State Council of Science Technology & Environment, Meghalaya
SUCCESS STORIES ON SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY IN MEGHALAYA
INTRODUCTION OF APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMME (IATP)
This is another important programme of the Council where livelihood, empowerment, capacity building emphasis is also being focused on the rural sector, through the intervention of science & technology. A number of appropriate technologies is introduced which could be applied in their day-to-day activities for achieving better living conditions. Implementation of the above programme is through different schemes/ projects targeting people at the grass-root level.
As had been documented, it has been observed that most observed that most of the technologies thus applied have proved t o be successful, which may be given hereunder:
Improved Chulha Project: A number of Training Programmes were conducted in different villages, the outcome of the Technology Training Camps (TTC’s) thus conducted proved as a success it may be cited as an example in Lyndem, Village, Pynursla, E. K Hills, the whole village having a household of 120 nos., 50% of the villagers had constructed these Improved Chulha in their respective houses, after which asked, the villages stated that they have benefited a lot since it is more hygienic and consume less fire wood while cooking also it may be mentioned that technical support where also provided to Soil & Water Conservation Department, where Improved Chulha units were provided to 76 households under Cherrapunjee Ecological Project, also a number of Community Improved Chulha were installed for Community use in residential schools and colleges, training centres, shelter homes and village durbars, with the village adoption mechanism being implemented in the State, improved Chulhas are also being implemented in those adopted villages, where units were installed and replicated by villagers e.g in Garo Hills Region.
Rain Water Harvesting Project: Rain Water Harvesting technology is one successful technology with proper modification devised by the council such as Poly-Earth Tanks for storing of surplus water and a Filter Casing using locally available materials as filtering media, a lot of training programmes were conducted at different villages in rural areas and also in urban areas, the result of the trainings were a great benefit for the villagers especially in water scarcity areas, being low-cost, villagers who were trained were able to construct their own Rain Water Harvesting Units in their respective households. Rain Water Harvesting technology was also adopted by Educational Institutes/Organisations where technical support was provided one such e.g. is Umsawli Village where 25 Households were benefited, also it may be mentioned that 8 Villages in Jaintia Hills Districts who were facing acute water problem were trained on Rain Water Harvesting technology. Under the Water Mission Project sponsored by the State Government. Rain Water Harvesting Units of larger capacity were installed in 2 schools, 2 training centres and 5 colleges in the State. Other community units were also installed in different educational institutes, govt. organizations and local durbars for the benefit of the communities in particular and the society in general.
Low-Cost Housing Technology: This is another technology which had been really benefited especially the rural poor people, Stabilised Mud Block (SMB) technology is being implemented in this regard. Training/Demonstration Camps were conducted, every now and then especially in the different villages, out of these trainings conducted. Villagers of Lyndem, E. K. Hills, Thangbnai Village, E. K. Hills, Nongkasen Village, W. K. Hillls, Lummyrsiang Village, W. K. Hillls, Markasa Village, W. K. Hillls, Mylliem, E. K. Hillls, Umroi, Ri-Bhoi District, Mihmyntdu, Jaintia Hills District also villages in E. Garo Hills District were able to construct their own housing units using the above technology. The SMB technology may also be witnessed in urban areas like Mawlai Kynton Massar, Nongthymmai, Laitkor and Mawroh were individuals were given the technical support for errecting housing units using Stabilised Mud Blocks. The above technology was also improved with the introduction of the Interlocking SMB machine, which is much better in every aspect.
Demonstration units using SMB were also installed by the Council at Mawiongrim, E. K. Hills, Shillong Science Centre’s canteen, Council’s Guest house at Shillong Science Centre’s premises, and also the Science Halls at the District Headquarters, it may also mentioned that the SMB technology has also been included under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) programme of the Central Govt.
C-Brick technology could also be termed as successful especially in those areas where SMB could not be made due to unsuitability of the soil condition, people in Mawsynram and Sohra areas have benefited from the above technology, Rama Krishna Mission, a charitable Trust has been using C-bricks for making their school buildings under its Educational Programme.
Solar LED Home Lighting Technology: The technology is recently being introduced as one of the Appropriate Rural Technologies, which had a great impact especially in those areas where electricity is not accessible. It has been observed and identified by the Council off late, that there are villages having households ranging from 20-80 households which till date are still deprived of power supply, under the “Light-up a Village” project, the Council has made an intervention in these villages especially those lying in remote areas, to name few these villages are Saron, Jaintia Hills, Thuruk, Jaintia Hills, Kulpui, Jaintia Hills, Sakhri, Jaintia Hills, Lummaicham, Jaintia Hills, Mawkynring, E. K Hills, Thangbnai, E. K Hills, Mawblang Maweit, W. K Hills, Villagers have expressed their joy & happiness and even proclaimed that the “ Solar lamps have turned our nights into days”. Similar intervention was also done in far flung villages of Garo Hills & E. K Hills of which villagers were amazed to see that their whole village is glittering with LED light for the first time since gaining Independence.
