Scientoon & Scientoonics

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Upcoming Lecture Using Scientoons

ne day I got a mail from Dr Mukund Hambarde, Director General, Chhattisgarh State Council of Science and Technology at Raipur to visit and deliver a lecture in a conference
“Interaction between Traditional and Modern Technology”. I was surprised that who Dr Hambarde is. I wrote to him that I would certainly like to visit Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh as I had never seen this tribal state of India. I was told that Dr Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh is doing a very good work in making a new capital of the state which will be unique. I got a reply very soon that I can be there and everything related to my visit will be taken care by Dr Hambarde. I also got to know that we met in Ahmadabad and he had also gifted me a copy of the book GEETA. Dr Hambarde suggested me that there is direct train from Lucknow to Raipur but it was taking more than 20 hours so I requested him that I can visit only by air. Dr Hambarde was very kind to say yes to my request.

I took a Jet airways flight to New Delhi and from New Delhi I changed my flight to reach Raipur. I was very curious to see the airport as I was landing there for the first time. I found it’s a small airport and one has to walk from plane to arrival lounge as it is very close. But on the right hand side a very new terminal was coming up which was looking far better than Lucknow’s new airport terminal. A young man named Jagat was there on the airport with my name placard. I met him and I boarded the car to reach to the place o my stay.  Roads were very ordinary and from airport instead of going towards the city we moved to away from it. The taxi driver was playing some rational songs at a low volume so I asked him that I like the music of Chhattisgarh very much and can he increase the volume. It was the first day of Navratrti so devi geet was being sung by a local singer who belongs to Raipur. The driver was very happy to tell me a lot about the place and the venue. After 20 minutes we reached to Institute which is meant of Pancahayti Raj training. A green and huge campus, very close to nature and nice weather I found there. I entered in the room which was very big, with nice furniture, AC and LCD TV which I was not expecting. I thought to have a cup of tea and then I met the organizing secretary of the conference Dr Tyagi. I was very keen to meet Dr Hambarde and he also came with a smile and lots of affection. He enquired about my stay and then we had a cup of tea. I came out of the guest house and had a long walk in the campus. Everywhere,  tribal touch was visible. On coming back I found a boy whose name was Bhojraj Dhangar. He w as making rangoli which was the symbol of Chhattisgarh State Council of Science and Technology and Vigyan Bharti an NGO which is fighting for creating relevance to our great Indian traditional knowledge. Dhangar was a real genius as his hand was working like a magic perfectly following the command and creating the rangoli. I congratulated him and thought that India is full of talents but how many get noticed and recognition. I had a very tasty and homemade food in the canteen of the campus which was made by the people, who were probably tribals. Again I had a walk in the campus which was totally calm and away from the hustle bustle of the city.

Next day, I got up early and had tea and got ready for the conference. Many people were coming and I was feeling very alone but I started meeting and interacting with the people. My lecture was fixed just before the lunch. I think that is the most appropriate time as everybody comes before the lunch. I spoke on the rich tribal knowledge of India and how it can help us. I covered on plants like Tulsi to the benefit of trees like Peepal and Neem. I also covered that how in future nanotechnology will change our life. Many people were very keen to talk to me after the lecture and I shared whatever I knew with them. Now it was the time for lunch and we had a very tasty and delicious lunch. After the lunch Hon’ble Governor of Chhattisgarh, Sri Shekhar Dutt was the chief guest to inaugurate the seminar.

He arrived dot on time and they we had the inaugural function of the conference. First Prof. Mukund Hambarde, Director General of the CGCOST spoke on the relevance of the seminar. Then Prof K.I.Vasu, former Director of a CSIR Institute CECRI at Karaikudi, Tamilnadu told that how we have forgotten our great traditional and ancient knowledge and we see towards west for everything. Prof. Vasu is man who had initiated Swadeshi Movement when he was in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He emphasized that starting from metallurgy to architecture,  India was the world leader in ancient times but then suddenly we got changed, started looking towards west  and also forgot our roots. It was a brain storming presentation, small but crisp and thought provoking. Prof. Vasu has faced a tough opposition about his movement as in India we feel proud to say that whatever is the development it has come has come from the west. H.E. the Governor also put up his views on the current issue of the seminar. Prof. Choudhary, organizing secretary proposed the vote of thanks.

In the evening for cultural program, we went to a place called “Purkhauti Mukangan”. Purkhauti is the name of the village and Muktangan means open space/stage. Place was full with the people and it was looking like a grand festival. I was told Lok Utsav is being held there for 3 days. It was a huge open space in about half a km area depicting the tribal sculptors, statues and beautiful lightings. People were pouring in from far off laces. Prof. Hambarde was also with us. The moment we entered we saw the dance of a group of tribal dancers from Bastar. Men were wearing buffalo horns on their head and were playing the drums. Ladies were dancing and singing the tribal songs. Whole dance was very rhythmic and movement was very nice. I was really amazed and was very much involved to see the dance and forgot even to click my camera. We moved further ahead and found many stalls were there telling about the Chhattisgarh, bamboo furniture, dresses, food and eatables, musical instruments and also a tourism stall. One stall which attracted my attention was the traditional tribal healers who know a lot how to cure you. Many plants, roots and different parts of the pants’ and trees were kept which are used as medicine by these tribal experts. It was very good that they could speak very good Hindi. One of my fingers was injured and I was having pain and swelling in that. I talk to him and asked if he can help me. He checked my finger and smiled. He said its nothing and he put the paste of few herbs on my finger and put a bandage. He asked me that I should avoid water on this figure and open this bandage after 3 days. I took a picture of him with me and I felt very excited to be an experimental model myself. After that we went the main performing area where beautiful background of artificial rocks, colourful lightings and  artificial waterfalls.   Place was full with the people and many were looking like tribal. Very nice seating arrangements and disciplined crowd was there. A quiz was going on and a young boy was asking questions related to Chhattisgarh. He told that the mother of Lord Rama, Kaushalya was from Chhattisgarh and this area was described as “Dandkaranay” in Ramayana. Prof, Hambarde said that we must go back now. Tough I was not in a mood to leave as this was a life time opportunity for me to see and know this part of India. We came back to guest house but then I asked the organizers that it is only 7.30 Pm and can I go back to see the Lok Utsav? They felt very happy to know my likings about Chhattisgarh and its culture so a car was arranged for me. One Professor from Bhilai was there. I requested him if he also can accompany me. He gladly agreed so we reached again to festival place. Now I was free to see the tribal dance again and enjoy the unique culture of my great country. I saw all the stalls very deeply. Interacted with the people and best part was that everybody was speaking Hindi. Now I wanted to video record the dances so I went to the front rows which were reserved for VIPs. We were not looking any bad so nobody stopped and I could get the front row to sit and enjoy the program of various dances of Chhattisgarh. I watched the dances and was full with joy to see the great tradition of this part of India.  I made small video clippings of the program and at 9.30 PM I thought I must leave now to have dinner with the local host. I was leaving the place with a heavy heart as I wanted to watch each tribal dance.

I was thinking that in this one life I probably can never fully see my own country and know it’s great traditions, culture and values. Today I also got the idea that why it is called “Incredible India”. I came back shared my experiences with the people over there and slept. Next morning I was going to Raipur airport on my way back to Lucknow nly praying God that please call me again here so that I can see these great people called tribals, who look so simple, smiling, full of hope and energy and probably know more medical science that what we know.


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