms. He also obtained an opportunity to serve water-stressed populations in Canada through his work with IC-IMPACTS.  An active member of the IC-IMPACTS Student Engagement Committee (SEC) since its inception in 2015, he served as Chair between 2015-2017. He acted as the liaison between the staff and the student researchers engaged in IC-IMPACTS research projects (HQPs). He also coordinated and implemented SEC-related activities with IC-IMPACTS HQPs in both Canada and India, where he initiated local networking events and assisted in the organization of monthly webinars and expanded the SEC team to five members across Canada. His team arranged a successful one-day graduate student seminar on the topic of multi-stakeholder engagement. The SEC has since increased to ten members, including representatives from India. He is still involved with IC-IMPACTS, actively planning events that promote student leadership skill development. Recently, he organized a two-day workshop on ‘Scientific Communication,’ featuring talks by renowned Canadian scientific experts.

As learned via his volunteerism around the world, a key component of leadership is a passion for community service and communication. Honesty, self-awareness, confidence, initiative, relation-building, and focus on the solution are essential leadership attributes that relate to him.

As learned via his volunteerism around the world, a key component of leadership is a passion for community service and communication. Honesty, self-awareness, confidence, initiative, relation-building, and focus on the solution are essential leadership attributes that relate to him. During his time at UBC, he has served as a volunteer in the Environmental Protection Committee at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival since 2015. Yearly, he conveys the importance of environmental protection to the public, teaching them how to conserve usable wastes by sorting the compostable and recyclable garbage.

Volunteering with kindergarten children at the Telus World of Science in Vancouver has taught him how to effectively translate complex scientific concepts to a lay audience in a compelling manner. He applies these skills around the world, presenting his research at various conferences to diverse audiences.

Involvement in sports has also strengthened Fuhar’s belief in the power of perseverance and team-effort, both of which play critical roles in leadership. As a first-year undergraduate student, he made the cut for the IIT-BHU Badminton Team and won first prize in both annual tournaments. He also organized and hosted local and national level tournaments to promote student-faculty engagement, encourage a healthy lifestyle, and recruit new team members. During his third year, he became the vice-captain and co-led the team to gold and silver medals in the national tournaments in Varanasi. Despite some brief setbacks in performance after these victories, he remained determined to maintain team spirit and morale. The following year, he was elevated to team captain and led the team to a silver medal in finals. He is now a part of the Thunderbirds Badminton Team at UBC and continues to strive for personal improvement and team excellence as he competes with other high-level athletes. He is also involved in the promotion of women’s sports, volunteering at events such as the ‘Women’s Fifa World Cup,’ which has instilled a sense of equity in his team decisions and in his academic research.

Volunteering with kindergarten children at the Telus World of Science in Vancouver has taught him how to effectively translate complex scientific concepts to a lay audience in a compelling manner. He applies these skills around the world, presenting his research at various conferences to diverse audiences.

Ultimately, Fuhar’s line of research is such that any advancements that he makes in his field will be a form of community service. In addition to providing him with valuable skills in leadership and effective interpersonal communication, these experiences have also helped him further broaden his understanding of community-based solutions for issues surrounding drinking water potability around the world.

Fuhar’s leadership in these initiatives was later recognized on a global scale at Canadian Water Summit, Vanier Scholarship and at the Drishti Awards Gala in 2018, an honor received by just ten individuals across Canada. However, these honors are secondary to the lasting relationships and impact he has generated through my work in these communities.

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