They seldom know the importance of innovations
Innovation entails recognition. But for rural innovators, the idea seems alien. The stories of people creating gadgets for convenience and successfully putting it to use have always left many surprised. But there are many untold ones that pale into insignificance due to absence of recognition.
Mallesh Bommagani, a resident of Arjimpet in Motkuru mandal of Nalgonda district, created a ‘remote power controller’ for his paralytic mother, who found it difficult to operate home appliances in the absence of family members.
He did not want his mother to stay in darkness, while he and his father were away at work, and hence the invention of the controller.
Such success stories are aplenty and the innovators, by leveraging their limited knowledge of traditional practices, create instruments that address livelihood problems.
The issue came up for discussion at the two-day seminar and exhibition on ‘Rural Innovations, Indigenous Communities and Biodiversity Conservation’, conducted by Indian Science Congress Association - Tirupati Chapter (ISCA), at Sri Venkateswara University (SVU) here on Friday.
Introducing the theme of the seminar, ISCA chairman and convenor R. Ramamurthi stressed on the need for increased innovation among the inclusive communities like the rural and tribal folk. “They might not be highly educated, but posses a sound technical knowledge of the scientific concepts. Over the years, we have heard of people who efficiently and innovatively modified/invented implements to suit their needs, without any adverse effects on the environment,” he added. Terming the rural innovators as ‘guardians of nature’, Dr. Ramamurthi emphasised the need for disseminating information about the latest developments in science and technology.
S. Ratna Kumari, vice-chancellor of Sri Padmavati Mahila Viswa Vidyalayam (SPMVV), blamed rapid industrialisation for decreasing quality of life. “Innovations at the grass-roots level are environment-friendly. Such efforts should be documented and recognised with the help of legal rights and patents. The government should also give them required visibility and take steps to encourage them with awards,” she maintained.
SVU vice-chancellor W. Rajendra was felicitated on this occasion for receiving the ‘C.V. Raman Birth Centenary Award’. SVU rector M.A.K. Sukumar, former vice-chancellor of Dravidian University P.V. Arunachalam, ISCA’s former general president Geetha Bali and others took part.