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22 nd SHODHYATRA The Call from Champaran We saw in this Shodh Yatra one of
22 nd SHODHYATRA
The Call from Champaran
We saw in this Shodh Yatra one of the most beautiful etchings on a grain bin, a young student who represented
his ideas at international platform, innovators who had solved problems of pollution, drudgery, transportation,
etc., and met traditional knowledge holders who shared their knowledge generously. The 22 nd Shodhyatra started
from Motihari on 29 th December, 2008 and concluded in Lauria on 3 rd January,
unanswered. Why did not this place transform economically for so long?
2009. A question still remained

C hamparan has a special place in the history of the country because Gandhi perfected the instrument of Satyagrah

here in 1917 after lessening the exploitation of indigo farmers within six months. This experience eventually led to the call for full freedom in 1929. When Shri Raj Kumar Shukla and others invited him to study the problems of indigo cultivators, Gandhi may not have anticipated the degree of exploitation. The tragedy is that even after 60 years of independence, the exploitation of the poor has not ended significantly. The wage rates are extremely low and economic opportunities are very limited. And yet, the knowledge system is very rich. Even before the ShodhYatra formally began on 29 th Dec 2008, the learning exploration

started on 28 th night itself. Shri Birendra Kumar Sinha had invented a silencer cum pollution control device. Shri Rozadin had developed a very ingenious coffee-making machine (see accompanying box on innovations encountered during the ShodhYatra).

Homage to Gandhi

One of the questions raised in the inaugural session near Gandhi memorial was, “why do we need ShodhYatra, shouldn’t such creative people have been known to people not only in every village

but also everywhere else ?” There was no satisfactory answer to this question. One could blame it on the prevalent mindset, colonial history, post- colonial obsession with exogenous models of development or just the inertia among the developmental practitioners.

After paying homage to Gandhi, we started the walk. Many old time Gandhians bemoaned the fact that Motihari never got the place in Indian history as it deserved. Paintings of a young boy, Santosh in Banjaria

Santosh
Santosh

village, left everybody spellbound. He expressed his artistic talent in a wide range of ways.

Just before leaving for the next village, suddenly there was an

extraordinary sight in front of us. A circular grain bin made of clay outside one of the houses had extraordinary art work all around on the surface. We inquired about the artist and thus discovered Smt Ram Tiwari Devi, Chailaha village, who had made the three dimensional artwork on the grain bin (khop).

She had learnt this art from her mother and felt that it was the only way she knew making a grain bin. When art becomes the only alternative, creativity achieves its purpose. For the rest of the journey, we kept on looking for similar designs, and did find nice paintings and sketches. But, we could not find even one more bin with similar three-dimensional or embossed artwork. For more than 100 km, not one replication of the design (though some variations of less complex designs were indeed seen) was encountered. Did she know how distinctive she was? Would the planners and thinkers consider learning about humility from such artist for whom the workspace is co-

Artisan or an Artist
Artisan or an Artist

Can't do it any other way! Ramtiwari Devi, Champaran, 22 nd ShodhYatra, Bihar

Ramtiwari Devi, Champaran, 22 n d ShodhYatra, Bihar 4 Honey Bee Vol 20(1) January - March

terminus with life and art space, amidst all the

struggles for survival? Readers may recall a similar artwork in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, on a roadside dung cake heap, and on a wall of a hut in Purulia, West Bengal. Every time we witness such signatures of women’s creativity manifested in the spaces accessible to them, we become conscious of what could have been the potential

if they had been given better institutional space

instead of only domestic space.

After crossing Ajgari village, we took lunch at Gokhula and passed through a site where there was a memorial known as Battakh Miya ki Majar, Mohamedpur. Battakh Miya was a freedom fighter long forgotten, only recently remembered. Here the yatris met Shri Karmoola Khan, 60, who was

a local healer and used to give medicine for

pyorrhoea and many other ailments including

sprains, stomach ache, etc. Just consuming black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) for a month everyday

in the morning was supposed to help in the sciatica

pain. While passing through Siswaniya, Gobari and Mokhalishpur, we showed innovations from other parts of the country on a laptop with both sided screen developed by Dr Janardhan Reddy and Shri Narayan of Chennai. We stayed at Bhela Chhepra Primary School. From there, we proceeded to Semra. At Chapra Bahas, a freedom fighter Shri Baidnath Prasad sang a patriotic song and shared his knowledge of herbal medicine. After facilitating him, ShodhYatris facilitated another freedom fighter, Janab Sheikh Yusuf at his house.

At Sugauli, there was a recipe competition among school children and also a small function organised to honour local healers and innovators.

