Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gandhian engineering-A Food for thought

There is a nice saying ..“Life was simpler when "APPLE" and "BLACKBERRY" were just fruits..!!!”. A nice world without the burdening list of “to-dos” and the pinch of schedule. Alas, but life has taken its course, and any man with a dream to fulfill, has to trade the racing path. So the fruits turn into gadgets and the life into a timetable. Everybody wants to claim his pie in this glorious economic growth and leave his mark in the industry.
Even amidst this smog of industrial revolution, there are some visionaries who dream of sustainable future. Working towards “ more from less” motto, and targeting the large mass at the bottom of the pyramid, they follow a mission called “Gandhian engineering”. An eminent scientist and a visionary leader, Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, threw this idea at the entrepreneurs and he had a large cult following. The core of this initiative is “Science for Solution, Technology for Transformation, Innovation for Impact”. The idea revolves around highest quality of product / service at lowest price. Dr. Mashelkar also gives an immense importance to optimize production processes to reduce waste, promote reuse and recycle. This is the need of the hour.
He quotes very apt example for sustainable future, surprisingly coming from a boy in rural area. Boy says nearly 120 liters of water is consumed to produce one kilogram of vegetables and how it was not sustainable. That is where Gandhian Engineering will begin. The heart of it is sustainability.
Every process is dependent on the raw material, which by god’s grace is abundant at this hour. But stock of metals, oil n gas would soon deplete, and every core process and the digital world that depends on these inputs, will feel the shortage. In the state of abundance, the thrust to recycle and reduce waste takes a backseat. But We cannot go on just consuming. We need to reuse. Recycle.
Dr. Mashelkar quotes C K Prahlad, that our aspirations should always be higher than our resources. If you feel you are resource rich, the aspirations go down, you are on a downhill. So always use resource critically and wisely. The thought provokes the requirement of a “Green initiatives”.
The three major hurdles we see in such initiative, is one lack of awareness, two unavailability of an easy medium to recycle, and third less access to experts for optimizing our processes. We need to start a movement to reach the masses and motivate them to use renewable energy resources, utilize natural resources wisely. The entrepreneurs are already striving to create quality products for less cost, especially in health and consumer sectors to reach the bottom of pyramid in India. What we need to emphasize is to properly handle the end-of-life cycles for these products. The same also need to be propagated to corporate for responsible manufacturing and recycling.
Million dollar question. So how do we contribute in this greater cause. As a miniscule part of this society, do I have power to take on this big challenge? Why not….We are ideating one such movement through the web media, with our technical skills, for the urban masses to start with. We would try to address every possible avenue to work towards the Greener India. We wish to take this movement subsequently to reach every citizen of India and inculcate the habit of responsible usage and engineering. We will like to put in use our technical experience, in-house expertise. We also encourage other volunteers to help in this cause and contribute as per their competence.
As Dr. Mashelkar say, we live on earth on a lease of our lifetime. Some people do some good for humanity, some people do otherwise and some just don’t do anything, they consume and go away. We want to be of the first kind, and contribute towards our Nation.

1 comment:

  1. hope things change sooner rather than later..
    great post Yudhisthir..I have always been inspired by Dr.Mashelkar


I would be interested to know your views on this blog.