Innovation and creativity at its best
Children are said to be the best innovators and solution providers. Only that the way our education system is designed, children are discourages to express themselves. As a result their inherit power of suggesting solutions are never explored. In view of this UNICEF designed a project in collaboration with Ahmedabad based NGOs SRISHTI and Honeybee network to conduct a workshop for exploring the innovative ideas of children from all over the country.
Two-day workshop gave children an opportunity to visit different locations, talk to the protagonists in the location they visit in such a way so that they openly discuss their problems, observe the working and socio-economic conditions, these people live and suggest a solution. The solution which they suggested then need to be presented in the form of a drawing at the Festival of Innovation organised every year at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Eleven students from Deepalaya learning center, Bhalaswa and Haiderpur were shortlisted for the purpose. This event was organized by SRISHTI organization on 13th and 14th March.
Eleven students of Deepalaya participated along with two teachers of these centres.
On 13th March, our students and those from other NGOs gathered at Gandhi Peace Foundation. The students were briefed about the concept and how they are expected to think innovatively about the solutions for the hardships faced by different communities they visit. The students were then divided into three groups so that children from all NGOs get a chance to mingle with each other. They were taken on a visit to three different locations with one teacher from the centres. They were asked to observe the conditions which operate in the communities, interact with the people and understand the problems they face. Based on the interaction, the students thought about innovative ways of solving the problems after discussing the ideas with other students in their group. After the field visits, the students gathered again at Gandhi Peace foundation, from where they went back to their respective houses.
On the second day i.e. 14th March, 2016, the students got together at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, where they were asked to either draw or write about the innovative ideas and solutions they thought about, the day before. The children were given full freedom to think and explain whatever they thought could work for a particular problem.
Our students did fairly well and Deepalaya was praised for promoting creative thinking amongst its students. One of our students Pooja gave the idea of filtering and cleaning stagnant water in the slums by making it fit for drinking, washing and other purposes. All the students and teachers were given certificates for acknowledging their participation and one certificate was given for Deepalaya.
The workshop showcased some really innovative ideas to solve day-to-day problems that are faced by people.