We stopped by at the house of Shri

Pramod Stephen who had been serving the local communities through traditional medicine. On the way to Madhopur Krishi Vigyan

Kendra, we came across several interesting innovations and depressing sites of closed down sugar mills. A young boy, Abhay Kumar Yadav, class

VII of Sripur chowk had made an

electro magnetic collector of metallic

pieces from the waste/compost so

that these pieces did not reach the

field and hurt the animals. Shri Stephen carried a flag all along the

Abhay Kumar Yadav
Abhay Kumar Yadav

yatra with a slogan, ‘‘Neeche dharti upar akash, beech se nikle gyan ka prakash” (a blue sky above the earth, the light of knowledge emanates in between). On the way to Jaukhatiya, we observed two labourers cutting dried palm tree trunk on a makeshift stand. This was an interesting design which most yatris had not seen before. One of the yatris had a pain in his leg and a herbal healer, Shri Ganesh Baitha came to rescue. After he suggested the medicine, yatris

came to rescue. After he suggested the medicine, yatris asked him as to how did he

asked him as to how did he learn it in the first place? Shri Ganesh replied poetically, Kekra se kahal bekar ba, murkh koi naikhe sabe hoshiyar ba (What to say to whom, nobody is foolish, everybody is intelligent). Later, at Motilal High School, Manjhwaliya and Primary School at Mahodipur, interesting discussion took place about how to generate local solutions using biodiversity in the region. Example of a lesson learnt

in Kutch, Gujarat was narrated where

a farmer after listening to the

importance of herbal pesticides, summarized his understanding as: “all plants which were not eaten by animals could be a source of herbal pesticide”. Farmers found such an insight very practical and worth trying. The erosion of knowledge due to weakening of the ties between grandparents and grand children was also discussed. After reaching Shri Bipin High School, Bettiah, late in the night, most yatris were very tired. But some wanted to celebrate the dawn of New Year. Next day was very

Coating dung cakes with designs and dreams! Anonymous, Baghpat, 18 th ShodhYatra, Western Uttar Pradesh
Coating dung cakes with designs and dreams! Anonymous,
Baghpat, 18 th ShodhYatra, Western Uttar Pradesh

Just a canvas or a ploy to arrest the onlooker's attention! Smt Bhabhi Mahato, Purulia, 20 th ShodhYatra, West Bengal

insightful because several innovators such as Nishant, Sandeep, Meraz , Janki Devi and other knowledge
insightful
because
several
innovators
such as
Nishant,
Sandeep,
Meraz , Janki
Devi and
other
knowledge
holders
pressure cooker and machine for
cutting & cleaning vegetables were
suggested by Ramu Kumar.
At the next stop, ShodhYatris relished
Shri Ganesh Baitha
several local recipes such as guma
ka sag, gular ka halwa, and mahua
ka halwa. Guma [Leucas aspera
(Willd.) Link.] is a plant that was
found along the road side in the
depressions almost all along the
ShodhYatra route. Its leaves were
reported to have pain relieving effect
and its roots were helpful in
toothache. Plants like these can
become the anchor of local
knowledge based enterprises. Given
its widespread presence, there is a
very little chance that poor people will
be excluded from accessing it.
Guma
to join us. On the way to Lauria,
joined the
Yatra. On the way to Ranipur we also stayed for
a few minutes at the ancient temple of Kalimata.
When we reached Bunyadi Vidyalaya, Ranipur, the
students and teachers had organized a very
elaborate function. This was the first Bunyadi
the last stop, we halted at
Nandangarh fort and a Buddhist
Stupa. The marvel of 2000 year old
technologies, particularly of brick
Vidyalaya set up by Gandhiji after a six-day national
conclave organized at Vrindavan village in 1939.
A memorial had been built viz., Prerna Kuti,
maintained since then by Shri Mathura Bhagat.
One of the
highlights of the
function at the
Bunyadi
Vidyalaya was a
speech by Rohit
Kumar Mishra, a
class 11 student
The visit to Shaheed Chowk, Bettiah
was a memorable one. During the
Nav Nirman movement of Jai Prakash
Narayan, several youth activists were
laying and architecture were visible
before our eyes. The local villagers
showed us how people at that time
mixed pulses and some other grains
in the clay while baking the
bricks. Isn’t it ironic that a
technology which has stood the test
of the time for 2000 years is still
killed in police action. This memorial
waiting for recognition and formal
assimilation in the modern science,
is
built in their memory. All Yatris
were received by Meraz here and then
introduced to his young team trying
to bring about an educational
transformation.
technology and institutional
structures?
A
question remained unanswered.
Why the call of freedom from
Shri Mathura Bhagat
who
had
represented his
village in an international youth festival in Norway.
After the function, all the yatris visited Prerna
Kuti and listened to the interesting anecdotes
about Gandhiji from Shri Mathura Bhagat.
While Shri Sinha’s pollution control
device was bigger in size, Shri
Nandeshwar Sharma has designed
poverty, exploitation and domination,
given by the Father of Nation so long
ago was not really answered properly
in
all these years? Economic freedom
a
compact silencer cum pollution
is
something that still remains to be
achieved by a large majority. May be
It was already late in the evening, but Shri AS
Prakasha Rao, principal of Jawahar Navodaya
Vidyalaya was very responsive and had invited
400 students to interact with the ShodhYatris.
Vishwa Bharti won the first prize for an idea of
egg shell breaking machine. Ideas about a modified
control device similar to an exhaust
pipe of a two wheeler. On the last
day, after passing through Padri,
Kudwa Mathiya, we reached
Marahia. There were some labourers
who were watching us from a
distance and whose confidence we
could not win enough to get them
this walk will imbue in us, a
determination to persist with the
missions of finding self-reliant,
decentralized entrepreneurial
alternatives based on local
knowledge, resources, and
institutions.
Meeting with the innovators & villagers
Meeting at the Bunyadi Vidyalaya
Learning through Motibhai's puppets
SHODHYATRA