The technology has proved a success not only in rural areas but also in urban areas where numbers of the public are seen approaching the Council for the Solar LED lighting. Approaches are also received form Health Institutes, Social Institutes, Churches Communities, Educational Institutes, etc. for installing these Solar LED units, as expressed by one Doctor of a Health Centre of one village that he can easily perform duties at night time ( since electricity is very disturbing) since the installation of the units at the Centre.
Terafil Technology: The technology is to ensure safe drinking water by using terafil (terracotta) as a medium for filtration & treatment of water, being affordable by poor people, the technology has attracted rural masses, who by Awareness/ Demonstration/ Training programmes conducted, have felt the need for a safe drinking water to do-away with physical, chemical and biological impurities, the Council has implemented a “Safe drinking Water project”: to reach out to villages who do not have clean drinking water facilities for their daily needs, far flung villages in East Khasi Hill, West Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, Ri-Bhoi District & Garo Hills have greatly benefited from the above technology.
Community water filtration units of large capacity have also been installed mostly in different schools in the city and in the village areas so as to let the students avail safe drinking water.
Low-Cost Sanitation: This is the most conducted training with very encouraging results especially in the rural areas who do not have sanitation facilities with regard to the above twin-pit technology is being propagated which has benefited about 200 villages in the State, the outcome of the trainings thus conducted has had an impact since the rural people can make their own sanitation units in their own villages at an affordable cost. Community sanitation units or Ever-Clean Sanitation were also installed by the Council for community use in Educational Institutes, Govt. Organisations, Training Centres, etc. as well as for village communities.
Income-Generation Activities: Under this programme S&T Oriented Entrepreneurship Development Programmes are being conducted from time to time in Income-Generated activities like Low-Cost Oven, Waste Paper Re-Cycling, Leaf Plate Making, Organic Composting, Charcoal making & Briquetting and Biomass Drier which have proved to be successful as some of the trainees were able to set up their own units for commercialization of the products, the entrepreneurs mostly are from the rural areas, the Programme has also greatly benefited unemployed youths of the State.
The State Council of Science Technology & Environment (SCSTE), Meghalaya has so far been organizing and coordinating various programmes and schemes successfully in the State. The Council has had the opportunity of having a wide network of Govt. Deptts., Educational & Social Institutes, Non - Governmental Organisations, Local durbars, SHG’s etc., which help coordinating the activities at the local-level.
POPULARISATION OF SCIENCE PROGRAMME (PSP)
The objective is to inculcate a scientific temper amongst the masses and to ultimately generate scientific-minded citizen in the State, it may be mentioned that achievement has been made in the following Programmes :
Science Awareness Camps (SAC’s) : The Science Awareness Camps were being organized at the village-level have had a great impact with the interaction and keen participation of school-going and non-school going children , as it gives them the opportunity to open-up their minds and become aware of the environment surrounding them which in turn develop a scientific thinking in them. Local durbars, NGO’s & Educational Institutes were approaching the Council from time to time for organizing these camps at their respective villages.
Science & Environmental Fairs: The fairs were conducted at the Block, District and State levels, considering the fact that Science & Technology development and environmental consciousness go hand-in-hand. The Fairs were being organized with the objective to generate an environmental consciousness amongst school children. The Programme has proved to be a success and encouraging responses have been received from schools in different parts of the State, where an opportunity is given to school children to interact with each other on issues relating to application of science and conservation of environment.
National Children Science Congress: This is a nation-wide programme implemented in the State with the objective to inculcate a scientific temper amongst children through practicing the method of science like observation, data collection, experimentation, analysis. Since the year of its initiation, children from the State were always selected to take part in the National-level which proves that the programme has had a great impact, also certain important issues/problems affecting the society have been identified by the children where such issues were being taken up for necessary intervention of science & technology.
Science Exposure Trips: These are exposure trips/visits conducted to reputed Science/Technology Institutes located in the country, selected schools form the blocks were taken for these trips, school children being exposed to such institutes are accessed to different developments/ explorations related to Science & Technology, where young children can improve their thinking power, and are more knowledgeable of what is happening in the field of science & technology in their own country and also in the whole world.
SUCCESS STORIES OF SCSTE, MEGHALAYA 2017-18
Action Research on Local Fabrication Of Hydraulic Ram Pump And Installation At Site
Hydraulic Ram Pump (HRP) is a water pump powered by hydropower that uses the power of falling water without the need of any external power. HRP’s are mostly intended for water supply in hilly or mountainous areas, requiring small flow rates delivered to high heads. It functions as a hydraulic transformer that takes in water at one hydraulic head (pressure) and flow rate, and outputs water as a higher hydraulic, head and lower flow rate. The devices utilize the water hammer effect to develop pressure that allows a portion of the input water that powers the pump to be lifted to a point higher than where the water originally started.
