A conversation with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
Yesterday I got a great opportunity to have conversation with Dr Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, the flagship initiative by the Government of India to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country for an exclusive YouTube Live session on the eve of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities to initiate a conversation on the theme this year - “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world”. In his opening remarks, Dr Chintan mentioned through one example how people generalise things based on their abilities/experiences. I could hear about the inventions of young innovators Omkar and Yashashwini and about Yashashwini dad's encouragement to her. Their mentor Mr Srinivas shared his experiences with the young innovators.
What an amazing job AIM has been doing !!! I give talks at various schools and colleges. Inspired by my talks some engineering students did projects to include persons with disabilities. But due to lack of collaboration between educational institutions and manufacturing companies, those projects remained in college records only. I used to think, had youngsters got encouragement and support to give a shape to their creative ideas, how nice and useful it would be for society.
Now I am seeing all those points that I dreamt for are covered in AIM - one side encouraging school students to come up with innovative ideas and other side supporting start ups. I am extremely happy for being part of this program. I shared how assistive devices are making my life comfortable and independent. The more youngsters are involved in finding solutions for people with different requirements, the more inclusive they will be in their personal and professional lives. Really hopeful that such innovations will lead to more and more schools and colleges becoming inclusive improving their education and employment outcomes for persons with disabilities living even in smaller towns and rural areas.
I sincerely hope the efforts of AIM will make our country a welcoming place for everyone !
Atal Innovation Mission