SHODHYATRA

Yatra of Innovations

T he Champaran ShodhYatra was interspersed with pleasant discoveries of innovations; most of them were born out

of compassion to assuage the sufferings around.

Silencer cum Pollution Control Device

the sufferings around. Silencer cum Pollution Control Device Birendra Sinha, had a school right opposite to

Birendra Sinha, had a school right opposite to his workshop where he made steel doors, fencing and other materials. He used a diesel genset (generator coupled with stationary engine) of 15 hp as an alternative to the erratic electricity supply. The problem was that the genset made a lot of noise, released considerable smoke causing pollution and also disturbed the children. Neither the school nor the workshop could be moved away. But empathizing with the difficulty of the children, Birendra did what most users of diesel engine had not even attempted. He invented a silencer cum pollution control device which has a number of fins. The exhaust gases strike against them continuously while passing through this innovative attachment. In about six to eight months, it collects 12 to 14 kg of carbon, which can be easily taken out by beating the cylinder from outside. The smoke which comes out eventually is very clean and leaves no trace of carbon on the leaves of the tree growing nearby or in the atmosphere. The noise also reduced considerably and both the workshop and school could co-exist. The court judgment against him in response to the protest by neighbours had also forced him to develop this device, apart from his compassion towards the children and the environment. NIF has got it tested by BIT Mesra and they found about 30 % reduction in carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emission and a drastic reduction in the temperature of exhaust gases. This innovation is all set to change the emission standards for engines. NIF has filed the patent (1520/KOL/2008) in the name of Birendra Kumar Sinha for his outstanding innovation. A large number of workshop mechanics use such

innovation. A large number of workshop mechanics use such engines which create both noise and air

engines which create both noise and air pollution and yet there are not many examples of such devices. Akasi from Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu had developed one such device way back in 2000 and was awarded in the first annual grassroots innovation award function of NIF in 2001. There is a need to pool such expertise and help in developing a real competitive technology by engaging experts in this field.

Coffee-making Machine

ShodhYatris observed a very ingenious coffee- making machine innovated by Mohammed Rozadin. A pressure cooker had been modified by attaching a valve and a copper pipe in a separate hole in the cover of the cooker. One could release the steam to make coffee. Unlike the big coffee-making machine, which required electricity for powering it, this one could work on stove or any source of fire. In a few hundred rupees, one could enjoy

any source of fire. In a few hundred rupees, one could enjoy cappuccino/espresso coffee. Even if
any source of fire. In a few hundred rupees, one could enjoy cappuccino/espresso coffee. Even if

cappuccino/espresso coffee. Even if such a device existed elsewhere, none of the ShodhYatris had seen it ever before. More than a 100 tea shack owners are grateful to Mohammed Rozadin for supplementing their income with his coffee making attachment.

Folding Bicycle

Sandeep, another innovator had innovated a folding bicycle which can be assembled in a few minutes. His feat was significant as he could achieve it despite his physical handicap. The quality of finishing of his folding cycle was extremely good. He got it fabricated by sitting with local workshop mechanics for hours on weekends, since he was busy with his

mechanics for hours on weekends, since he was busy with his job during the weekdays. Sandeep
mechanics for hours on weekends, since he was busy with his job during the weekdays. Sandeep

job during the weekdays. Sandeep desires to license this technology to some entrepreneur. Anyone listening!

