FIIST ensures frugal future through HBN CRIIA awards

A foot lever to lift toilet seats so that one does not have to do it with hands was an idea which industry has not recognised as yet. But it did not escape Advay Vaidya from Himachal. We have all seen dustbins which such a mechanism for decades. But logical extension of this concept to western style toilet seat had not occurred to us.

Many of the readers feed the grains to birds and fill watering pot hanging at a higher height. Unless we see them from above, we don’t come to know whether water needs to be filled up or grains need to be replenished. Jhanvi Ramani from Surat, Gujarat was concerned about this and thus suggested a sensor to alert us of the need for replenishment. Bless Jhanvi who cares for birds so much. Many of us recall noticing during our rural stay and visits the drudgery involved in the plastering floor with dung-clay mixture.

The younger generation wants to have the hygienic effect of such a plaster but without drudgery. Prachi and Sakshi from Maharashtra suggested a device to do just this. And why not, why should not every work become more efficient and easier to handle, particularly when women have to do it (though men can do it as well). Many of these ideas were discovered through Honey Bee Network Creativity and inclusive Innovation Awards (HBN CRIIA) launched by this year.

On Jan 28, these and many other awards were given at first Festival of Inclusive Innovations fr Social Transformation (FIIST) At the Inaugural plenary session of fourth International Conference on Innovation at Grassroots held at IIMA. It was organised in collaboration with CMA and RJMCEI, IIMA. HBN CRIIA was also supported by UFO which helped the GIAN’s call reach more than 3000 cinema halls. IITE, Gandhinagar, Gharda Foundation (GMATF), NABARD, CSIR, SRISTI, UNICEF, UNESCAP, IITB and the HBN also supported it. Next year, it is planned to be scaled up globally.

Having been a leader in frugal, inclusive and grassroots innovations, it is natural that the Honey Bee Network should take lead in recognising such innovations from around the world. Anybody working in any sector at any level in the formal or informal sector can submit their ideas at The outstanding traditional knowledge of one place can be an innovation for another community unaware of it. These will be incubated at BIONEST incubator at SRISTI. The innovations for social applications from and for grassroots will be incubated at GIANSATRE incubator at GIAN. If Roshani, Himmat Nagar, had her way, the handle of sickle will be so designed with a comfortable grip that workers in farms will not have pain in their hands. Similarly, Tarak Machhi, Bharuch, Gujarat was pained to see the effort the fishermen had to put in pulling the net after fishes were caught. Why could not there be simple pulley in small boats as well to make this task easier? Imagine, if all the children of our country started questioning the inertia of our society persisting for millennia and overlooked by many formal institutions, then an renaissance in India and other developing countries cannot be far.

Sabrin Khatoon, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, did not like the drudgery experienced by workers in small factories. She suggested what should have been very obvious to factory inspectors and other concerned with labour welfare that one should carefully document each stage of the action taken by the workers and number of steps should be reduced so that they can do more work with lesser effort, she did not know about Fredrick Taylor of course. What all these and many more examples show us is that our children are much more samvedansheel/ empathetic than our generation was. And thus Indian future and may be the future of humanity worldwide is in safer hands. Perhaps, this is the best I can say about collective confidence of the Honey Bee Network in enormous capacity and unwillingness of the future leaders of our society to live with inefficiency, inertia, drudgery and pain.



Visiting Faculty, IIM Ahmedabad & IIT Bombay and an independent thinker, activist for the cause of creative communities and individuals at grassroots, tech institutions and any other walk of life committed to make this world a more creative, compassionate and collaborative place

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