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Ice Box Baby and Other Jugaads  
India is an energetic country, full of young minds doing things their way without worrying about the rest of the world. On the eve of Independence Day let me salute the ingenuity in India with a little bit of salt.

I read an true story not too long ago. This is a story of the difference in approach an Japanese and Indian company would take during its factory automation process. In Japan a soap manufacturing company was introducing an automated assembly line. The bottleneck in the process turned out to be an error in the wrapping machine, which would often wrap an empty box without the soap. To rectify this problem the Japanese company bought a X-ray scanner which cost them roughly $60,000. Truly cutting edge technology, and a great engineering feat. A similar problem occurred at a soap manufacturer in India (allegedly, Nirma soaps). Their solution was rather more eloquent. They invested in a fan. The empty wrappers blew away!!!
There is no end to Indian ingenuity.
Where does this ingenuity come from. As the saying goes "Necessity is the mother of all inventions". In India more that most places we find ourselves and our fellow countrymen needing rather basic things. Uncertainty is part and parcel of life. What differentiates our day to day lives from those in developed countries is the level of uncertainty we accept in our daily routine. We easily accept when there are water shortages, or power failures, or when a train accident occurs, or a bridge collapses. Rather in times of infrastructure shortcomings we go back and think outside the box and find our solutions that take us through the day. We have even termed a rather interesting word to our entrepreneurship. Jugaad.

Our daily life is full of Jugaads. In the process we have somehow learnt to take more risk than we normally should. We tend to move about with LPG cylinders in our vehicles, we sit on top of trains, we don't wear seat belts, we do not obey traffic lights, and our list goes on. We now have a penchant to take more risk than necessary. When we come out at the other end, successful, we are proud to share our exploits without thinking for a moment What If?

Yes, I am talking about the Ice Box baby. For those who don't know of this. Here is a Jugaad that ended up saving a premature baby's life. But, seriously!!!! How did we let things come to this. Spare a thought for the parents. Here is nothing to be proud of. This is not innovation. This is desperation. It saved a babies life but there are better ways to save a life. I thank the media for bringing this in the forefront so that the baby received adequate medical care. Reportedly the baby was admitted to an Hospital within hours of this story hitting the newsstand.
On this Independence Day, if there is one thing we should do to strengthen the country is to make sure that the 100s of millions of children see a better a future A better future without the need for any Jugaad. Let's educate our children on risk, on security and social responsibility.
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