Electronic Mouse Trap

Meraz, a young innovator demonstrated his innovations like electronic mousetrap, magnetic balance, clock for displaying minutes and seconds, AC/DC mobile charger, etc. The mousestrap not only captures mice but also produces audio signal after capturing. It is an electronic machine, which works on 6V battery.

It is made up of wooden block, inside

which there is an iron plate at the end and is connected with a circuit through

a switch. A piece of bread kept

beneath the plate disconnects the circuit, which is completed when the rat pulls the bread. The shutter of the box closes within a second with audio

signal. He also has made zig-zag path inside the

pump so that after pumping a few times, irrigation pump could be easily started.

pump so that after pumping a few times, irrigation pump could be easily started.

 

box so the rat cannot escape out easily. His lines inspired everybody:

rat cannot escape out easily. His lines inspired everybody: “Jo gyan samasyaon ka samadhan kare wahi

“Jo gyan samasyaon ka samadhan kare wahi vigyan hai, suvigyan hai tatha adhunik yug ke

Community Septic Tank System in Indonesia

In 1985, the tributaries of Brantas River in Malang city of Indonesia were flooded throwing up human waste and causing an immediate outbreak of diarrhoea which claimed five lives. Agus Gunarto, now 51, working with the city cleaning department, was moved and in his quest for finding a solution hit upon the idea of devising community septic tank system. He connected two septic tanks, each with a diameter of 1.5 m and a depth of 2.5 m and used concrete wall baffles to breakdown the solid wastes and also to prevent it from entering the settling tanks. The outflow from the septic tank passed through six settling tanks or precipitate pools (generally two are used) planted with water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms.). He connected this to a network of houses. The pipes were laid down along the slope so that the sewage water moved smoothly and backflow was automatically checked. He used six settling tanks instead of two to facilitate aerobic oxidation and partial sterilization. Water hyacinth used, is a notorious aquatic but found very effective in removing pollutants like suspended materials, organic matter, heavy metals and pathogens.

The innovation might not be considered a technological breakthrough but the way it changed the lives of the people of Malang, got him awards and recognition in the international arena. Agus, with no technical education could do it because he believed that he could bring a change instead of just becoming a passive recipient! Can we identify the tangential elements in such innovators which drive them to change things, break institutions while the larger sections still prefer to persist in their self-inflicted, yet uncomfortable inertia?

Source:web.mit.edu/d-lab/DlabIII06/

vikas ka mantra hai. Pratyek vyakti vaigyanik hai aur uski pratham khoj hai- apne bhitar chhupe guno ko khojana, nikharana” (Knowledge that solves problems of others is good science and a key to development. Every man is a scientist and his first discovery is to look for his virtues within and augment them.)

Herbal Pesticide

Smt Janaki Devi has innovated a herbal pesticide. NIF helped her file a

Smt Janaki Devi has innovated a herbal pesticide. NIF helped her file a

Silencer cum Pollution Control Device

Shri Nandeshwar Sharma has innovated a silencer cum pollution control device, similar to the silencer

Shri Nandeshwar Sharma has innovated a silencer cum pollution control device, similar to the silencer of a two-wheeler. It could be attached to the diesel engine used for irrigation. It is ironic that not a single diesel engine used by farmers in the country is fitted with such a device. Bureau of Indian Standards [BIS] does not even require that every pump set should be fitted with a silencer and pollution control device. This along with that of Shri Birendra Kumar Sinha’s innovation could have a major impact on the quality of life and environment for the farmers and labourers. Shri Sharma has made another innovation for managing the pressure in the pump. Normally before starting an irrigation pump, farmers have to put a hand to create the suction pressure. To avoid that problem, he developed a one-way valve operated by a hand

have to put a hand to create the suction pressure. To avoid that problem, he developed

patent (1699/Kol/2008) on her formulation with her consent. The initial results of her formulation seem quite promising.

Rickshaw Gear

of her formulation seem quite promising. Rickshaw Gear Nishant displayed his device, a gear for a

Nishant displayed his device, a gear for a rickshaw. In this gear, when one pedals backwards, gear gets activated and the rickshaw puller is required to put less effort for climbing uphill or even starting it. This is a compact and easily retrofittable gear compared to other alternatives

available in market.

or even starting it. This is a compact and easily retrofittable gear compared to other alternatives
it. This is a compact and easily retrofittable gear compared to other alternatives available in market.

ofthepeople.pdf