Innovation, People / Stories, Social Entrepreneurship

Natural agriculture

Natural agriculture: The man behind ‘zero-budget spiritual farming’


Padma awardee believes there’s much to learn from ancient Indian cultivation techniques

Jiwamrita, Subhash Palekar, zero budget farming, zero budget spiritual farming, Subhash Palekar jiwamrita, indian agricultural techniques, india news, latest news, maharashtra news

Subhash Palekar demonstrates the preparation of ‘Jiwamrita’ formulation.


…..“The farmer needs to apply to the crop a dose of Jiwamrita — a fermented solution containing 200 litres water, 5-10 litres cow urine, 10 kg dung, 1 kg each of gur (jaggery) and besan (gram flour), and a handful of soil from the farm bund — for every acre. The other important thing is to spread a carpet of harvested crop residue between crop rows, which helps to absorb moisture from the atmosphere and also prevents emergence of weeds,” explains Palekar.
According to him, Jiwamrita basically nurtures thousands of bacteria essential for healthy crop growth. The urine and dung used in the formulation, he insists, should be from indigenous cattle: “one desi cow can nourish 30 acres”……


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Courtesy : K F Keravala


Business Ideas, Innovation, Mentoring, Motivations, People / Stories, Social Entrepreneurship

The blind CEO who built a 50 crore company

December 22, 2015 09:12 IST


Srikanth Bolla is standing tall living by his conviction that if the “world looks at me and says, ‘Srikanth, you can do nothing,’ I look back at the world and say ‘I can do anything’.”

Srikanth Bolla

When he was born, neighbours in the village suggested that his parents smother him.

It was better than the pain they would have to go through their lifetime, some said.

He is a “useless” baby without eyes… being born blind is a sin, others added.

Twenty-three years later, Srikanth Bolla (pictured left) is standing tall living by his conviction that if the “world looks at me and says, ‘Srikanth, you can do nothing,’ I look back at the world and say ‘I can do anything’.”

Srikanth is the CEO of Hyderabad-based Bollant Industries, an organisation that employs uneducated disabled employees to manufacture eco-friendly, disposable consumer packaging solutions, which is worth Rs 50 crores.

He considers himself the luckiest man alive, not because he is now a millionaire, but because his uneducated parents, who earned Rs 20,000 a year, did not heed any of the ‘advice’ they received and raised him with love and affection.

“They are the richest people I know,” says Srikanth.

Underdog success story : Click here to continue reading… 


Business Ideas, People / Stories, Social Entrepreneurship

Sell Waste Online

This IT engineer is urging people to sell waste online.

Did you know that you could use Facebook and Whatsapp to sell your household waste online? And also make some money off it?

Find out how a young engineer from Bhopal is doing it and urging others to follow suit.

Anurag Asati is an IT engineer who hails from Bhopal and knew at the onset that he wanted to create some impact in the world with the skills he had.

It all started one day when Anurag was asked to get a kabadiwala home to collect some newspapers.

“I started working on this, but this simple task proved pretty cumbersome. In the process, I found out everything about the waste management cycle and how the process works. at the end of it, I had come to a conclusion this is purely a gap an something needs to be done,” says the young entrepreneur.

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People / Stories, Social Entrepreneurship

Bringing road safety through IoT

An avid biker and an engineer join hands to build an IoT device that ensures road safety

According to Jayanth Jagadeesh, VP BD and Marketing, eLsys Intelligent Devices Pvt Ltd, India is among the nations that have the highest number of road accidents in the world: one person dies every four minutes. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his radio address to the nation, too, has expressed the strong need to build a national emergency system/framework to manage, analyse and avert road emergencies,” he says.

Jayanth, therefore, calls it a wonderful coincidence that his company has been working on solving the same problem for the last year-and-a-half. “Our vision is to revolutionise how Indians call for help, and how India responds to road emergencies,” he says.

Bringing road safety through IoT

Through its product Raksha SafeDrive, eLsys aims to leverage the power of IoT (Internet of Things) devices, telecom revolution and cloud technologies to create an integrated road accident management and analysis platform. The device is capable of automatic crash detection, two-way call connectivity, GPS tracking (using also the best motorcycle GPS unit), engine health monitoring, and smart panic button.

Genesis and foundation of the core team

The idea to leverage technology to avert and manage road accidents better came to Prasad Pillai in 2013, after narrowly averting an accident himself. “Most drivers on Indian roads experience a close shave every week. We thank our stars, curse the other commuter and move on. It is important that our accident preparedness and management is not so unorganised. Our passion is to apply technology in making roads safer and drivers responsible,” says Prasad.


