The much awaited budget has come and gone. But,sadly, my wish-list or a bucket-list even , of Innovations for India may remain a wish list, unless something different is done, even after the budget is out. For a country so beautiful, so full of promise, but bogged down by the mundane stuff ( or lack of it) deserves more. And, for a billion people so unique, with their own uniqueness, demand something really different. And so, here it is.. the wish list of innovations, for no solution that’s off the cuff can really be enough.
1. Smarter toilets: Even though waste should be the last topic, I bring it to the very top. For smarter ways of human waste management should not have to rely on complex municipal systems to install and operate. Instead, stand- alone, easy-to- fix- cheap , is what is needed. The good news is, a company in Kerala has created something called ë-toilets. Smart and efficient, but needs to go further. What remains to be seen is if they can scale up fast and big-time. And whether our dear Finance Minister can allott more money here.
2. Healthcare at the doorstep : Infrastructure being what it is, lack of easy access healthcare is the next imperative. And it has to be quick, easily available too, Perhaps mobile healthcare vans for the basics, if someone or the Government were upto it?
3. Safe schools : Something that’s a given in many countries, India has yet to come up with a solution that guarantees education with safety. The number of reports of schools that have let down their students is alarmingly on the rise. So, this is one that I would definitely put on top. Screening, monitoring, culpability, all in one- package. Perhaps, more to do with the law and law- enforcement measures needing more attention from the ministries.
4. Food innovation: Malnutrition is possible to address through a variety of ways. Doling out rice, oil and sugar may not be the best. Perhaps, creatively produced food that meets all the nutrition needs but doesn’t need preparation before consumption- is something to look at. A thought- Sub Saharan Africa had invested in nutritious biscuits, why not we?
5. And finally, social security : While social security is not new, it seems daunting to provide social security for such a huge mass of people. All the more, since social security can fuel innovation and productivity( more about that later) , it is a must. Here, the added funds for NREGA are a welcome one.. Keep going dear FM, this is just for starters.
Here it is, the wish-list. To add one more – if only, the Government, politicians, innovators, or people, anyone was listening…