On the 2nd August 2018, Phrang Roy, Chairman, NESFAS, Janak P Singh, Sr. Associate, NESFAS and Anita Roy, Board Member, NESFAS visited IIT Guwahati to explore possibilities of collaboration with the Department of Design, IIT Guwahati. The team met with Mr. Avinash Shinde who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Design.
The core aim of the visit was to identify possible innovation initiatives that can be done with the help of this department’s institute. As part of the REC funded initiative “No One Shall Be Left Behind”, one of the important components include possible sustainable innovations in the rural communities.
Mr. Avinash Shinde shared that he had closely worked with the office of DCIC, Government of Meghalaya for the project Shken. He also has experience in working with bamboo artisans of Meghalaya under the Shken project. He shared how they have been able to make the work of artisans more comfortable with the introduction of innovative design molds.
The meeting focused on dialogue exchange regarding NESFAS Bamboo School Initiative and innovation on vertical transportation, an idea of NESFAS.
As Mr. Avinash Shinde pointed out that Meghalaya has a very rich agrobiodiversity, hence he suggested that one important activity for this could be to identify and study the bamboo variety and then depending on the need, specific plantation can be encouraged in the communities.
One of the activities of the NESFAS-REC project, the idea is to create safe spaces within the villages, therefore it was also discussed if there can be a possibility of constructing such spaces by using locally available bamboo as a pilot project in few communities.
The project will also look into possible innovation ideas in vertical transportation for villages like Nongtraw. Nongtraw is located in a deep valley of the Khatarshnong hills in East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya and the only way in and out of the village is 3000 steep steps.
In order to accomplish the innovations dream, NESFAS plans to invite Mr. Avinash Shinde to Meghalaya and visit the partner villages, and see for himself what could be the possible innovation ideas that the land and natural resources have to offer.