The Children’s Creativity and Co-creation workshops empower children to not only identify and articulate their problems as well as that of socially disadvantaged segments, but also to find solutions individually and collectively. Involvement of children in solving the social challenges faced by them and others would help us mobilise the creative potential of children around the world. This might help in overcoming persistent social inertia in emerging and sometimes even in advanced economies. The workshops aimed at tapping the dormant creative potential of underprivileged children who probably did not have the courage or opportunity or a platform to articulate their ideas. Likewise, children from relatively affluent families who received the award who have innovated in some areas were expected to come out with creative ideas in other domains as well. 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)

 

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

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Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI)

Address: AES Boys Hostel Campus, Near Gujarat University Library & SBI Bank, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad-380 009, Gujarat, India.

Phone: (+91) 079-27913293, 27912792

Email: info@sristi.org

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