SCSTE, Meghalaya has propagated the HRP technology for its water supply programmes, but the S&T gaps has been identified since procurement of HRP machines were made from outside, and a technician has to brought from outside which involves costs, time and resources, hence it is felt necessary that an Action Research Programme to fabricate HRP be initiated and tested for installation and cost at the field level/local level using locally available materials.
After proper survey in the field, one site ideal for intervention was selected at Umsaitsning village, Ri Bhoi District to undertake the above Action Research. After the necessary site preparations were made, Materials (pipes, sockets, bolts, nipples, etc.) were assembled for HRP system, and the same installed at the selected site, after 2(two) phases of intervention, the pump finally came out with a successful result, which the pump was able to deliver approximately 4320 LPD, the amount of water discharged has been projected to serve for around 14 households in a rural set up.
The above Action Research Programme will also continue in other villages of the districts of the State, taking into consideration that the villages require such S&T interventions.
Treated Bamboo Technology
Bamboo being a sustainable natural resource abundantly grown in Meghalaya is being used widely in the State. Meghalaya is rich in a varied kind of bamboo species, and bamboo groves occupy a good quarter of forest lands, different varieties of bamboo being used for a different kind of product. Cane and bamboo crafts occupy an important place in the economy of the State, next to agriculture, rural folks attend to cane and bamboo crafts during their free time, which thereby enhances their skills and creative ideas.
Seeing the impact that bamboo can play a role in promoting the livelihood of most of the rural people, SCSTE, Meghalaya has come up with the initiative to treat bamboo and used treated bamboo for varieties of products ranging from bamboo handicrafts to bamboo articles required for daily use including decorative items, SCSTE, Meghalaya has for the past one year introduced the treated bamboo technology for the following :
a)Green Building Technologies: A number of structure design green buildings have been prepared for construction in Technology Theme Parks to be set up in the State, bamboo trusses and bamboo slabs have also been incorporated in the roofing construction of a Zero Energy Cool Chamber, at West Khasi Hills District, bamboo panels have also been made for use as room partitions. The use of treated bamboo as an alternative housing construction is easy and locally available in many parts of the State, due to its user friendly to most of the rural and tribal population in the State.
b)Rural Outreach Programmes: With the introduction of treated bamboo technology in the Rural Outreach Programmes of SCSTE, it has been observed that rural folks took active part and expressed their keen interests in the technology, trainings were imparted how to treat and use treated bamboo for making articles for day to day use of medium quality and suitable to local requirements, it has also been observed that through the trainings imparted, skills of the villagers are being more enhanced, since most of the rural folks are familiarized with bamboo works, most of them have taken to develop their skills on a business model, either by imparting training to others or making bamboo articles and marketing the same, which ultimately also improve livelihood activities in a rural set up.
c)Master Resource Person training on bamboo technology: In-house capacity building for Master Trainers, which is a continuous process for a period of 1(one) year was conducted at different periods by experts on bamboo technologies. Out of the trainings conducted; treated bamboo and cane products like chairs, racks, artifacts, panels, etc. were made, based on the qualities of the products and demand in the market. SCSTE, Meghalaya has decided to promote bamboo technology on a business mode on a cost-sharing partnership between SCSTE and the group of individuals (trained manpower). Work orders have been received from individuals and institutes for bamboo products and training programmes on bamboo treatment.
Technology On Wheels – Go Green
The objective of the above Programme is to take appropriate technologies to the rural masses at their doorsteps in a mobile form.
Gaps identified: Villages from far flung areas cannot access the information required from the Block office (which is the only means of communication for a villager) due to certain reasons like considerable distances, a feeling of inferiority or uncomfortness, either that they are too poor and cannot afford transportation fares, or that the training programmes conducted do not meet their requirements.
Hence in order that each villager is not deprived of the opportunity to access to appropriate technologies relevant to their needs, it is felt necessary that a mass outreach of appropriate technologies be taken to remote and far flung areas of the State (also taking into consideration the topographical terrain of the State) in a mobile form. In this regard 4 nos. of 4 wheelers vehicles were procured for the process, and given volunteers were identified to take up the task at the field level for:
- Scouting the technology requirements
- Scouting the skills and interests of villagers
- Identifying appropriate technologies relevant to (i) and (ii) above
Based on the above, training programmes have conducted at different villages of the State on technologies related to (i) Housing, (ii) Energy, (iii) Water, (iv) Sanitation and (v) Value addition, these villages are Bolmoram, East Garo Hills, Sohkhyllam, West Khasi Hills, Tongkiad, West Jaintia Hills, Sohlaitrim, Ri Bhoi District, Wakso Asimgre, North Garo Hills and Cham Cham, East Jaintia Hills.
