In Pursuit of Happiness: Out of Box Thinking

I feel immense happiness when I saw people flouting all conventional norms and doing something extraordinarily different . It gives me pleasure to write about such people. Bunker Roy can easily belong to the Baba/Baby brigade as he was educated at Doon School and later at St. Stephens College, Delhi. His grand future was all chalked out by parents and society.

Does life means draping yourself in expensive designer clothes? Eating at all the known joints? Visiting all the tourist destinations? For most of us that will be a dream life. We feel happy to feed already overfed people by indulging and copying elites. But there are some out of box thinkers. Due to their efforts humanity moves ahead.

If you want to be a solar engineering degree from Bunker Roy’s Barefoot College, your qualification is either you have to be illiterate or semi-literate. You will get extra point at admission if you are an illiterate grandmother! Honestly I am not joking. This out of box thinking belong to Bunker Roy. Bunker Roy founded Barefoot College in Ajmer, in 1972.

His out of box thinking says you won’t have to be educated to be a solar engineer. Many Indian and African grandmothers under his guidance received training to install, repair and maintain their solar units and now they are training other village women in India and Africa to be solar engineers.

He says that there are only two conditions for acceptance to the program: that the women are older than 45, and that they are illiterate.

“Once we train an illiterate woman, they never forget what they’ve learned,” says Bunker Roy. “We find that literate women tend to forget because their mind is so cluttered. With illiterate women, we find that when we visit them in their villages after a few months, they haven’t lost their knowledge.”

“We’ve found men are quite untrainable,” Bunker Roy says. “They are restless and ambitious. They want a certificate, and as soon as they get it, they move to cities looking for work. Grandmothers are not interested in a paper to hang on their walls. They stay in their communities. Also, they have the patience to be great trainers.”

Bunker Roy was selected as one of Time 100, the 100 most influential personalities in the world by TIME Magazine in 2010. He is busy to bring solar power in the rural, remote, non-electrified villages. To electrify a village he trains the villagers so that they can acquire necessary skills to look after their own power system and don’t have to depend on the outsiders from the city.


River Gym




River Gym (Image Source: ecofriend)

Currently clean and green living has caught my fancy. I try to read what people are doing to keep our environment clean. Sometimes I come across most amazing ideas. In this fitness conscious world most of us try to do our bit is to remain healthy. When an image of gym conjure up in our mind we often think of hi fi equipments and people sweating their extra calories out while huffing and puffing. But very few thought about the repetitive and controlled motions we make while exercising. The kinetic energy we all produce go waste. Architect Mitchell Joachim, along with Douglas Joachim, a personal trainer think of using the gym enthusiasts activities and convert it into electrical energy.

The best thing is River Gym will float on a sea. So you will not get bored by watching TV or listening music. You can watch the playing waves and scenic and calming beauty of sea. And  your crunches, running on mills or weight training are producing enough electricity to drive the floating boat!


Super-kites to Tap Wind Power

It always amazes me to see what a human mind is capable of. Going by this rate, it seems, the day is not far off, when humans will arrange their food from wind or sun directly. 🙂


Zero Emissions Bike

Zero Emissions Motorbike

Zero Emissions Motorbike

Kingston University’s six final year engineering students have designed this zero emission motorbike. They have used recycled material in this battery powered motorbike. What is astonishing about this bike is it has the ability to reach speeds of 102mph, race around a 38 mile mountainous course. But the icing on the cake is you can charge this zero emission motorbike from a standard household socket! No need to run to the petrol pump and spend exorbitant amount of money on refilling it.

I get another piece of news about this clean and green motorbike

To prove its prowess, the bike will compete in the world’s first zero-emissions Grand Prix this summer. With this new bike, the Kingston team will participate with 24 eco-bikes riding in from America, India, Italy, Germany and Austria on the start line at the 2009 Isle of Man TTXGP.

What makes me sad is, in some part of India this kind of non polluting bike is being prepared somewhere by some people. But our media doesn’t give space to these types of news. But wherever you people are, all the best for the 2009 Isle of Man TTXGP. Hope you people win the race so that environment too can find a space in our media.
Image Source: Science Daily