Wednesday, 10 July 2013


I believe that an idea is like a trigger which when pulled can change the destiny of nations and ring in a positive change of growth, development and equality!

Hence, I'd like to laud Franklin Templeton's initiative as a part of their CSR efforts through the TEDxGateway Mumbai held in December last year to organize a platform where people from different walks of life who have made a difference in the lives of others were invited to share experiences, ideas, issues and the wonderful works they are doing for the society. 

I was intently going through some of the videos and was impressed with the choice of speakers and the quality of research work a few good men and women have been doing in their field. They have raised some very important issues, brought out the lacuna, failures and shortcomings of our system in the public domain while at the same time provided solutions through their innovations and inventions which has given millions of us a reason to hope, dream and cheer for a better tomorrow! Here's an opportunity for us to get inspired and give back something to our society, by way of our time, effort or money towards building a better India; it's because in this circle of life what goes round comes around!

I was appalled to know from Mittal Patel's research that the nomadic and de-notified tribes of Gujarat who constitute 10% (i.e. 10 crores) of our country's population do not have an identity of their own. In fact even the fool-proof Aadhaar system has not accounted for them is definitely a matter of shame and concern!  It was alarming to know that these people have not even been included in the census count but find their way as criminals in police records which according to me is unconstitutional! After all our founding fathers promised the same rights to every citizen of India, which are Right to Equality, Freedom and against any manner of exploitation.I was further saddened to know that these tribes who work their living as snake charmers, knives sharpeners, perform bhavai, make wooden combs have over the years lost their livelihood due to the coming of newer technologies, lack of concern and apathy from successive governments where no initiative has been taken to rehabilitate them by employing their unique skills which are batons that can be passed on to the generations of tomorrow in preserving culture and history. To know more about Mittal Patel's research, watch the video here -

We all go through a key phase during our school days that'd make or break us,called 'Exams'! The very word 'exams' sends shivers to the spine as it is responsible for the stress and trauma the body and mind undergoes through during that period (which is for most part of the year if I may add!) Hence, I was quite impressed with Angad Nadkarni's presentation and the app he's developed called Examify. It was interesting to know that he's used algorithms to understand the past trends of question papers to predict the future question papers! Perhaps I could call him Exam-Astro Baba! So all in all students can well prepare for those questions itself rather than burden themselves with the vast never-ending syllabuses! Why don't you watch the video to know more about what Angad has to say! Click here -

Talking of innovation to solve day-to-day problems and I can't help but mention Cynthia Koenig's research which has paved way to the fact that if you work passionately towards a cause, solutions can be found to almost anything! I quite liked her practical and quick to implement solution of the Wello: WaterWheel meant to ease the burden of village women who travel 6-8 kms daily and spend 25% of their time everyday carrying 20 litres of water on their head! This fact was indeed an eye opener! The design of the WaterWheel is ergonomic vis-a-vis - time saver, cost effective, durable and has zero stress on the body! Now those 75% children who drop out from school to do the daily chores can thank their Cynthia Didi for being their savior  :-) Watch the video here -

Buying a house today is one helluva investment and it's no less to build one too especially with construction costs sky-rocketing the roof! So, not surprising Christian Sarkar's solution to this problem comes as a breather to those seeking to make a home for themselves! Initially it was hard for me to believe that in $300 making a house was at all possible in today's time. But after learning from his presentation that in Florida and Haiti this model has been successful and even replicated in states of India like Bihar and Pondicherry, I was upbeat! I was so glad to know that one man cherishes the dream of making a budget house for millions of homeless living in the dark and dingy ghettos of India. And the best part of this $300 solution is that it offers end-to-end solution by way of health, technology, basic furnishings and is a 'Green' idea too! This $300 house is constructed using recycled materials and comes equipped with a Mosquito net, Solar Panel, Tablet PC, Built in Furniture, Solar cooker and Water filter! It's a complete win-win situation here!! Perhaps our netas could well take a cue from here on many accounts - be it idea, innovation, solution, implementation and economy of budget! For more watch here -

Taking the quest for innovation further, Myshkin Ingawale's invention of the portable door-to-door ToucHb device to test the haemoglobin levels without the prick of a needle is worthy of praise! And I've come to appreciate his endeavor all the more after I learned that he came up with this unique instrument after he got to know from his doctor friend who works in a village that during child-birth both the mother and baby died because of post partum hemorrhage caused due to undiagnosed anemia  And the worst fact here is that anemia is very much curable if detected in time with the intake of health supplements like folic acid and iron tablets! So, with this one invention Myshkin has ensured two things - a) Saved two precious lives lost every minute to this killer disease b) Come up with a perfect and portable hand-held substitute to the $10,000 machine which can be used by the nurses and Asha workers in rural areas to detect anemia in a fraction of seconds! Check out this video to learn more -

I am a girl and proud to be one...but not many girls are fortunate to live the dream of saying "It's a wonderful world" (in the words of Louis Armstrong). From womb to tomb - a girl is no longer safe! She unwanted! She's an outcast in a world where God created men and women as equals! Hence I was quite impressed with Evan Grae Davis's initiative to create awareness on the brutal 'gendercide' taking place in the societies of both India and China through the medium of films!  I was shocked to know that today, there are 200 million girls missing around the world where they are either killed, aborted or abandoned because of their gender. Watch Evan's video where he reveals some disturbing statistics on this gender imbalance and explains this whole new emerging concept of 'gendercide' (not to be mistaken with genocide),if unchecked could well result in an epidemic! Watch Evan's video here -

Hope you enjoyed reading my blog post, please share your thoughts in the comments section below! I'd like to encourage all my readers to spread the word by tweeting and blogging on the noteworthy contributions these speakers are doing to make a difference in their respective fields! To watch more videos on the subject, visit the link ->

Thank you very much for your time!

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This post was written for the 'The Idea Caravan' contest at Indiblogger in association with Franklin Templeton. (Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012)

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