Motivating villagers to innovate
Pogula Ganesham, a retired brigadier who hails from Medak district, came up with Palle Srujana, a rural innovation centre. Members of the centre scout ...
Pogula Ganesham, a retired brigadier who hails from Medak district, came up with Palle Srujana, a rural innovation centre. Members of the centre scout rural areas and bring out the knowledge of the village people. Ganesham graduated with a degree in engineering from Osmania University. He retired as a director of Bharat Dynamics Ltd in 2009. Post retirement, he wanted to work.
Sharing his experience, the brigadier said that when he first went to farming system, he found that he knew nothing about it. So he started learning from farmers at the age of 60 from the villagers. He walked for 4,000 km, travelled 1,500 villages and stayed in more than 600 villages. Within six years he became renowned as a man leading the villagers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Ganesham motivated villagers to come up with their own innovations. So far 146 innovations from 500 villages have received international and national awards, in which13 got Indian patents and 2 got Europe patents. Recently K Chandrashekar, an innovator from Guntur district, was presented National Grassroots Innovation Award, by the President of India on March 7 at Rashtrapathi Bhavan. Point proven that significance of the knowledge that is available in the rural and backward areas is significant for our country’s growth he said.
Sharing an idea of a class six adivasi student he said that when they asked students to spell solutions to their problems she has written, “Our school is in bad condition, so we need to lift this building up and built another one down.”
“It is really an amazing idea. She is not thinking of ‘Destruction’. Even a scientist cannot think this way. We all were broken in to tears when we saw the idea,” he recalled.
“Do we know about their strengths? We only teach them and out of arrogance we are not learning from them not because of ignorance. ‘I know more than him’ is arrogance,” he said. Recollecting cotton farmer’s idea he said that a farmer was sprinkling jaggery water to the cotton field instead of pesticide. When asked why? He said “Jaggery attracts the ants and the insect which kills the plant keeps its eggs on the stem which get crushed to the weight of 6 legs of the ant.
Finally the insect feels that it’s not safe to stay and leaves the plant.” Ganesham said, “A scientist might not know the weight of ant’s legs but a farmer knows. We have no right to say that we are the only knowledgeable and brilliant people. The government’s intervention is very less and they don’t understand this yet,” Ganesham exclaimed. “We have many students from IIT, NIT‘s working 24 hours. I want this generation to be provoked towards the positive side. It’s a movement. One step forward! Not bad. But it should be irrevocable,” he felt.
By:Ch Sandeep Manohar