My Dear Student Friends,
This is Dr. Ravi Saripalle, Founder, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. Welcome to “Letter to Student Series- Volume 3 and Issue 1”. Hope you enjoyed reading my previous letter (they are available at ). The goal of these letters is to inspire, educate, engage, entertain and empower students across the country and make them Future Ready.
Important Note: Till date, we published 24 issues. Predominantly they were focused on inspiring people stories. Stories always educate and entertain. Time has arrived to engage and translate this inspiration to action. Going forward, my letters are going to focus on this objective.
Save This One Ocean and One Earth : Recently I was reading an article on What’s Causing So Many Changes to India’s Monsoons? (). Third year in a row, floods hit Northeast and Northwest of India but rainfall deficit in South India? There are multiple technical reasons. I am not meteorologist. But one statement of the article is thought provoking-" The onset of the monsoon has been delayed almost every year since 1976, when there was a regime shift in climate around the world – from a weak to a strong El Niño period. Since this time, monsoons have also been ending sooner – almost a week from the end of September – so the length of the rainy season has been compressed. "Dear Friends, Climate Change is universal phenomena. A whimsical action of one part of the world is impacting another part of world. Climate change has no geographical boundary. We think inside the box and sometimes we do miss out of the box thinking. Please think beyond boundaries and arrest the deadliest climatic damage.
Climate Change Opportunities for Civil Engineering Students: India proudly announces to host world's second largest dam-Sardar Sarovar Dam, Gujarat, which is 1.2 km long, 163 m deep. Right from its inception to till date, it produced 4,141 crores units of electricity. So far dam earned over Rs. 16,000 crore, providing drinking water to 9,633 villages and 131 urban centers. 18 lakh hectares of land will be irrigated (). This is good news. We need to construct more of similar dams to satisfy the thirst of 1.2 billion population. In this context, I would like to present few ideas to my civil engineering student friends in the context of dam construction in future. Recently I was reading an article on "How to Build a Dam: Current Construction Methods & the Need for Innovation " (). Article argues that across the world, existing dams have been constructed based on the assumption that climate change is minimal. Though these dams have been constructed 50-60 years back, still they are reliable because stable climate and stable water flow conditions. Thanks to climate change, water cycles are changing swiftly. Extreme temperatures and lower perspiration may cause water stress in future years. My Dear Civil Engineering student friends, time has arrived to study all existing dams (mega, minor and check dams), provide innovative solutions and prepare business case as part of your college projects. Not only dams, all civil construction have to be studied in the context of climate change. This helps not only your technical and business skills, but also helps in nation development. It helps in better irrigation and relieve people from water stress conditions. I appeal again, mere theoretical engineering knowledge without practical application is no use to you as well to the nation. India needs innovative engineers, but not theoretical engineers. Hope you understand the need and change your perspective while studying your degree. This appeal is applicable to all streams: engineering or management or sciences, even it is applicable to school going students.
Employability and Job creation have become critical drivers of growth and happiness. Government is doing multiple skill development programs to address this challenge. As of now, India is hosting more than 3.6 Crore MSMEs (Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises), employing 8 crore people, producing 6,000+ products and accounts 8% GDP (). In this context, I was reading report published by Ministry of MSME. I was appreciating, this is great boon to students. Students can capitalize this amazing opportunity. This letter is reaching to more than 10,000 institutions (schools, colleges and universities across India) every month. I am assuming there will be at least 100 potential students in the institution who are capable and want to make difference in their life. Hence this letter is reaching to potential student strength of 10 lakhs across India. Out of 3.6 crores MSME units, officially more than 35 lakhs units registered as part of Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum . Out of 35 lakhs, 3,54,955 are small scale and 13,930 are medium scale industries (approx 3.6 lakhs units). If we can make 3 students as a group, attach them to one of these 3.6 lakhs small and medium scale units, make them spend 3 hours per week (e.g. every Saturday first half) which goes to 9 man hours per group per week, 52 weeks (in a year) goes to 468 hours per group per enterprise. If each group spends 3 years (First year - Educate, Second Year - Engage, Third Year-Entertain/Empower), potentially 4th year onwards each of these groups can solve 1 problem for these companies. Potentially all these 10 lakhs students become employable in 3 years time without any additional cost but also help in generating revenue to these 3.6 lakhs units. Companies typically should spend one year on educating and mentor these students. Second year onwards, their services can be utilized for growth of the company. If this program becomes successful, potentially we can solve 3 lakhs problems in 3 years time and catalizes our Make In India Movement. My Dear Student friends, Are you game for this? Students from age of 16 to 22 years (under graduation and post graduation students) can think about this model and be part of Make in India movement.
