Lokrang adds colour, vibrancy
KUSHINAGAR (Uttar Pradesh): The annual two-day Lokrang festival was held from 12-13 April at the Jogiya Janoobi Patti village. This was the eighth year of the festival. This year’s festival was dedicated to the memory of Kushinagar’s freedom fighters Hanuman Prasad Kushwaha, Brahmadev Sharma, Munshi Taptilal and Moti Bhagat. These four freedom fighters were discovered by Subhash Chandra Kushwaha when he happened to lay his hands on a news item, published in the newspaper Swadesh on 8 May 1921. The special attraction of this year’s fest was that besides Bhojpuri artistes, folk artistes from Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal regaled the audience. The fest was inaugurated by Pankaj Visht, well-known novelist and editor of Samyantar magazine. Among those present on the occasion were Rishikesh Sulabh, a writer of short stories; Taiyyab Hussain, a scholar of folk culture; painter Dr Lal Ratnakar; senior author Madan Mohan; Dr Vijay Chaurasia; Jitendra Bharati; Dr Mahesh Chandra Shandilya; Nalin Ranjan Singh, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh’s state secretary; and Arun Kumar ‘Asaphal’. -Manoj Kumar Singh
Dalit groom dragged out of horse carriage
NARNAUL (Haryana): On 28 March, members of the Scheduled Castes held a demonstration before the mini-secretariat here demanding immediate action against those who dragged out a Dalit groom from the horse-drawn carriage he was riding in, insulted and assaulted him and vandalized the marriage pandal. SDM Mahesh Kumar met the protestors and assured them o f action. The bride’s father, Satish Kumar, said that the groom was on the way to his house to perform a ritual. Near Purani Mandi, some men assaulted him, dragged him out and broke the carriage. They also forcibly entered the marriage pandal and vandalized it. -Sanjay Mann
Rural scientist’s machines bring laurels
NARSINGHPUR (Madhya Pradesh): Roshanlal Vishwakarma was born into a middle class peasant family on 8 March 1967 in the village Mekh. He has done not only his father Dhaniram Vishwakarma but the entire district proud by inventing a range of simple agricultural machines that have proved very useful for the farmers, especially those with limited resources. A winner of several regional and national awards, Roshan says, “Many farmers of my village were poor and with every crop, their losses kept on mounting – so much so that they were forced to either give up farming or rent out their land.” Roshan decided to do something to make farming easier and profitable. He might have been an average student but he had a scientific bent of mind. When he was in eighth grade, he had made a gun using matchsticks. It could be used to scare away monkeys from farms.
He crafted many machines but what won him accolades was a machine that changed the way the local farmers sowed sugarcane. The machine called “Bud Chipper”, which Roshan invented in 2006, allowed the farmers to extract the bud from sugarcanes and plant it instead of going for the traditional method of planting the whole sugarcane. They could then use the sugarcane for extracting juice or making “gur”. For the Bud Chipper, he was honoured by a union minister in 2009, in the presence of the then president Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
The NABARD Award 2012, Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural Fellow award 2014 and sixth KVP award were also conferred on him. Roshan decided to improve upon the Bud Chipper and make a machine that would reduce the input cost of sugarcane farmers and boost profits. He had started work on this machine in 2007 itself. This machine called Bud Planter is multipurpose – it makes a groove in the earth, plants the bud, adds fertilizer and covers the bud with soil. On 7 March 2015, President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the eighth National Innovation Award on Roshan for this invention. Roshan has established a workshop at his house where he makes his machines. His “Jai Ambe Steel Fabrication” employs seven villagers. -Akshay Nema Mekh