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India of his dreams

The author of `India of Our Dreams', speaks of his vision for his country

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Photo: Sandeep Saxena.



Photo: Sandeep Saxena

IF DENMARK can make its own biscuits and export them, why can't India export its own nan khatai? If Indian markets are flooded with Chinese goods, why can't Khurja pottery make it abroad? If China can be so organised despite a huge population, why can't India follow suit? Population here too is a resource, not a liability. Water is not a problem in India but its storage and distribution is. By 2020, India will become a superpower....

Finding it too much to digest? But that's what Ashutosh Rastogi, the man synonymous with CNG in India, is trying to make laymen, policymakers, manufacturers and corporate houses believe. "Let's pick the pockets of intelligence from the sea of mediocrity, give them the solutions for the management of electricity, roads, water and communication and see the shape of India changing for the better," suggests Rastogi. And if you ask him who will give the solutions, the answer is his latest book, India of Our Dreams published by UBSPD.

Rastogi, a B.Tech from IIT, Kanpur, stayed in the U.S. for over a decade and also in Canada, where he did his Ph.D. from the University of Calgary. And, it is at these two places that he observed various "technologies that can be imported and then indigenised" to cater to the Indian needs.

"When I came back from the U.S., I saw black smoke enveloping Delhi's sky. I promised to myself that I would give the city its blue sky back, and the result was the adoption of Compressed Natural Gas and lesser pollution," says Rastogi. He has several patents to his credit now. In remote villages of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, he used adjuvant technology. The result was big-sized vegetables grown with no artificial ingredients. He also gave us smoke-free vehicles called Vikram.

Solutions are here

Rastogi has several such solutions on his tips. Industries, he says, should be established in villages. That will not only help reduce unemployment but also better the lifestyle of the people there. "Like the U.S., we can also implement `buy back' policy in power and save a lot of it.

Detergents are the main source of water pollution. Detergents with biodegradable agents are available, people are not aware of it. Let housewives come out on roads and say that they will use only biodegradable products. We can even store 25 per cent of rainwater at home. They just have to be told about how to do it. India spends Rs. 23,000 crores on rural development. Where does this money go? Every year, we celebrate Pravasi Bharitiya Divas and confer awards on NRIs. Why not ask them to sponsor one or two projects in their homeland? There is a solution to almost everything that we label under problems. The need of the hour is a mass movement and awareness. We don't need to go to the European countries for a better life when we can enjoy it here," he declares. Sounds like Shah Rukh Khan in Swades? Well, let's hope unlike the film's director Ashutosh Gowatrikar, this Ashutosh kisses success in his endeavour.

RANA SIDDIQUI

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