During the week of January 21st – 28th, the Director of Ammachi Labs, Bhavani B. and Deployment Manager Sreeram K. made a groundbreaking visit to the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. Upon arrival in Raipur, they connected with the Secretary of Science and Technology and Technical Education, Mr. Amit Agarwal regarding collaborations for creating Innovation Hubs. These centres or hubs would be dedicated to fostering a culture of innovation to be accessible to all. They discussed ways to take innovation into the field and offer creative spaces to be taken to even remote villages. Since Ammachi Labs has a solid reputation as a leader in innovation and education Mr. Agarwal and party invited the lab’s ideas to jumpstart this program.
Later on, the crew took a 6 hour drive through the picturesque landscapes of the Bastar region to Makri. The Bastar region is renowned for it’s unique artwork made from iron and copper made by skilled artisans using ancient techniques of welding and metal casting. This province also provides a rich showcase of tribal culture found in the primeval forests, hills and plains.
As they continued their journey, the team visited remote villages that were interspersed between the isolated forests. In Deurbal, where first center would be inaugurated, Bhavani B. met with the traditional women of village while Sreeram K. met with the men. They both followed a day in the life of these peoples and learned about their rich culture and heritage. The villagers adhere to a traditional farming culture and lead simple yet dignified lives. Corn and rice are staples which grow easily in the fertile soil and are cultivated without pesticides. Their homes were immaculately clean and the people were warm and welcoming.
Several villagers got a demo of Ammachi Lab’s cVet courses on tablets and computers to sample the vocational training offered. Bhavani B. said the women responded positively to the tablets. “It was hard to get the tablets back from them or have them listen to anything else as long as they were engaged in the experience.” Though maintaining a busy schedule, over 30 women in one village alone resolved to spend two hours a day learning a new skill or vocational trade.
As part of the Amrita Self-Reliant Village Programme (101 Villages) Ammachi Labs will open four centres for vocational and skills training in Chhattisgarh: Deurbal, Tharibeda, Chhotta Rajagoan and Odargaon. Chhattisgarh will be a hub of tradtion and innovation. Stay tuned for more updates.
Cross posted from Ammachi Labs’ News and Events Blog