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The aim of children's workshop is to develop an operational framework to empower children so that children not only express their problems clearly, but also explore solutions individually and collectively. This program helps us understand how young children can be an important part of the national innovation value chain. We challenge children to find solutions for problems which have not been solved yet so that coming generations need not suffer from the same problems as suffered the previous generations. Also, though there exists many innovations and inventions in the market for multiple products, like around 1000 different types of mobile phones, still there are some persistent social problems which though small reflects real pain points of the community, like the chapatti extractor in Indian kitchens (chimta) whose design has remained unchanged for 200 years now. But it is also not the case that this thing is not happening at all. We visit communities which are at the bottom of the economic pyramid to understand what problems they are suffering from and then work with them to find solutions to those problems, then be them of farming, slums, or areas dominated by female labor. There still exists a lot of problem at the grassroots which need to be solved and we try to involve children to find solutions to them and take those solutions forward to eventually convert them into products.

 

Once during such a workshop, we challenged children to find uses of bicycle except for transportation. This question may sound non-obvious to adults as they would have never thought in this direction or probably have never tried to look beyond what's normal. But in this case, once children's curiosity is awakened, there is no looking back. Within minutes we got more than 25 ideas, some of which were:

  • Bicycle can be used to generate electricity

  • Bicycle can be used to power escalators

  • Bicycle can be used to extract sugar from sugarcane - (by Mohammad Rafiq)

  • Bicycle can be used to grind grains and harvest crops

  • Bicycle can be used to project films projection (by Ashu Chandra)

  • Bicycle can be used to sweep floors (by Tannu Can)

  • Bicycle can be used as plows (by Kajal Verma)

  • Bicycle can be used to cut grass  (by Vivek Kumar)

  • Bicycle can be used to remove husk from paddy (by Mile Lepcha)

  • Bicycle can be used to break molds (by Abu Sufiyan)

  • Bicycle can be used to draw water from the well (Richa Kumari)

  • Bicycle can be used to lift garbage (by Ahmed Raja)

This proves that when children are set free to use their imagination, even the most non-obvious pain-points of the community can be addressed.