Shall this summer be a summer of ideas?


Shall this summer be a summer of ideas?

DNA | 6/7/2009 | Author : Anil Gupta



I hope kids will not only document the traditional knowledge but make some products which even go to markets 

I discussed last week how Honey Bee Network and National Innovation Foundation have been organising Ignite09 contest for the last three years to mobilise creative ideas, innovations and traditional knowledge from school and college students (under Sristi Yuva Yantriki award scheme). Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, our former president gave away the awards last year and will give awards this year too.

Let me give you some more examples of how can children harness their creative faculties. There are children who realised the problems around them say faced by their parents, or grandparents or anybody else for that matter. So a young boy in Tamilnadu, age 16, Davalsab Mahamadgows felt that many times when his mother was alone in the kitchen and she had to cook food in a pressure cooker, she faced a problem.
If she was in the bathroom, there was no way she could regulate the gas in a way that if she wanted only two whistles for the food then after two whistles the gas would switch off. In fact, there is no such device available in the market anywhere in the world. Every mother (or father), whether in India or in Europe, while cooking food has to remember, how many whistles she wants to give to food and then has to switch off the gas manually . Can children, in the summer of 2009, decide that they will take four vows

one, they will decide that they will not live with the unsolved problems, which their parents or siblings and their neighbours face indefinitely. second, would they decide that before it is too late, they will learn from their grandparents and document the unique knowledge they have for solving the problems of everyday life? after all when kids of today will became grandparents themselves, their grandchildren are going to ask them, did they not learn anything from their grandparents? and if so, what have they got to share with the grandchildren.
third, if they discover any innovations around them in their neighbourhood they will try to scout them and share those innovations with the honey bee network, sristi. so that not only we can recognise, respect and reward these innovators, but also help other children, the future leaders of our society, to get inspired from these examples.
fourth, they will develop new ideas and innovations themselves about things not made so far, ideas not thought so far. patents will be filed for them if they wanted (they could also keep their innovation as open source, free for all to share and benefit from) and if they do well, they could get micro venture innovation fund support from national innovation foundation.
so what is there to wait, summer of ideas has already started, let the ideas rain this time

Anil K Gupta