It is interesting to note that due to the success of this initiative, Development Institutes in the State have joined hands with SCSTE, Meghalaya for mass outreach to remote areas on a convergence mode, these are Extension Training Centre (ETC), State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) and Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA). ‘Skill Training on appropriate technologies’ has been conducted in a convergence mode at 8 (eight) villages, these are; (i) Nongkasen, West Khasi Hills, (ii) Raitong, Ri Bhoi District, (iii) Mawroh, West Khasi Hills, (iv) Patharkhmah, Ri Bhoi District, (v) Ksehkohmoit, West Khasi Hills, (vi) Barigoan, Ri Bhoi District, (vii) Laitdiengsai, East Khasi Hills, and (viii) Dawagre, East Garo Hills.
From the evaluation reports, it has been seen that villagers expressed their interests on the appropriateness of the technologies for daily life improvement especially Stabilised Mud Block (SMB), Improved Chulha, Low-cost Toilet, Rain Water Harvesting and Treated Bamboo, which they also replicated the same in their respective households.
Action Research on Low Cost Hatchery
Poultry rearing has always been the main occupation for rural people in the State, and associated with it is the hatching of eggs either by a natural process or by means of incubations.
Low cost hatching includes using of low-cost means of incubation with minimal expenditures, and locally available skills and manpower, SCSTE, Meghalaya had introduced Solar Incubation for hatching of eggs on an action research basis. The process takes 19-21 days depending on climatic conditions of the place. Nongkasen village has been selected as an agro-climatic region for a Solar Incubation hatching, i.e, using solar power for running the incubator, the idea of using solar energy is to encourage chicken farming and rearing in rural areas especially also with an objective to import training, counseling for rural people for promoting entrepreneurial activities.
Solar Incubator of 300 eggs capacity was installed at the above selected site, and observed between 19-21 days for hatching, which there was no result i.e, hatching does not take place within the scheduled time period, after another 7 days of observation, it was found that hatching of eggs has taken place, though late by 7 days. Also depending on the climatic condition of the area being heavy rain, cloudy and foggy, it may be summed up that the solar incubator hatching has a positive result.
With the success of the above, SCSTE has come up with more ideas to try alternative techniques like using of kerosene/generator backup etc. in order that poultry rearers are more aware of other alternatives for hatching as well.
Low-cost hatching using solar incubator has been projected to:
- ⦁ Produce eggs in large numbers
- ⦁ Encourage farmers and poultry rearers
- ⦁ Enhance their skills on managing these types of hatcheries
- ⦁ Promote livelihood
Season Watch Programme
Meghalaya, a land rich in flora and fauna has also been adversely affected by global warming, leading to climate changes and leading to impacting the behavior of nature. To mitigate the impact of global warming and in order to make people aware of the micro changes leading to climate change, SCSTE, Meghalaya had implemented this nationwide programme (National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore) by involving school students across the State. There are about 22 Schools in the State taking part in the above programme.
It also needs to be mentioned that the State has launched its own portal, “Season Watch Meghalaya Chapter” by the then Hon’ble Chief Minister Dr. Mukul M. Sangma, during the World Environment Day, 2017
School students evaluating the macro changes in nature by observing changes taking place in trees within the vicinity of their school compounds or within their own respective villages, school students were also involved in the process to monitor flowering, fruiting and leafing patterns of plant species and the insects visiting the trees and to evaluate the changes thereon where information on phonological changes in true species were observed, students observed local trees like plums, peas, oranges, gulmohars, imalayan cherries, peaches, guavas, cherry blossoms, Indian gooseberries.
Most of the schools taking part in the Programme are from rural areas. In an interview with these schools, it has been found that most of them expressed that SWP is very important as they noticed that most of the fruit trees growing in their areas are less in fruit productions now as compared to earlier days of their childhood.
Some have also observed that gulmohar trees which bloom beautifully every year but observed changes that flowering pattern has greatly reduced. A student from Anderson Higher Secondary School, Nongstoin has observed changes like leaf flushing fruiting in the Himalaya cherry tree which he has adopted for the last 1(one) year, and is planning to adopt more trees in the years to come.
SWP as a whole not only does it creates interests in students to their link with nature, but as expressed by teachers of some of the schools, that their students have developed a keenness for science, which they are more observant in nature rather than spectators.
The enthusiasm of the students in the programme has helped them to become more oriented to nature and share their observations with others, they also learn the cycle of micro life associated with each tree they adopted for observation to add more to it, it creates in them the spirit of enquiry which ultimately developed in them the thinking power. With the active participation by students in SWP, SCSTE, hopes that more individuals will join hands in this nationwide programme in regenerating nature.
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