Sunday, 31 July 2016

Inspire to Innovate Storytelling Movement- Letter to Student Series Volume 1 Issue 12

My Dear Student Friends,
This is Dr. Ravi Saripalle, Founder, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. Welcome to “Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 12. Hope you enjoyed reading my previous letter. These letters are e-travelling across the country, for one good cause, spreading inspiring stories of amazing people. Our mission is to inspire Indian Youth by spreading positive stories of people who made difference in life and quality in various domains. Today these letters are reaching all 686 districts of our country. These letters are  helping to build positive dreams and act as catalyst to youth aspirations. Now lot of districts are considering this letter series to integrate into  the academic curriculum. I am confident, it yields. It creates amazing impact on individual dreams.
Why you should read this letter? Your time is most precious.
  1. When an individual hears a Positive Story, it sets vision and provides strength to execute goals
  2. When an individual hears a Positive Story, it invokes his/her natural multiple intelligence
  3. When an individual hears a Positive Story, it acts like Edutainment (Education + Entertainment)
  4. When an individual hears a Positive Story, he/she learns skill on their own rather external push
  5. When an individual hears a Positive Story, he/she tries to create his/her own positive story
  6. When a teacher starts class with a Positive Story, student learning productivity multiplies

In the previous issue, we discussed about Nicholas James, motivational speaker, born with phocomelia syndrome (absence of legs and arms), Jessica Cox, first armless pilot, Sushma Verma, studied MSc-Microbiology and completed BSc. at the age 13, and her brother Shailendra completed BCA at the age of 14, Geetu Maa, a woman adopted 28 orphaned children suffering with cancer, Dr. Garimella, who was born blind but became great journalist, Muhammad Ali, an American Olympic and professional boxer. They are sharing humongous inspiration with us. They are rising hopes and aspirations! They are living for a cause and drawing positive consequences.    

In this issue, I would share few great examples of grassroots innovators and social change makers. Prof. Anil K Gupta, globally renowned scholar in the area of grassroots innovations, founder of Honey Bee Network, executive chair of National Innovation Foundation (NIF), and Professor at IIM Ahmadabad, working towards scouting grassroots innovations and promoting grassroots innovators. Honey Bee Network culled out thousands of wonderful innovations, ideas and knowledge possessed by economically poor people. NIF published wonderful work done by Vijaybhai Solanki and Dipakbhai Vyas, from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. These innovators developed Cotton wick making machine (Cotton wicks are kept in diyas) which has completely automated the process of round cotton wicks ( Vijaybhai (45), a school dropout and Dipakbhai with Basic education, borrowed money for high interest rates, with lot of struggles,  made their initial beginning but failed in their attempt. However, with the support of GIAN West/NIF, they could able to complete the product successfully. This machine makes 20 - 25 high quality wicks per minute whereas we can make 8-10 wicks per minute manually. Till date, they sold more than 100 machines and counting. We wish them success in their innovation journey. Thank You NIF for publishing an inspiring innovation.

Recently I read an article from written by Mark Hertsgaard. It was the story of a farmer ( named Yacouba Sawadogo) from  Burkina Faso, a landlocked (no sea coastal line) country in West Africa. It is surrounded by 6 countries. He cannot read or write, but developed Tree-based approach for farming which is most effective to beat climate change. He has 50 acres of land, which he got it from forefathers. Whole family abandoned this land as it was caught with extreme drought during 1972-84, and later consistent drop in rainfall (~20%) year on year. But Sawadogo became innovator and adopted to these extreme conditions. He made zai shallow pits which collects the scarce rainfall onto the roots of crops. He added manure during dry season in the pit. This is best innovation which he discovered! By concentrating water and fertility in pits, Sawadogo increased crop yields!  Small trees began to sprout while millet and sorghum (used for food, animal fodder, biofuels etc) are grown besides! As trees grow bigger, crop yields are going high while restoring soil fertility. Now this technique is adopted by hundreds of farmers where rise in the temperature and climate change are becoming critical issues. Millions of acres which were semi-desert in 1980s are now became fertile! This technique is also called as  "agro-forestry" or "farmer managed natural regeneration". Mixing trees and crops give multiple benefits- shade to crops, act as wind shields, and help in retaining soil moisture. Tree leaves falls on the ground act like mulch, improves soil fertility and acts as fodder for livestock. Infact during emergency situation, people can eat these leaves and avoid starvation. These pits help in recharging underground water tables (e.g. in this region water raised by 5 meters in spite of population increase). Tree wood is a bi-product which can  be sold for furniture, domestic cooking etc. Author shared an important information in this context -  80 percent of planted trees may die within a one or two years. However, contrary to this phenomenon, trees sprout naturally, are more resilient to this situation. Thank you for publishing wonderful  agro-forestry technique which is the need of hour!

