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Innovating Rural Areas, Innovating India
We are in time for the launch of the campus company website “V Think”, a portal for all the students in the college to connect, which serves as a forum for discussion, idea generation and innovation. The website also provides space for two of its upcoming student ventures.
Post launching website, all the E Leaders gather around me and I get their inputs on the events happening. They are shy at first but once they started telling us about their work, their momentum quickly picks up and we get to hear the voice of people who believe and strive for entrepreneurship. They inform us about the various technical workshops they have included such as those on Andriod and Cloud Computing, fun events such as Flood Cricket, many seminars, Idea Generation Workshops and the like. They have good sponsorship from Nissan, Red FM, SBM, VIjaya Bank among others.
The star event of the day was the trip to Acchappankoppal, a village near Mysore where they arranged an Agro based workshop. Manjula Ma’am, the faculty head of Aspera, the E-Cell of VVCE, guides us the way in her Activa, with Swaraj, a final year mech student who’s an E-Leader. It’s an amazing experience to meet and talk to her, she’s around sixty but her energy and enthusiasm is incomparable. She tells us, it’s the students who inspire her and the students tell us that, it’s all because of Manjula Ma’am. The bonding is beautiful.
We see a talk happening and the villagers of all ages—young, old and middle-aged listening intently to the feasibility of small scale businesses. They take up the E-Pledge, we join in, it’s in Kannada so that they know and understand what it’s about. It ends with the battle cry, “We can. We will.” And everyone shouts and cheers, “We can!! We Will!!” The smiles and grins are infectious.
Resistance to change is inherent in all of us and especially is more in rural areas. This is one of the key problems the students faced while interacting with the people. We are taken to the school where the students taught the 7th and 8th standard students spoken English, basic computer knowledge, games and puzzles. The E-Leaders insist we watch what they have accomplished and we get to the classroom where eager children wait to display their knowledge, and it’s impressive to say the least. The Headmistress of this local school is immensely happy with the whole thing; she says children attend school more now.
One of the reasons why VVCE focused on rural areas is their take on the theme Innovating for India. They say, villages/agriculture is the backbone of our country and many farmers are migrating to the cities because their crops are not faring well. They want to make farmers sustainable, make them see options which they otherwise would not normally know such as apiculture, handicrafts and the like. They also conducted a debate in the local school where they got amazing responses on the issue.
Innovation doesn’t always have to be mind-blowing, out-of-the-world concept, it can be as simple as teaching a kid a lesson, if it makes the impact, if it makes that one kid learn something new, something better, why yes, you’ve achieved the goal.