Last week, I shared a few ideas by probationers of central allied services I met in Hyderabad at Centre for Good Governance. Let me share a few more so that one can hope that these young officers when get into the field, they will not only take their own ideas forward but also help nurture ideas of their junior staff, local community members and anybody on the street who has something useful to contribute to make the world a more beautiful place.
Renu Bala suggested that instead of celebrating only a week of wildlife (October 2-8), why not dedicate every day to one of the endangered species and celebrate her birthday by caring for the habitats of that bird or animal, learning about it, and reading stories about it. May be newspapers and the electronic media can also support this great idea.
Jiss Verkey from forest service suggested a good idea of creating “virtual speed breakers” on highways passing through wildlife protection zones using mercury lights and fluorescent paints.
The highway authorities are opposing creation of real speed breakers. Thus, this could help save precious lives of animals crossing the roads during the night.
Alexin George suggested an idea that got published in honeybee newsletter more than a decade ago but it has not lost its contemporary relevance.
To save water, one could attach used saline bottles collected from hospitals to water the plants, drop by drop. A low cost drip irrigation system has been used by some farmers too, but why not popularise it in urban areas, schools and public garden also?
Rahul from railway service suggested every railway coach has six wash basins, drain water from which can be used for flushing and cleaning instead of being wasted. This can be used at homes as well where lot of water can be recycled for flushing or cleaning floor or even watering the lawns. Rahul is right that unless we are forewarned about impending grave water crisis and change the way we use water, we will not be forearmed.
Concern for improving education at various levels has been expressed by many participants.
Sumit from revenue service has come up with a radical idea of tracking the progress of every child born in the country till adulthood. This can be combined with the idea of Gyanendra Singh suggesting using post offices for recording the dates of deaths and births. The right to education can then really be enforced, particularly for migrant labourers who suffer from lack of birth certificates and systematic follow up of education.
Sudha, Ajay, Poonam, Mritunjay suggested various ideas for improving education system such as: Developing a community book bank for poor students, requiring medical students to impart health education in neighbouring schools, using a modified scale with holes at each point of measurement so that by inserting a pen or pencil it can be used as a compass and creation of a national database of educational qualifications of all the people so that their skills could be used for guidance to the students and other such purposes.
Geetanjali from revenue service suggests that every pregnant woman coming for the ante-natal check up should also be given monthly dose of vitamin D3 which most such women are reported to be deficient in.
Vipin Vaishnav has come up with a very good suggestion to use postal network for distributing and collecting library books. A countrywide circulation library could have an extraordinary impact on the reading habits of the common people and thus create a small cultural revolution.
Thejaselhou from Indian ordnance factory service tries to tackle the problem of missing medical services in some of the remote rural areas. She suggests that doctors willing to have a holiday package in such areas could be encouraged to combine it with providing local healthcare for a month and thus avail certain benefits.
Seema seems to have figured out why often bureaucracy develops a negative attitude. She suggests that special training is required for developing the ‘art of acceptance’ in all such programmes. This should also be reinforced in the families.
Aakanksha economic service feels that one can modify the shoulder bags in such a way that women plucking tea leaves could keep them in the front pockets rather than in the back basket. She also suggests having a separate connection in the kitchen sink so that unused drinking water could be put in that channel for irrigating plants rather than draining as waste.
Tandrima, Indian statistical service, has conceived a design of a kitchen app which will manage various drawers having different ingredients for cooking so that untrained cook (husband or wife) can find out the things easily.
Bipasha has suggested a foldable mini stand for mobile phones so that their flash light could be used as a reading lamp. Lest we take ourselves very seriously all the time, Ankur suggests linking fitness and courier services so that obese people can be asked to deliver packets on cycle to shed their weight.
Maharnab suggests a modification in the television signalling system so that one can find out channels which do not have advertisements at any particular time for facilitating ad-free viewing.
These ideas illustrate the untapped potential of the young people entering various services for modifying product and services for personal and social consumption.
Imagine if every school and college could also set up national innovation clubs, how many more ideas could be developed to improve public life and make private consumption sustainable?
These clubs must search, spread, sense (unmet needs) and celebrate the local achievements by felicitating achievers. All training institutions also have such a club.
As advised by Hon’ble President Pranab Mukherjee all Central Universities have already started setting up such a platform. Hope that creative and compassionate thinking becomes a second nature.
Imagine if every school and college could also set up national innovation clubs, how many more ideas could be developed to improve public life and make private consumption sustainable? These clubs must celebrate the local achievements by felicitating achievers
The author is a professor at IIMA