For us, in India, it is even more special…We have the highest percentage of youth and children in the world and an economy that is not only sound but growing stronger every day. The aspiration of this young India is to make things today and now.
Noted DRDO scientist, Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar while delivering a talk at CG, had remarked: India won three freedoms: political freedom in August 15, 1947; economic freedom in July 24, 1991, and technological freedom in the year 2008. I wish to add that India has got its Fourth Freedom in 2014, Freedom to DESIGN, MAKE, MANUFACTURE. The Make In India campaign as declared by Honorable PM has provided further impetuous to this movement. The Maker movement is here to stay.
We may recollect The India Report by Charles and Ray Eames which advocated the importance of vocational skill development as a part of our learning process. This culminated in the creation of India’s First Design School NID. We need more activity based learning to foster creativity.
I was lucky to be a part of Project Science Scheme which was introduced (1975) at middle school level with few govt. and aided primary schools in Bangalore. The scheme offered faculty training, lab supplies, free workbooks. It was about learning by doing and then moved on to reading the text and theory. We also had access to HOW and WHY wonder books at the City Central library. It was great fun to learn by doing. It provided fearless interaction with teachers and, inculcated teamwork among students. We would carry things like seeds to learn how they germinate and grow. While the scheme was withdrawn after Standard 7, it left us changed forever in our pursuit to learn things by doing.
In the Digital world today, children are confined to see, read and play online with little physical activity. This needs a reformation. It needs to infuse some much needed DIY activity which is an edifice of all creativity. There is a need to infuse the Make quotient into children and youth. We wish it will find in-roads into our learning. When it does, I have no doubt that it will be contagious and spread across the country.
Jugaad will strive to share the success stories of the maker community. It’s a good start.