Have an idea that can transform the rural and agricultural space? Share it with JD Foundation

VV Lakshminaryana has adopted two villages Sahalalaputtuga, Srikakulam district and Seetharamapuram, Vizianagaram. They have set up a tailoring and other units there
VV Lakshmi Narayana sharing a light moment | (Pic: JD Foundation)
VV Lakshmi Narayana sharing a light moment | (Pic: JD Foundation)

There are many unsung innovators, especially in the rural areas of India, who could do with more guidance and support which could help them take their innovations to the next level. Last year, Vasagiri Venkata Lakshmi Narayana aka JD Lakshmi Narayana, Former CBI joint director and former ADGP in Mumbai, met several such innovators during his extensive trips to rural parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The Kadapa-born also interacted with farmers and villagers and to help everyone in this ecosystem, started Join For Development Foundation (JD Foundation) this year. "He wanted to create one model in every district and inspire other villages to join in," informs Sidhartha Namburi, former manager and currently, a consultant for the JD Foundation.

They will announce the winners on January 26

To boost the morale of innovators, guide them and further connect them to others, JD Foundation launched Dr Kalam Innovation Festival on October 15, on Dr Kalam's birth anniversary which they want to declare as National Ideation Day. They have opened up the floor to innovators and ideators who are brimming with solutions to solve the problems that plague rural and agricultural fields. But hurry, if you are the one with ideas, send in your applications to them before December 31, 2019. "The goal is the development of farmers, making agriculture profitable and creating self-sustainable villages," says the 23-year-old Sidhartha.    

All ears: VV Lakshmi Narayana paying attention to what others have to say | (Pic: JD Foundation)

VV Lakshmi Narayana, know for leading high-profile investigations like YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's Disproportionate Assets case, Satyam Scandal and so on, has always been passionate about solving problems that are faced by rural folk. So after he took his voluntary retirement last year, he undertook the tour.

When we asked Sidhartha about the kind of people they are looking for, he gave us one example, that of Chintakindi Mallesham, the Padma Shri awardee

A plastic-crushing unit in Bhadrachalam, donating 20 `lakh to an agricultural drone supplying start-up Fopple Drone Tech — VV Lakshmi Narayana has already made many strides in terms of pushing for rural development. And this initiative also is another step in the same direction. "In a month, he visits approximately six engineering colleges and about six schools, plus two to three villages. The idea is that he will spread the word about this competition for the next two months," informs Warangal-born Sidhartha. For the screening and interview rounds of applicants, the foundation is in talks with prestigious organisations to screen the 600 to 700 applications they are expecting.

With them: Sidhartha has been associated with JD Foundation for a very long time  | (Pic: JD Foundation)

At the end of this rainbow, the top winners will win a cash prize of `5 lakh and the 25 to 30 shortlisted ones will be enlisted for a week-long bootcamp which will help them streamline their ideas better. "Something as simple as a cotton-plucking simple device or a financial model that keeps farmers away from the entrapments of loans — the innovations can be across the board," says Sidhartha. In the long-run, they also want to establish a rural incubator that will really further their cause. Before signing off, Sidhartha reminds asks us to remind the applicants about the deadline (December 31, 2019!) so that more and more people send in their applications and help JD Foundation benefit the rural community.      

Hear it from him

Rapt attention: VV Lakshmi Narayana speaking | (Pic: JD Foundation)

During my trips to the rural parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, I have witnessed a wide range of issues being faced by the farmers and the villagers. I have also interacted with many problem solvers building localised and customised solutions to these problems.
What I could observe is that these rural innovators need some additional exposure to the global markets in order to make their solutions technically sustainable and financially viable.
Through our foundation, we are already mentoring many such innovators in building their business models. Now we have decided to reach out to more such innovators across the nation and assist them.
Dr Kalam has been a crusader for people with ideas and innovations. Hence, on his Jayanti, which we want to be declared as National Ideation Day, we launched Dr Kalam Innovation Festival with a mission to provide all forms of support to innovators working with a vision of profitable agriculture and sustainable villages

VV Lakshmi Narayana, Founder, JD Foundation

For more on them, check out bit.ly/2nK0v7n

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