JREF is firmly grounded on the fact that Innovation and being innovative are the keys to creating an indigenous model of development suited to meet the local needs and challenges. Through these initiatives, JREF aims to herald a mind-set change and create a push at the grassroots level so that more and more people in education, business, government, NGOs, urban and rural development engaged in innovative activities are co-opted. The activities on this front are:
- Developing innovation attitudes and approaches among the rural youth
- Exploring new strategies and alternatives for innovations and collaborations, starting from JRPC
- Identifying ways and means to scale and sustain innovations
- Providing an incubation centre for start-ups with innovative ideas by alumni/rural based technical people
- Creating appropriate eco-systems and environment to foster inclusive innovation
Student-developed utility items put to use at college:
As a first step, activities in JRPC are designed to inspire innovation and making it a habit among its students. Some of the prototypes developed by the students out of their interest to demonstrate their latent skills, although exhibit amateurism, are rich in ideas and offer solutions to the problems identified by them in the immediate rural villages. For this students are organized into groups and belong to the Innovators-In-The-Making team (IMT) for e.g., while the IMT team under the leadership of Master. Andrews Prabu, a DME student designed and cut the waste PVC pipes lying in the campus to make into a working prototype of a wind mill, another team headed by Master Arockya Rakesh, a DEEE student designed and fixed the suitable generator for it. The foundation for housing the prototype was laid by the DCE team. The tower for this windmill was welded by a team headed by Master. Arul Edberg.
One of the rural oil mills problem is shown in the photograph. Innovator-In-The-Making (IIM) team found a solution to avoid the lazy running of one of the vessels and fabricated one in our laboratories and offered it to the mill to be implemented.
Reuse of rural e-waste:
Although minimal, with the sweep of technology, every rural village creates a considerable amount of e-waste, a sizable part of which can be reused. At the first stage, students reach out to the local people, educate them on the hazards of careless disposition of e-waste. As an alternative to this careless disposition, they collect them in bags and bring them to college and remove all the working parts from these condemned goods, convert it into some useful product and give it back to the local panchayat for reuse in their villages.
Fused tubelights glowing with LEDs removed from other electronic gadgets, solar mobile chargers assembled with solar panels, battery and casings taken from different scrap gadgets, village street lights that go on/off depending on the intensity of light, floats used in the panchayat domestic water tanks to stop water inflow are some of the useful contributions.
Second-grade coal, as it is commonly known, is being produced with the bio-waste generated in and around the campus. The making of bio-briquettes is more of human intensive and requires less/no machinery.
JREF supports the making of briquettes and encourages the usage of such briquettes in the canteen of JRPC, supplementing the conventional fuel for cooking. To create an awareness, such briquettes have also been distributed to the village household, anticipating their future participation in producing them.
Waste water management:
Only 1% of the world’s freshwater is available for human consumption and Thanks to Mr.Harsha, Retired GM, BHEL Trichy for creating a realization towards the non-affordability of wasting water in the campus. Sharing the benefit of his experiences with JRPC, every student in JRPC has understood the significance of preserving it by adopting measures that lead to its conservative usage and recycling.
JREF wishes to treat the waste water generated within the campus by increasing the capacity of the effluent treatment plant and making it solar powered. The water, so treated is to be reused more for lawn and garden maintenance. It also wishes to set up an exhibit of the plant so as to attract rural people to the cause. JREF is henceforth seeing a great sweep - Students becoming more frugal with the available water.