Now Let me talk about another amazing personality! Dr. Prakash Baba Amte, son of Magsaysay awardee Baba Amte (famous social worker, one who dedicated his life for the empowerment of people who are suffering from leprosy), who is medical doctor and amazing social worker. Dr. Prakash Amte and his wife, Dr. Mandakini Amte (both doctors by profession) working towards cause of empowerment of  Madia Gonds in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra and nearby states of Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.  He started Lok Biradari Prakalp in the year 1973, a transformational project for the development of Madia Gonds tribal people. He and his wife migrated to this tribal place and lived in hard conditions (no electricity, communication etc). They developed emergency hospital, school for tribal people and hospital for injured animals and orphan animals. They are providing healthcare services to 40,000 people annually and school for 600 students. Both received Magsaysay award under "Community Leadership" category. Let me share the other family members contributions! Dr Prakash's elder brother, Dr. Vikas Amte, doctor by profession, running an organization called 'Maharogi Sewa Samiti', and managing "Anandwan", started by his father Baba Amte in 1948 for leprosy patients. Dr Prakash's elder son' Dr. Digant Amte, completed his school education from Lok Biradari's school. He did MBBS degree and serving tribals along with his parents! Dr. Anagha Amte, Dr. Digant Amte's wife (gynecologist) dedicated her life for the tribal women. Mr. Aniket Amte, younger son of Dr Prakash Amte, did his diploma in mechanical engineering, joined his family in tribal village, serving towards cause of lively hood (Bamboo Handicraft Center, and Lok Biradari Dairy) and education (Lok Biradari Ashram School). Mrs. Samiksha Amte, wife of Mr. Aniket Amte, teaches in the school using innovative pedagogies. Mr. Vilas Manohar, brother-in-law, of Dr Prakash, a well-established entrepreneur from Pune along with his wife (Mrs. Renuka Amte-Manohar, sister of Dr Prakash Amte), dedicated their lives in that tribal place. Mr. Vilas Manohar wrote multiple books on man-animal relationship based on this experience at Hemalkasa, tribal village. They are referred as the Schweitzer couple of India. The Prince of Monaco (Europe) issued a postal stamp on their name. They also received Padmashree, highest Indian civilian award
(,, What an amazing family of social workers! Three generations, uncompromised commitment, uninterrupted social service, astonishing Amte family! The source of inspiration.

National Innovation Foundation (NIF) has scouted another important innovation called Laxmi Asu machine developed by Mallesham from Telangana. Tie and dye is most critical stage in making pochampalli silk sarees. A triangular shape is given to the threads and designs are developed based on this shape. Tie is done as per design selected and dye is applied as per the color selection. Once they are dried and integrated, they are rolled into spindles and in turn into looms and from that saree is woven. Earlier this weaving used to take 3-4 hours but due to Laxmi Asu machine it is taking only 90 minutes. Earlier only 2 sarees are made in a day but now due to Asu machine, this number increased to 8 sareers per day. Thanks to NIF for scouting such a wonderful grassroots innovation and thanks to and for publishing such a wonderful article. Infact Mallesam started this work at the age of 12 years. He used to study during night and passed 10th standard! His mother used to work hard doing this job in spite of her joint aches. His heart melted due to this situation and decided to do something to aid his mother. He worked hard in making this machine possible and finally developed Lakshmi Asu machine. Now this machine is patented! His goal is to transform 30,000 women weavers life in Telangana and AP using this machine. He already sold 600 machines. We sincerely wish Mallesam's goal to be fulfilled and dream succeeded. You can read more at  and .

Now let me share another healthcare innovation developed by BITS Team. Dr. Suman Kapur and Team (Mr. Abhay Moondra, Ms. Anuradha Pal, Mr. Suresh Kabra) of BITS Hyderbad developed breathtaking innovation called RightBiotic® which helps in rapid urine culture testing (point-of-care device developed for testing antibiotic sensitivity of pathogens found in human urine, leading to Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)). A typical urine culture test takes 1 to 3 days. However this innovation provides sensitivity results in 4 hours. You can read more at . Team is also working on another two innovations - RightGlucose®, an efficient low cost efficient Glucometer. RightCardio®, a self monitoring lipid profile test kit. Best wishes to the team working on affordable healthcare products which are vital to serve bottom of the pyramid healthcare needs. We wish this team achieves the goal of low cost health care diagnosis a reality.

My Dear Friends, Hope you found useful reading these inspirational stories! Inspire through storytelling, Innovate for Life turning! Friends, I appreciate your valuable time. We will again see you in my next letter. Thank you for giving me this great opportunity to write to you and help me to learn, unlearn and relearn in this process. I personally thank all websites, authors who are publishing / writing such an inspiring stories for common good and contributing for better world.
With Best Wishes
Dr. Ravi Saripalle

About Author:    Dr. Ravi Saripalle is Founder of Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. He is also Director, Center for Innovation, GVP College of Engineering (A), Vizag, AP, India. As part of Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement, Dr.Ravi is trying to instill inspiration through spreading positive stories of amazing people in the form of short stories, embedding them in the form of letters (epistolary form) and sending them to thousands of schools, colleges, universities district administrations across India. Also conducting Storytelling Workshops in select institutions. Providing customized mentoring to specific inspired students. Dr. Ravi is having 18 years of experience in Industry, Consultancy, Training, Mentoring and Research. Prior to this current mission, Dr. Ravi worked with Wipro Technologies for more than a decade. Dr Ravi can be reached at saripalle.ravi@gmail,com or or

Links to previous letters
1.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 11 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
2.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 10 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
3.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 9 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
4.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 8 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
5.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 7 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
6.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 6 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
7.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 5 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
8.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 4 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
9.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 3 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
10.    Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 2 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
11.    Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 1 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

Disclaimer: The goal of this i2iSM letter series campaign is to inspire students / youth through storytelling and develop innovative leaders to build strong nation. In this process, I have taken several data points from various websites, NEWS articles, books, videos etc. I sincerely thank all the editors for providing such an insightful stories and information. To the best of my knowledge, I tried to acknowledge all the sources. I sincerely apologize for any omissions, grammatical mistakes and hurting any reader’s sentiments. I request all the readers to understand the spirit behind this effort. This effort doesn’t involve any commercials. Letter series is for free distribution. 

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