12th January 2018, Mumbai: Grassroots Innovation in India and film fraternity bridged the gap today through a fireside chat, a very meaningful interaction indeed at Bhaidas Auditorium in Mumbai.

Shri Akshay Kumar represented the film fraternity along with Shri R Balki and Ms Sonam Kapoor from the team of PADMAN whereas 16 innovators (List annexed) who came from different parts of India, belonging to different regions, cultures and age groups, represented Grassroots Innovators.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Vipin Kumar, Director, NIF said that Grassroots Innovator of our country believes that nothing is impossible and ensures a strong dimension of inclusivity in it. He further added “Samvedna se Srajansheelta” is the spirit, which drives the action of a Grassroots Innovator, and eventually it benefits the society in multi-dimensional ways.

Shri Akshay Kumar added that usually there is a dearth of exciting scripts that he and the industry at large encounters, however, contrary to this earlier view after interacting with National Innovation Foundation – India and its supported innovators he believe that there are so many scripts around which are worth telling the world with the help of entertainment and film fraternity. Adding to this R Balki said that the world needs to know these stories scouted and nurtured by NIF more often.

Shri Akshay Kumar observed that there is a grassroots innovator hidden in every city, town and village of India and there is a need that we scout and incubate them in early stages of their innovations. Shri R Balki appreciated the efforts of National Innovation Foundation – India in making this happen for decades now. Ms Sonam Kapoor emphasized the importance of financing of innovations and getting them commercially and socially accessible to everyone in the country. Responding to this, Shri Akshay Kumar announced a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to sixteen grassroots innovators present on this occasion today.

The fireside chat session was focused on conversing about the real life of a grassroots innovator and how one overcome all challenges to solve unmet needs of society by innovating and ensure that “Tomorrow” is better than “Today” for everyone in an inclusive manner.

Sixteen Grassroots Innovators shared their stories and thanked National Innovation Foundation – India and Team Padman for inviting them to this one of its Kind Innovation Conclave. Later, each of the innovators was felicitated by a shawl by Shri Akshay Kumar, Ms Sonam Kapoor and Shri R Balki. This was followed by unveiling the “Sapne”, an interesting song from the movie which Team Padman dedicated to Grassroots Innovators of the country.

“PADMAN” presents on screen the story of Shri Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Grassroots innovator turned Entrepreneur supported by National Innovation Foundation – India, an Autonomous Institution of Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Movies are a reflection of our society and the unparalleled excitement evinced by buddying innovators and entrepreneurs of the country bears testimony to the fact that India is on a growth trajectory and marching ahead towards a leading economy of the world.

National Innovation Foundation-India is an autonomous Institution of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. It is India’s national initiative to strengthen the grassroots technological innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge. Its mission is to help India become a creative and knowledge-based society by expanding policy and institutional space for grassroots technological innovators.

An exhibition of grassroots innovations was also organized on this occasion.

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