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Northeast innovators display their skills during ‘In-residence programme’


New Delhi: Two innovators from Mizoram and Assam and a Bodo writer from Kokrajhar are currently residing at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi as a part of ‘In-residence programme’ for displaying extraordinary skills.

49- year-old Lal Biakzuala Ralte from Mizoram with his extraordinary innovation of bamboo splint-making machine drew attention of the organizers of the In-residence programme. He is one of the seven selected participants living at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Ralte has developed a manually operated machine, which can slice bamboo strips and convert the strips into sticks. It is useful for making incense sticks, tooth -picks and ice cream-sticks.

It has an advantage over conventional method of using knives for rural individuals, who cannot afford and use electricity operated machines.

“In our place, we have lots of bamboo so some entrepreneurs came and started incense making machines but they faced the problems regarding labour. They wanted help, so from that I took a cue and started working on this machine,” he said.

The Innovation Scholars In-Residence Scheme was launched by the President in 2013 with a view to promoting the spirit of innovation and giving further impetus to grassroots innovation activities.

The main objective of the scheme is to provide an environment to grassroots innovators at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to work on a project in hand and take their innovative ideas forward.

Beside Ralte, Swapnanil Talukdar from Assam has also been invited for his innovation on foot-operated page-turning device for differently-abled.

“It is a page turning device for differently-abled. For a disabled person turning a page is very difficult. So, I wonder how do they turn a page, they use their tongue, nose or other parts to turn a page. We worship books. So I thought why not to innovate a device which is manual,” Talukdar said.

Talukdar’s journey from a student to innovator is marvelous. He also won Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Ignite Awards in 2014. As a young innovator, he is an inspiration to many youth in the northeast region.

“As a student, we take part in extracurricular activities but when you are an innovator you are learning the tactics of life of how you can encourage people. This is aspect every youth should learn about. I believe people are already following me so if I can guide them technically and psychologically youths can come ahead,” he added.

Along with innovators, a Bodo writer from Kokrajhar, Jwishri Boro, also got an opportunity to showcase her work.

Four writers from around the country were called as a part of the In-residence program. The opportunity helps the budding writers and poets to showcase their work.

“I am fortunate enough that I got an opportunity to come here because each one of us aspires to accomplish our dreams. The writer’s who came here last year where from our batch only and they informed us about this Writers In-Residence programme at President House. It is a very good opportunity for young writers especially the opportunity come from the President itself,” said Jwishri Boro.

Such initiatives facilitate a means of cultural and intellectual exchange by bringing together artists from different parts of the country. (ANI)

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