Jayanth, on the other hand, is an avid biker, and has even completed a 5,000-km solo motorcycle road trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The duo met through a common friend and their passion for road safety got them to work as a team. “Travel and exploration is meant to be fun. Road trips are supposed to excite people and make them come alive. But most people do not dare to explore. Raksha SafeDrive answers most of the ‘what-if’questions,” he adds.

What does the product do?

Jayanth says Raksha SafeDrive is capable of automatically detecting an accident and proactively calling for emergency care assistance. The team claims that it has leveraged multiple technologies to devise an intelligent road accident management platform that can detect, alert, notify and perhaps even predict driver behaviour that may lead to an accident.

Raksha SafeDrive follows the subscription model for revenue. The revenue comes from the one-time device cost and a monthly/yearly fee for continuous accident monitoring and human assistance for emergencies, roadside assistance and parking location retrieval.

Challenges and future plans

Jayanth says that Raksha SafeDrive is a complex electronics product complemented by IoT, telecom and cloud technologies. Unlike a software product, the successive iterations in designing, building and testing a stable and sturdy product is both time and resource consuming. The team has invested two years of research and development to come up with the product.

“Currently, the company is sustaining its operations from the founders’capital investment. We are exploring the possibility of an angel funding to accelerate our go-to market plans,” says Jayanth.

The team would like to build an effective and technology-assisted accident management and analysis system in India. It has also initiated a ‘Road Safety Consortium’, a platform for organisations that care about making roads safer and minimising accidents in India. It is reaching out to car manufacturers, emergency care providers, roadside assistance providers, NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) and other government and NGO entities to join hands in making the roads safe.

“Raksha Safedrive can be purchased as a standalone unit by individual customers and/or as a customised set (in tens or hundreds) by fleet operators. We are open for preorders at” adds Jayanth.

| August 23, 2015 at 10:38 am

Motivations, Social Entrepreneurship

These 12 social enterprise ideas could change India

Every year, international social entrepreneur network Ashoka’s chapter in India, Ashoka India, identifies and selects social entrepreneurs for a Fellowship every year. After a rigorous selection process, Ashoka India helps these social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to social problems. Here are this year’s 12 entrepreuneurs and their ideas which could change India.


Farm2Food Foundation

The brainchild of Deep Jyoti Sonu Brahma, the Farm2Food foundation runs the “farmpreneur program” in government schools to encourage children to create and take charge of school gardens. Training them in technical farm skills, organic farming and agricultural trade, the idea is to inspire children to take up agriculture as an occupation. The foundation also engages with farmers to build their entrepreneurial skills. By 2015-16, Farm2Food aims to expand to 150 schools in 4 districts.


Carers Worldwide

Started by Anil Patil, Anil highlights and tackles the problems faced by ‘care-givers’. There is an increasing need for quality long-term care for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Usually, family members or friends play the role of ‘care-givers’. But it is not easy being one, as the pressure on carers is high and they do not have a support system. This is where Carer Worldwide steps in, by trying to create a world-wide network of carers who can create a helpful ecosystem for each other and augment their incomes. Advocacy is also an important element



For those who cannot afford quality education, schooling in India can be a nightmare, especially because of the lack of teaching in English. To help students in rural India learn English and unlock their potential, Pranil Naik has designed a unique, plug-and-play model which democratises teaching and learning of English. From curriculum and delivery mechanism to after school classes, Naik has created an easy atmosphere for learning.


World Health Partners

With the public health system in India far from being sufficient for the needs of the poor, several informal healthcare providers, sometime referred to as ‘quacks’, act as the first line of healthcare defense for the poor (read a related TNM story here.). World Health Partners (WHP) identifies and orchestrates the relationship between different stakeholders including informal medical provider to create a robust network of healthcare centers under a common brand name, “Sky”, in underserved and remote areas.  WHP equips informal healthcare providers with further medical knowledge and diagnostic skills.

– See more at:

People / Stories, Social Entrepreneurship

The Man Who Single Handedly Converted A Washed Out Land Into A 1,360 Acre Forest

May 29, 2014

Almost three decades ago, a teenager, after noticing the deaths of a large number of reptiles due to a lack of a tree cover, started planting Bamboo in an area that had been washed away by floods. Today, that same land hosts 1,360 acres of Jungle called Molai Forest, named after Jadav “Molai” Payeng, the man who made this possible single handedly!

