Sunday, 8 January 2017

Inspire to Innovate Storytelling Movement- Letter to Student Series Volume 2 Issue 5

My Dear Student Friends,
Greetings! Wish You Happy New Year 2017!

This is Dr. Ravi Saripalle, Founder, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. Welcome to “Letter to Student Series- Volume 2 and Issue 5. Hope you enjoyed reading my previous letter. These letters are e-transmitted across the country, for one good cause, spreading inspiring stories of amazing people. Our mission is to inspire youth by sharing positive stories of people who made difference in life 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.

Why should you read this letter? Your time is most precious.
We are writing to you for a cause of individual and global importance. We request you to give us 5 minutes of your valuable time by reading this letter and consider for implementation if you find any merit in this. Today, children of 10-21 age group are highly aspirational. If these aspirations are not properly supported by inspirational information and support system, these aspirations deviate. After through research and multiple observations, we are confident that following solution may work for this critical problem. We humbly appeal to you to implement following 2 steps systematically.

1. Read / hear one inspiring story per week of any individual / situation
2. Write a physical post card letter / formal mail to someone you trust in every 6 months. Request you to share your dreams and hurdles. It helps in setting up vision for life.

Trust me, continue this process for some time, it impacts  reticular activating system of human brain. We can expect amazing results. I truly wish your story becomes another inspirational story and positively influence all of us.  Please view my message at
To facilitate this process, we devised vision setting survey form. You can answer survey form at and help yourself setting up your own vision. I encourage you to respond.
            In the previous issue, we discussed about Mr. L.V.V.Kamalakar, CEO of Power Dynamics, Dr.A.L Rao, Founder member of Wipro Technologies, Dr.A.R.Rao, Retired Principal & Correspondent of M.R.College, Vizianagaram, AP, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services, Dr. Ramesh Mashelkar, Former Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Prof. Vasudevan, Plastic man of India. We  and also referred other key personalities like A.P.J Abdul Kalam - Missile Man of India, Rajendra Singh- Water Man of India , Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel- Iron Man of India, Ravi Kalra- No Honking Man of India, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak - Toilet Man of India, Sam Santhosh - Genome man’ of India, Dr. (Wg. Cdr.) Ashis Roy- Marathon Man Of India, Venu Bharati - Bamboo man of India.
            In this Issue, I would like to raise the importance of being organic and people who are fighting for this cause. What is being organic? Recently I read an article on "What Does Organic Really Mean, and Is It Worth My Money?" written by Alan Henry ( As per USDA, organic means free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, dyes, and not to be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering. Recently I read an article on "Denmark is on its way to becoming an organic country". ( Not only Denmark, I wish all the countries across the world, should embrace organic way of life. This is essential for our survival else it poses grave risk for  human existence and environmental sustenance.
             Subhash Palekar is a well known organic agriculturist. Palekar founded ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ model which is creating huge impact in farming circles. Born on 2-2-1949 in Belora, a small village in the district of Amravati, Maharastra. Palekar studied B.Sc in Agriculture from Nagpur. Born to a farmer, he developed lot of interest towards farming. Post B.Sc., during 1972-1985, he practiced chemical farming in his land. He found that there is continuous increase in agricultural production due to use of chemical fertilizes. However, after 1985, it started declining. This is when he started searching for alternative methods and technologies. Finally, he created Zero Budget of Natural Farming model. Today more than 30 Lakhs farmers throughout India are practicing this technique (natural farming techniques). It is believed that plants receive 1.5% -2% of nutrient requirements from soil and rest from water and air. Hence Palekar claims that fertilizers are not prudent. Generally micro organisms convert nutrients into a digestible form so that plants consume them. However, when we start using chemical fertilizers, chemicals kill micro organisms. Hence usage of cow dung from local cows is highly beneficial. It revives micro organisms. This process works out greatly. In recognition towards his determined and dedicated work, in 2016, Government of India conferred Palekarji with prestigious Padamashri Award. We wish Palekar ji to contribute more towards organic life. We thank Better India for publishing such a wonderful article ( If you want to read more about Palekar ji, Please do visit his official website.
               Now let me share the story of Madhuchandan Chikkadevaiah, an young software engineer from California, who quit his lucrative job to sow seeds organically. Madhuchandan started Mandya Organic Farmers Cooperative Society with a group of 270 farmers and cultivating organic farm products. Later, he started Organic Mandya, a retail outlet between Bengaluru-Mysuru highway. Determined to make Mandya district a fully chemical-free zone in the next 5 years, Madhusudhan with the help of 45 employees heading towards organic success. He is working towards a healthy  motto called "spend more on good food and remain healthy". Today Mandya Organic society consists of farmers, ayurveda doctors, agriculture scientists and enthusiastic farmers. Their model is simple. Even if farm's yield is less in organic model, the price which farmer gets is double. This way profit gets compensated. More than profits, organic farming makes land environmental friendly. Madhu and his friends invested 1 crore rupees and shortly hoping it goes 3 times of their investment in terms of revenue.  Many volunteers from various IT companies are joining this noble effort, cutting down their calories and also positively contributing to organic.   
             Excessive use of pesticides causes cancer and other diseases. The real solution is organic farming. Inspired by Subash Palekar, Nandini Diesh, a corporate lawyer, Ramnish Tangri, a civil engineer and animal lover (runs the Pashupati Gaushali in Greater Noida), Vikrant Tongad is a green activist,  Dinesh Sharma, Software Engineer, Vijay Bhasin who works for Newell Rubbermiad, Rudra Mahapatra, IIT Delhi alumnus, Amit Rana, an entrepreneur, all residents of Noida's Jal Vayu Vihar, started organic farming and producing  nutritious crop! Dinesh Sharma claims that spinach produced in their farm has longer shelf life and stays fresh. Their families started supporting by joining in the field work (composting to ploughing). They started using new watering technique called mulching (covering earth with layer of dry leaves to reduce evaporation), which helps in reducing watering frequency from 15 days to 1 month. They are using natural pesticides like cow's urine and neem leaves. Currently the produce is enough for their family requirements, but they gained vast experience which is helping in educating lot of farmers. Thank you NDTV for publishing this inspirational story. If you want to read full length article, please visit
