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Youth entrepreneurs making social impact through creativity

Youth Entrepreneurs Making Social Impact Through Creativity
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Every episode in Village Story has influenced society in some way, bringing positive changes to both the individuals and to the rural communities. This time, Village TV featured two prominent young men who, through their creativity, sparked a social impact in people’s lives.

C A Valerian, Program Host and Mentor, Spearhead Media, Rajesh Sequeira, Programme Co-Host, Nitin Vas, Founder Paper Seed, and Pushparaj Ameen, Aeromodelling Instructor, hosted the 15th episode of Village TV on June 17 Thursday. 

Programme host Valerian briefed about Nitin Vas who founded Paper Seed in 2017 with the goal of offering an alternative to plastic and creating job opportunities for women and youth in rural villages. The Nehru Yuva Kendra Ministry of Youth and Sports, Government of India recognised him as a Unique Social Entrepreneur of Dakshina Kannada. In the near future, he hopes to establish a sustainable Paper seed village.

Co-host Rajesh welcomed Pushparaj Ameen who has been an aeromodelling instructor for 15 years. He is the founder of the Viyaddrony Research and Development Association, which has developed a microlite Seaplane prototype for Rs 7 lakh. The project’s goal is to develop, facilitate, and encourage the production of seaplanes in India at a reasonable cost.

 Both Valerian and Rajesh were surprised as they saw the two men’s lives unfold.

“Today there is a need to protect our environment,” says Nitin Vas.

Nitin shared a video on disposable cotton masks produced from old cotton rags and paper trash, which he turned into pulp and used to make masks. “Masks are used to protect us, and we must prevent harming aquatic creatures, oceans, nature and our environment by throwing them away. As a result, the idea was put into action in this manner,” says Nitin.

In the video he explained that the paper pulp is imprinted on a cotton cloth that contains seeds and then dried for 100 hours. “We reuse already used raw materials. Each mask costs Rs. 25, and they are all handcrafted. This is a way to help the environment without causing harm to it and it has received a lot of positive feedback,” said Nitin.

What is Paper Seed?

When asked about what the Paper Seed is all about Nitin mentioned that people were the key reason for launching this initiative. “We probably wouldn’t be here peddling Paper seed if they hadn’t polluted our mother earth so badly.”

Nitin went on to say that when he was in Dubai, he noticed lovely gardens, and there was a lot of lovely scenery all around. “I live in Mangaluru, where we have wonderful soil and monsoons, but if you look at our gardens, you’ll notice that there aren’t many in public places. Then I became an environmentalist, and the majority of my initiatives were limited to pictures. There was nothing useful going on. When I returned to India, most environmental initiatives were limited to news or photographs. “So, the notion of forming an organisation to conduct research, develop it, and supply alternatives arose,” he added.

Through this he was able to make a significant difference in the community by offering employment opportunities

Valerian stated that his passion for the environment drew him to this particular endeavour and encouraged him to do more projects like this. 

When asked about the support he had got so far, he said that, “To be honest, other than the Deputy Chief Minister and Yediyurappa’s son tweeting us on social media, we never received any support. The most noteworthy is that we were retweeted by the former UN Secretary-General. That was extremely motivating for us. We weren’t expecting to receive any help at all. Despite this, we continue to knock on the doors seeking assistance.”

He further stated that there is a need to develop a profile while they are in the early stages so that people believe in us and that we’re making a difference. “Now we can ask our countrymen to embrace our initiative with pride. We’ve been talking to people all the time. It is better to approach them when funds are available, and I believe now is not the time to do so,” he added.

“I am a true Swadeshi believer,” say Nitin, social entrepreneur

Nitin said that “Whatever you do, you should follow certain principles, such as equality in what you do, product justice, and no discrimination. When we tell people to avoid using plastic, their next question is, “What are the alternatives?” As a result, we must be prepared with an alternative.

In addition, he believes that the production should be based on need rather than creating excess. This will have a negative impact on the environment. As a result, they have employed less machine and more manpower, bearing this in mind.

Future plans

In response to a question on Nitin’s goal he expressed that he wants to create a paper seed village. He stated that there are no research centres in rural areas to work on projects like these. Many young people have come up with innovative ideas despite not having access to technology. Through programmes like this they are being encouraged.

“Our goal is to build a village with research centres where we can learn about new concepts for plastic alternatives, as well as what can be done about chemical products, and develop a product. We also want to train future entrepreneurs after we develop the product,” said Nitin.

He strongly believes that when individuals begin to use environmentally friendly products, pollution will stop since they will be using more biodegradable alternatives. He concluded by saying that, “People tend to hear about our initiative through different platforms like this, but they gain greater clarity when we contact them directly. He believes that by viewing this, people will be able to figure out who we are and what we’re up to.”

Pushparaj Ameen

In the interaction with Pushparaj Ameen said that he developed an interest in airplanes when he was in 6th standard. He used to visit Mangala stadium, where he saw NCC flying model aircraft. From there he developed an interest and he continued his journey in the aircraft field.

When he was in PUC, he referred to some books and made static models of air crafts. He sent them to Bengaluru. He also worked in the ENR model for 2 years. 

He started a company called Viyaddrony Research and Development. The name derived from the Sanskrit word Viyad means Sky and droni means Flying.

“No support till now we have received from any,” says Pushparaj

According to Pushparaj, the only issue they’ve had is financial instability. The team has received no help from anyone so far.

“Technically we don’t have any problem as we get the technical knowledge from our teachers, students, and our children. We even use light wood to make the planes.”

He is of the opinion that there are no people who make real aircraft here. So, normally people discourage us than encourage us.

He had utilised personal savings to fund each of his inventions.”For this, I took out a 2.5 lakh loan. We are funding the research and development of the seaplanes with our personal funds. Basically, we prepare a model engine and model aeroplanes for target shooting in defence.”

“My dream is to make a plane,” says Pushparaj

“My dream was to make the plane, but we didn’t have enough space to take off so we designed a plane that takes off on water and it lands in the water,” said Pushparaj.

They came up with something that is really innovative and explained that after noticing his seaplanes, many people discouraged them.

“I believe in the saying that where there is a will there’s a way. If we had listened to any of the opinions made by people we wouldn’t have come up with seaplanes,” he said.

Pushparaj said that he made a seaplane called Dhruthi, which means courage. The seaplanes use 75% Indian raw materials for manufacturing.

We are designing a 2-seater plane, he continued, explaining the use of seaplanes in rural transportation. It will fly 15 metres above ground level and at a speed of 60-70 kilometres per hour. The seaplanes will undoubtedly aid in the promotion of tourism. He went on to say that it will improve infrastructure and create jobs in rural areas.

Future plans

Speaking about his future plans he said, “We intend to prepare a project for the Defense Department. 90% of the work has already been completed. We were able to accomplish this without the assistance of the government. We don’t even have a shed; we work in the fields. The finances or any other form of government aid would assist us in making our plans a reality.”

The host and co-host of the talk show concluded by saying that they hope that through village TV, Nitin and Pushapraj’s innovations get recognised by both State and Central Government and get the financial assistance to chase their dreams.

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Reshma B.

Reshma Babu, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore University, utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent story writing and sub-editing abilities to add value to the company’s media brands and the editorial team. All dimensions of human interaction are her prime focus.

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