A Toilet can save Rs. 50,000 per family per year! May not be hard dollars but soft dollars, in terms of medical cost, productivity, value of mortality averted and more than all these values, Self-Esteem! One single rupee invested in sanitation makes a family to save Rs 4.30! Wonderful investment model right? Amazing cost-benefit model right? Do you agree? Will you campaign in your vicinity? Do you invest some of your effort in solving this mega issue? Let me explain?The point I am trying to make here is that there is direct relationship between self-esteem, mental health and physical health. It has direction correlation with happiness index. It avoids anxiety and depression which are major drivers for multiple health issues. Diarrohoea kills more than lakh people every year across our country. microbial contamination (bacteria, viruses, and amoeba) is another issue. UNICEF published interesting statistics. faecal-oral route is an critical polio transmission path and open defecation increases risk of polio infection. As per UNICEF (), approx 65,000 tonnes of faeces (excrete/human waste) released into the environment each day. It says, one gram of faeces contains 10,000,000 viruses, 1,000,000 bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts. It brings me interesting statistics- Every day we are not collecting 65,000,000,000 grams of human waste properly which is potentially releasing 6.5E+17 virueses, 6.5E+16 bacteria, 6.5E+13 parasite cysts. Do you have any great ideas to convert human waste to useful product? Is'nt fantastic opportunity? When I was searching on this topic, I found a wonderful site called www.engineeringforchange.org. (). It presents multiple ways to use human waste. One solution is urine-powered generator (electrolysis process to separate hydrogen from water in urine). Sridevi Govindaraj did her doctoral thesis in ecological sanitation and argues that if 40 percent of the people in India store their urine to use it on their crops, the Indian farmers could save up to $26.7 million (1.2 billion rupees) in fertilizer expenses! Oh! What a great proposition? She argues human body makes one to two liters of urine per day. Urine is rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. They are very useful elements in agriculture. This could be great research topic for many of you. You can do your experiments to dwell deep into this issue and make viable business model! NASA is working on a machine which converts urine to useful water! Compost latrines is another model of usage. Biogas, Hydrogen gas are other applications. There is another important application which is awarded by Gates Foundation. First to dry the waste on the spot. Upgrade human waste to fuel gas with plasma-driven gasification and toilet system for waste separation (TU Delft, The Netherlands) . Toilet stores the gas in a solid state fuel cell stack which can produce electricity. Researchers from the University of Colorado won a Gates Foundation grant to develop a solar-powered toilet which turns waste into biochar. One of the reviewers of this website commented that we need to grow plants which can clean dirty water. We should keep them in drainage systems. The filtered water should be released out. Wonderful Innovation right? My Dear Student Friends, I humbly appeal to you to visit this website, go through all solutions and try to take this these ideas forward. It has precious information. Will you?
My Dear Friends, Appreciate your valuable time. Ideas are good. However, we should take these ideas to next level. Micro research should start at the age of 10-15 years itself. This is the time schools should identify those budding innovators, isolate them, group them, provide proper ecosystem and invest in them. If we can do this activity, we will see best results in 5 years time. Employability gets eradicated to the core. Future becomes bright. Hope you all agree. See you in my next letter. Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity. You can also reach to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am happy to respond to your letter.
With Best Wishes,
Dr. Ravi Saripalle
About Author: Dr. Ravi Saripalle is Founder of Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement and 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 sdindia2020@gmail,com or http://i2itm.blogspot.in/ or
Previous letters are available at
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.