That forest is now home to Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros, over 100 deer and rabbits besides apes and several varieties of birds, including a large number of vultures. There are several thousand trees. Bamboo covers an area of over 300 hectares. A herd of around 100 elephants regularly visits the forest every year and generally stays for around six months. They have given birth to 10 calves in the forest in recent years

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Business Ideas, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship

Jamshedpur’s Plastic Roads

Disposal of waste plastic is no longer a problem in the steel city with Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company (JUSCO) using bitumen technology on waste plastic, ranging from polybags to biscuit packets, for constructing roads.
Tata nagar roads jamshedpur
JUSCO, a 100 per cent subsidiary company of Tata Steel which maintains and provides municipal services in Tata command area of the city, has constructed 12-15 kms road in the steel city as well as Tata Steel Works besides widening 22 roads using the environment-friendly technology of utilising waste plastic.
Tata nagar roads jamshedpur -jusco
“As far as we know, Jamshedpur is the only city in eastern India where bitumen technology (Dry Process) patented by Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), Tirupparanku ram, Madurai, has been implemented on accumulated waste plastic for the first time”, Gaurav Anand, Senior Manager (Quality Assurance) of JUSCO, said today.
Claiming that there is no maintenance cost involved for the first five years, Anand, who is an environment engineer, said that for every stretch of such one km long and four metre wide road, one tonne of bitumen costing Rs 50,000 is saved.
The use of bitumen has been reduced by 7 per cent ever since JUSCO began using waste plastic in road construction work, he said, adding that the quality and longevity of roads made of waste plastic-aggregate-bitumen was two times better than bitumen road.
roads made from plastic by JUSCO
Describing plastic tar road as a “new pathway”, Pratyush Dandpat, Deputy Manager (Quality Assurance) of JUSCO, said that the technology turned out to be successful.
Besides being water resistant, it has better binding property, higher softening point, can withstand high temperature and higher load, has lower penetration value, costs less as compared to bitumen road and has no toxic gas emission, Dandpat said.
Though there is great demand for the technology, including from Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand governments, but “we do not have any plan to commercialise it but to serve society. We have even received a request from Nigeria, which wants to replicate it in their country”, Anand said.
Courtesy : Havovi Homavazir

o the JUSCO initiative, the city will now have strong, durable, eco-friendly roads which will also relieve the residents from the ugly & frightening sight of heaps of plastic waste!!
Innovation, People / Stories, Social Entrepreneurship

Ayurvedic doctor has turned full time water conservationist

Inspired by his own success, an Ayurvedic doctor has turned full time water conservationist

By  Kavita Kanan Chandra
Mumbai24 Feb 2015

Posted 12-Jan-2012
Vol 3 Issue 2

Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. That adage was proved right by Anil Joshi, an Ayurveda doctor in Fatehgarh village in Madhya Pradesh, who collected one rupee each from one lakh people and constructed a check dam across a local seasonal river called Somli and changed the life of the farmers.

The doctor, who repeated the success story of Fatehgarh by building 11 such dams across rivers and nullahs around the areas, has now turned a full-time water conservationist and is all out to build 100 more such check dams in other villages having water shortage.

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Courtesy : Tusna Park

Business Ideas, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship

This Indian start-up could disrupt health care with its powerful and affordable diagnostic machine

Kahol and his Indian engineering team built a prototype of a device called the Swasthya Slate (which translates to “Health Tablet”) in less than three months, for a cost of $11,000. This used an off-the-shelf Android tablet and incorporated a four-lead ECG, medical thermometer, water-quality meter, and heart-rate monitor. They then enhanced this with a 12-lead ECG and sensors for blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, blood haemoglobin, and urine protein and glucose. In June 2012, they sent this device to 80 medical labs for testing, which reported that it was as accurate as the medical equipment they used — but more suitable for use in remote and rural areas, because it was built for the rugged conditions there.

The Swasthya Slate is portable, affordable and offers a wide variety of tests. (Swasthya)

By January 2013, Kahol’s team had incorporated 33 diagnostic tests, including for HIV, syphilis, pulse oximetry, and troponin (relating to heart attack) into the Swasthya Slate and reduced its cost to $800 per unit. They also built a variety of artificial-intelligence–based apps for frontline health workers and started testing these in different parts of India.

In March 2014, the Indian government started a pilot of 4,250 Swasthya Slates in six districts of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has a population of 2.5 million. Antenatal testing, which often took 14 days because mothers had to go from clinic to clinic for different diagnostic tests, was done in 45 minutes in a single clinic. The proportion of the time that frontline health workers spent on administrative paperwork, recording data from tests and filling out forms, was reduced from 54 percent to 8 percent of their work day. Hundreds of thousands of people gained access to medical care that had been unavailable to them.

…………..Vivek Wadhwa

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