            Indiatoday published an article called "Sikkim becomes the first fully organic state of India" ( It is inspiring to see the facts and how this small state transformed to most healthy organic state! Sikkim has total population of around six lakhs and deeply locked in the Himalayan ranges without train or commercial flight. But people of Sikkim has tons of determination. Till date more than 75,000 hectares of land has been converted into certified organic farm. The surprising fact is "Within 1.24 million tons of organic production in the country, around 80,000 million is supplied by Sikkim alone". Sikkim produces ginger, turmeric, cardamom, vegetables, flowers, kiwi, buck wheat, maize and millets etc. Now other states like Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram are getting inspired from this organic state and moving towards organic development. In terms of countries, with the population of 1 million, Bhutan is considered as world leader in organic farming.
            I was reading few case studies published by ICRISAT about women farmers. It was interesting. I suggest you read on Vaddemani Malleeswari, a women farmer from Musalireddygaripalli , YSR Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, not only showed the way of improved methods of farming, but also teaching fellow women on how to manage financial problems, family health and get out of the clutches of money lenders. She heads 60 member saving group.  Each member saves 300 rupees per month and total savings of the whole group is above  Rupees 250,000. She makes organic seeds and distribute to more than 60 members. She grows organic vegetables. She also markets organic produce, cold-pressed oil (crushing the seed or nut and extracting the oil) and honey. Similarly, an another women farmer named Garimella Mythili Venkataramana, East Godavari, AP, received Best Woman Farmer. Trained many farmers on production of bio-gas, which she generates from cow dung and cow urine. She has small dairy farm with 5 cows. She grows fodder grasses and Azolla to feed her cows. She cultivates seasonal vegetables using organic fertilizer. She cooks using bio-gas plant in her home, making earth livable place and protecting environment. Thank you ICRISAT for publishing such a inspiring women farmer stories. I suggest you read all stories in the web link given above.
            I was reading the story of back2basics farm, fresh organic production company, started by Madhusudhan, an IIM-B alumnus. It was published in portal ( 2016/05/ back2basics-farm/). Madhusudhan was working with Bharti Airtel  for 30 years before starting this firm. Initially started organic farming for his family and friends, but the encouragement from the initial success turned him to be full time organic farmer. Started a venture called farm-to-fork. Now his farm got spread over 100 acres, selling 90 varieties, and also exporting to Europe and Singapore. Now his daughter Bhairavi, MBA from US, joined father's firm and expanding their business (as of now, they are getting 200 orders a day with 60% repeat customers). They are using only natural fertilizers like cattle and poultry manure, neem and oilseed cakes. They manage their own logistics and have fleet of delivery vans which are GPS enabled.  Assocham study says Indian organic food market grows by more than 25% every year and it may touch $1.36 billion by 2020. Thank you for publishing an inspiring story and wish back2basics for a great organic futur
   Association for India's Development ( published an article about Revathi, a school teacher turned organic farmer, who did an amazing work of transforming more than 11,00,000 farmers lives from 22 disaster situations. Post 2004 tsunami, saline water invaded and ruined coastal farmlands. Revathi's efforts (use of indigenous seed varieties and organic farming ) in Nagapattinam reclaimed more than 3000 ruined acres. Her efforts got recognized by Former President APJ Abdul Kalam and Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Government of Indonesia, Srilanka etc. Revathi inspired farmers at Sunderbans and more than 10,000 farmers taking up the organic farming. Wish Revathi for her continued organic success.
            There are few organizations working towards Organic implementation. Farms n Farmers (FnF) was started by alumni of IIT Kharagpur and IIT Delhi and working towards organic farming, soil technology, horticulture and so on. Read more at All India Organic Farmers Society is a leading organization in India working towards organic cultivation. It trained more than 10,000 farmers across India. If you want to know more about it or if you want to join, please do visit The Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI), a premium organic farming association is working towards policy advocacy, promotion and awareness (
            During 2016-17 Government of India made grand budget allocation for Organic farming. There was a provision of 35,984 crore and it was more than 44% of previous year. Government announced traditional farming improvement program called Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, an amount of Rs.300 crore got allocated. 50 or more farmers who are having 50 acre land need to form as cluster to take up the organic farming under this scheme. If you want to know more about this scheme, please do visit As of now, the total number of farmers, cultivating organic are 7,23,039 Hectares. Among all states, Madhya Pradesh made largest contribution with 2,32,887 Hectares, followed by Maharashtra with 85,536 Hectares.
            My Dear Friends, Appreciate your valuable time. 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. 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 districts administration across India. Also conducting Storytelling Workshops in select institutions. Providing customized mentoring to inspired students. Dr. Ravi is having 18 years of experience in Industry, Consultancy, Training, Mentoring and Research. Prior to this current mission, Ravi worked with Wipro Technologies for more than a decade.  Ravi can be reached at saripalle.ravi@gmail,com or or

Links to previous 10 letters

1.  Letter to Student Series- Volume 2 and Issue 3 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
2.  Letter to Student Series- Volume 2 and Issue 3 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
3.  Letter to Student Series- Volume 2 and Issue 2 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
4.  Letter to Student Series- Volume 2 and Issue 1 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
5.  Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 12 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
6.  Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 11 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
7.  Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 10 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
8.   Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 9 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
9.   Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 8 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
10.  Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 7 (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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