One of the best things about writing is that you have to find stories that you want to tell. Often you find stories that are worth telling not just because they are interesting, but also because they are inspiring.
When the lack of infrastructure frustrates us, most of us resort to complaints, whines, raving and ranting.In ex-military man Vivek Mundkur's case it lead to a whole lot of innovations that have solved not just his own problems, but also helped farmers in Bihar, Karnataka and Maharashtra. An excerpt from the piece I did on him in a daily I was writing for at the time reads "Faced with an unreliable and often non-existent power supply, he explored renewable energy sources and built a windmill to power the farmhouse. “A lot of the parts are made from recycled and waste materials, that reduce cost and make it more environment friendly”, he says. He also built a pedal generator from an old cycle, till the problem of irrigating the farm cropped up. The rest is history and today he has fitted only two pumps around Pune, two in Karnataka, in Chiplun and one in Pabal, besides the one in the Bihar Chief Minister’s village. The USP of his system is that all it needs is a pump and solar panels. There are no batteries or inverters involved. A 0.5 HP pump can irrigate a one acre plot and thanks to the magic of drip irrigation, use less water and consequently enable the farmer to get three crops a year from the very same land." You can read the entire story.(Read about it here.)
The world bank has been asking questions about what it will take to end poverty. While Infrastructure is essential, people helping themselves and others in the process will go a long way. Vivek Mundkur did not begin his DIY adventure with any preconcieved ideas. he is quick to admit that he did it just to solve his own problems. That they could be replicated and scaled to others and turn lives around is pure chance. 'As long as the sun shines and the water flows, land will give life to men and animals', goes a famous native American proverb. People like Col. Mundkur just do their bit.