The Floral Power
In India, a congregation of flower vendors invariably signal the proximity of a temple or dargah, where no offering can be complete without flowers. But, where do these flowers end up, once the religious sentiments of the devotees are sated? According to studies, our country dumps around 80, 00, 000 tonnes of floral waste into the rivers annually causing severe water pollution. To redress this, two childhood friends from Kanpur, Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi launched an enterprise to convert the floral waste in Ganges into bio-fertilizers and lifestyle products like bathing bars. Their startup named Helpusgreen has come up with “Mitti”, a bio fertilizer, besides religious paraphernalia like incense sticks. With a workforce of 85 women, team of Helpusgreen collects close to 500 kg flowers per day from around 13 temples and three mosques in Kanpur. These entirely organic items have found takers in Germany and Switzerland and now they are also available on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart.
Panacea For Parent Jitters
Urban parents, in general, go through anxious moments while waiting for their children returning from school on a daily basis, either due to traffic jam or other transportation problems. However, a 15-year-old’s ingenuity has the answer for such worries. Arjun S, a class 10 student from Chennai has developed a mobile app, Ez School Bus Locator, which lets parents track the location of their children’s school buses whenever they want to. He got inspiration for the same realising his own parents’ anxiety. Arjun launched the app only after putting it through rigorous trials. The wonder kid now plans to take the project to the next level by expanding its coverage to schools across the country. However, this is not Arjun’s sole technical innovation. Since 2012 he has been running LateraLogics, which offers simple but smart solutions to better urban lives.
Working her way to the top
Being a Dalit woman from Rajasthan’s Puharu village, Narouti Devi never went to school. Like most others in the area she also started working for a road construction project. Not the one to tolerate injustice she mobilised others and eventually contested panchayat elections. She got elected as the Sarpanch of Harmada gram panchayat overcoming opposition from the dominant Jat community. Her illiteracy never became an obstacle for achieving constructive goals during her fiveyear term as Sarpanch. From constructing water bodies and homes for the people below the poverty line to providing hand pumps and community toilets to starting work on the long-pending Primary Health Center, the list is endless. After learning to operate computers in Tilonia’s barefoot college, a few decades back, Narouti now imparts computer training to other women in her village as well..