Saturday, 21 October 2017

Letter to Student Series : Volume 3 Issue 2

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 2. 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.

Methanol as a fuel to Ships: Hon'ble Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources announced that Government is planning to make ships run on methanol. You might be wondering why Methanol ( CH3OH)? Methanol is cheaper and clean! Methanol can be developed using carbon dioxide and it is game changing technology! Also, it is indigenous fuel available in our country. You might ask, why we need to improve our water ways? Why Hon'ble minister is stressing the need for water ways! Interesting statistics provide us answer-Cost of road travel is ~Rs 1.50 per KM, rail travel cost Rs 1, whereas by water it will work out for 20 paisa!!In china logistics cost is 8-10%, Europe 12-14% where as India 18%. There is need for reducing this cost by improving water ways and developing alternative fuels like methanol. We also need to develop technology to produce Methanol from agricultural waste and municipal waste material. India needs inventions and innovators to work on this perpetual energy problems.(; methanol-a-clean-cheaper-fuel/article19397706.ece).Now question arises, how safe is Methanol? As per Dr. Robert Zubrin, Methanol is safer than gasoline as it is less inflammable. It is biodegradable. Hence consequences of a spill is lesser than petroleum products. ( It has lower production cost. Methanol remains in a liquid state, hence infrastructure investment costs are low compared to Liquefied natural gas (LNG). My dear student innovators and startups, Don't you think, it is promising research topic and business idea? Will you take up?

Rechargeable Magnesium based Eco-Friendly battery: Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) developed magnesium based battery, replacing highly toxic Lead acid battery. It is not only eco friendly but also cost effective. It used modified natural graphite as cathode, magnesium as anode and ionic liquid electrolyte. These elements are abundantly available and safe to operate. It is estimated to have 2-3 years shelf life. Lead exposure can potentially damage brain, kidney, hearing and cognitive learning in children. ( "Children who are exposed to levels of lead (>10 ug/dl) are at increased risk for cognitive and behavioral problems during development (". The other problems could be delayed language, poor speech articulation, hyper activity, problems while paying attention, poor social relationships, aggression etc. Ideally we should make house lead safe. In past, houses were painted using lead. Now it is kind of banned practice but still some old houses hold it. Some painted toys, furniture, cosmetics, food containers, water bottles etc are potential risky products (please make sure that they are lead free). You also make sure that water is not passing through lead pipes.

Dear Chemical/Chemistry students, it could be potentially consulting opportunity to you. You can visit houses and conduct lead safety assessment. Help families and Nations to grow!  

Battle On Obesity : Obesity is much dangerous than terrorism! It has psychological, social and economic implications on individual as well as on the state. It has to be methodologically uprooted. Recently I was reading an article on how obesity linked diseases would cost India $13 billion by 2025! ( My dear friends, Can you imagine? Do you let it happen without any social responsibility? Childhood obesity is big menace in the society today. Less on the play ground, no physical exercise, fear to let them on streets, hooking to video games, mobile phones and television are making it happen. Globally it would cost $1.2 trillion per year by 2025.
This article presents interesting fact. While we have child obesity, globally more children remain underweight too! Today India is facing twin challenge of obesity-underweight/under nourishment! 

Dear Students, Hope you have taken following Future readiness assessment. The last question is "how much time you are spending on physical activity". Reduce your exposure to games and mobile apps. Automatically you are bound to do some or other physical activity. It saves your health, focus, determination and attitude. I request you to adhere to following formula and build yourself healthy and build your nation healthy.

Request you to answer the following five questions and calculate your Future Readiness.
1.         I read / hear stories of amazing people           
 (A) weekly once (10 marks)           (B) monthly once (5 marks)                      (C) Irregular reading (2 marks)     (D)Not Interested (0 marks)
2.         I write letter / mail to my mentor (other than parents) for guidance (professional / personal)
(A) every 6 months (10 marks)      (B) yearly once (5 marks)               
(C) Irregular writing (2 marks)       (D)Not Interested (0 marks)

3.         I practice my passion or natural intelligence (to know your intelligence
(A) weekly 4 hours (10 marks)       (B) weekly 2 hours (5 marks)        
(C) Irregular practice (2 marks)      (D)Not Interested (0 marks)

4.         I manage my academics with consistent percentage or grade 
(A) A Grade and above  (10 marks)            (B) B Grade and above  (5 marks)  (C) C Grade or below (2 marks)                 (D)Consistent Failure (0 marks)

5.         I do physical activity and maintain good health  
(A) weekly 4 hours (10 marks)       (B) weekly 2 hours (5 marks)        
(C) Irregular practice (2 marks)      (D)Not Interested (0 marks)

Check Your Score and Title
I wish you should be either Performer (your score should be between 40-50) or Challenger (your score should be between 25-40). You should not give any scope to be  Lounger (relaxed) with 10-25 score or Laggard (slower than desired) with score less than 10.

Urban Planning- New Type of Jobs, Entrepreneurship : Dear Students, Recently I came across a NGO called Hyderabad Urban Lab. Idea is to provide research services / policy advocacy in terms of urban waste management, housing, traffic management, water management, sewage planning, Swacch Bharat planning, urban environment planning, public welfare schemes planning etc. Essentially it deals with technical and political process of urban management. I believe there are umpteen number of opportunities if we plan right. Do we have any alternative models to manage toilets in terms of water & waste! Is standalone toilet better or mobile community toilet better? Do you think mobile recreation halls or mobile plug & play  playgrounds can work in urban setting where children need facilities at specific time and specific days? How to provide safe eco-friendly bicycle paths in busy traffic prone urban setting? Do you think low cost Mono Bicycle Paths at elevated pitch solve this problem (safe, cost effective and less congestion)? In the recent times, we have seen many cities getting marooned due to heavy rain falls. We witnessed many lakes overflowing. Do you think we need to plan for linkage of city lakes? Can the current sewage lines strong enough to handle the spurt of water force? Think few more problems and build your next opportunity right next to your door! Are you game?

India StoEduTain 680 Series: Theatre for Kids and Teens (Similar to TED Type of storytelling sessions): TED talks are inspiring, thought provoking, idea germinating, vision setting! Do you agree? Please do visit am requesting government to setup TED type of theaters in every district across India (680 theater clubs), identify people who made impact in various domains (agriculture, healthcare, environment, energy, livelihood, education etc) and make a provision for short storytelling talks of grassroots innovators/social change makers. Infact every school / college should create such model, identify storytelling day and celebrate that day. It will discharge positive vibrations and build innovation eco-system. We should create platform called " India StoEduTain 680 Series", a combination of Story+Education+Entertainment, which should be established across 680+ districts of India. This Project helps in building positive dreams  and act as catalyst to people aspirations (deep diving of winning hearts). We should also make students write their vision statement for life and publish their vision statements. This becomes good reminder for them to plan their future right and execute right! Are you Future Ready?

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 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 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. 

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