Akshay Patra and Aadarsh Talking books meet the teams on Day 2 of CII Yi the Road2Ideas initiative


Unconference: Innovation at Grassroots

The participants of Road2Ideas contributed to this process of nation building by creating enlightened ideas that would help in bringing about innovations at the grassroots. Their ideas were judged on their uniqueness and practicality. They should be easily implementable in the near future keeping in mind the time and resources required to manifest the same. Today, during the unconference some very bright and innovative ideas came up spanning across varied sectors ranging from health facilities for women in rural areas, finance, agriculture to infrastructural development. Gaurav from team Chitkara came up with the idea of creating a mobile device through which virtual money can be transferred directly over phone without any internet connectivity. Shaurya from team Scamper talked about mobile toilets in slum areas to keep the area in a cleaner condition. The idea given by team Petes was very innovative as they suggested the use of a mobile device for the visually challenged. This device can catch the codes embedded in different locations across the city and help the visually challenged find their way in case they get lost.

The whole atmosphere was charged up with enthusiasm and all the teams not only contributed ideas but also had fun interacting with each other and discussing each others’ ideas. Smiley balls were being thrown on the participants who exceeded their time limit. Later, they used colourful stickers to cast their vote against the ideas they liked the most. On the whole, Unconference was a successful, fun filled event of Road2Ideas.

Innovator 3: Akshay Patra

With a vision that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”, Akshaya Patra , an international charity for children has worked to transform its vision into a reality. Akshaya Patra works in partnership with various State Governments of India to provide 1.2 million underprivileged children across the nation with school lunch. Founded in June 2000 it is now the world’s largest NGO run mid-day meal program, present in 19 locations of the country. Their work actively affects the 2 most critical MDGs: elimination of hunger and universalisation of primary education.

The Foundation’s 15 centralized kitchens, some of the largest in the world, use innovative technology to cook hundreds of thousands of meals in a few short hours. Their 3 decentralized kitchens reach out to children in the remotest areas of India while also creating employment for hundreds of women. The kitchen is at the heart of their work. With close to 1.2 million meals prepared everyday throughout India, they are highly mechanized and scalable. Often termed as Intelligently Engineered Kitchens, they were built with a commitment to quality and hygiene that ensures the best possible food for the children. Each one is uniquely tailored to meet the requirements of its location, so that the meal provided is suited to the regional preferences of the children.

Innovator 4: Aadarsh Talking books

Aadarsh Pvt. Ltd. —Leading printing and publishing house in central India with a pan-India network and products being exported to 25 countries. Multimedia Print Reader -- MPR is a talking pen with an in-built speaker, which USES LISTENING SKILLS along with traditional reading. It has an in-built camera and a 2 GB memory card. When the MPR pen is held over a book that has been embedded with MPR codes, it activates the pre-loaded audio files. Now while students are reading a sentence, they will hear a pre-recorded voice. This technology automatically brings a human face through voice in the learning process, increasing the attention span and concentration level. The talking book technology also helps in making books more interactive, interesting and educational. Therefore, MPR is a giant leap in educational technology.