IGNITE ’10: Unleashing the power of creative young Indian
While editing Young Indian during 1919-1932, Gandhi addressed many problems of nation building. But, he obviously could not anticipate how creative young Indians could be in the independent India. National Innovation Foundation [NIF] organizes contests among children every year for new ideas, inventions and innovations with the help of Honey Bee Network volunteers. This year the entries were almost doubled compared to last year both in terms of number of participants and also the districts from which children submitted ideas. NIF received and mobilized 2139 entries from 29 states and union territories covering 161 districts and gave 18 awards. What is remarkable this year is the age at which young Indian children have started to innovate. Chris Ananth, class one from Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu saw his father using vacuum cleaner at home. He had used shoes, which had a kind of air pump such that they made sound while walking. He got an idea, could not he use his shoes to suck the dust from the ground. He got third award for this idea and he will be honoured by Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam on November 8, 2010 at IIMA campus.
Adtiya Parashar, class seven, Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh sent several ideas including vibrator based overtake alarm which would not cost noise but will be heard through a speaker on the dashboard. No company in the world has yet thought about doing away with noise pollution through horns on the road in this manner. Archana, class eight, Demaji, Assam was worried that many physically challenged people using crutches experienced lot of pain in their armpits while resting on the crutches. She asked as to why one could not put shock absorbers in the crutches. Simple idea but have we seen such crutches. Next month, she would receive a copy of the patent application filed on her behalf along with prototype to take back to her village.
Riya, Nimran, Kaamya and Meher, class six, Delhi, thought about a bicycle based cleaning device. So much has been written about reducing the drudgery of sanitation workers. I hope that her device would get deployed after testing and make a difference to the life of the workers.
Rashmi, class five, Kolkata, West Bengal is a visually impaired girl but that does not prevent her from dreaming. Many times, she used her sister’s cycle and walk with it to get a feeling of driving things. She wondered could not one have a pre-programmed tricycle for people like her, which could take her from classroom to the main gate by just pressing different buttons. She aspires to be a nurse so that she could nurture others.
Among the children in class nine and ten, Divyam, Bulanshahr, UP has been awarded first prize for suggesting a system, which will prevent people from using mobile phone while driving. It will sense whether both the hands are either on the steering or one hand is on the gear and another on the steering. Kaushik Boruah, Golaghat, Assam was bothered by the broken filament reeled from muga cocoons. Vishan from Vadodara did not like the idea of wasting pineapple while peeling and therefore designed a special peel groove knife. He is not who believes in living with problems indefinitely. He not only studies problems but also does research and then finds materials, contacts mechanics and tries to make things. His parents have supported him in all such endeavors instead of asking him to only focus on one thing. We should not be surprised if he grows into a scientist.
I will share the details of remaining awards next week. It will be useful for all those parents who push their children to become bookworm to remember that all children are born creative. It is we the elders, whether teachers, parents or mentors who stifle the creative potential of children. If only we could let the children be. The country would be not only more creative but also more compassionate. I look forward to hear from children in much larger number this time in IGNITE 2011 for which entries are awaited at firstname.lastname@example.org. It takes very little to articulate ideas. Honey Bee Network converts them into products, files patents on their behalf and even tries to license the technologies to entrepreneurs.
Anil K Gupta