Ameliorating Rural India: AIChE Navdhara '21

Ameliorating Rural India: AIChE Navdhara '21

Let the villages of the future live in our imagination so that we might one day come to live in them!                                                                                                                                   -Mahatma Gandhi

In this contemporary era, when some people are preparing to settle on the moon or resume their life on a new planet. This line by Mahatma Gandhi reveals the necessity of stirring our focus towards village life. Even after 73 years of independence, rural India is void of primary amenities, accounting for 65% of the total population.

With the objective to rejuvenate the rural parts of India, the AIChE chapter NIT Rourkela introduced 'NAVDHARA- A Rural Development Outreach Program'. NAVDHARA commenced on 3rd January and continued till 18th January. It was the first-ever event of its kind to be conducted by a club of the institute and saw massive participation from India and overseas!


NAVDHARA- A Rural Development Outreach Program, was an earnest effort by AIChE student chapter NIT Rourkela, to bring awareness about the problems faced in our country's hinterlands and reach out to those deprived of the fundamental developments of the modern world. The event's chief aim was to connect with the students of science background and explain to them the problems our rural India faces and encourage them to work for the rural society's upliftment. The event had "Koel Fresh Limited" as their Industrial Partner, an agro-based start-up by Mr Ashutosh Nayak, an alumnus of NIT Rourkela. 

Various events were conducted, such as blog writing, poster designing, industrial design problem-solving competitions, and webinar discussions with eminent personalities. The problem statements were related to rural development so that the students can be encouraged to discover new ideas which may help in rural upliftment. These events saw extensive participation from students and led to a culmination of talents and sharing of innovative ideas about the rural development program and the benefits it can bring to society.


This competition was planned to create awareness about various problems faced and caused by our industries that affect our rural population. The competition had brought a set of real-world industrial problem statements in the domain of rural upliftment. The participants were asked to submit a solution presentation that is economically and pragmatically feasible. Divided into two rounds, the first round saw a participation of 127 teams from all colleges panned over India. The teams were given a brief outline describing the current status quo of the rural population depending on river water which is polluted with wastewater and chemicals released by factories and industries situated near the same.


There is a village situated near the river. Villagers are entirely dependent on the river for all their purposes (drinking and cooking, domestic, agriculture). There is also a cement industry located near the river which disposes all its wastewater into the river. 

  • Design the wastewater treatment plant for the village.

  • Implement an efficient way of proper disposal and treatment of wastage from the treatment plant.

  • Think of innovative feasible rural development ideas and plans that would contribute towards clean water and sanitation.

The panel and coordinators shortlisted the solution presentations received from the teams for the final presentation round. Five teams were shortlisted and were given a time limit of 6 minutes to present their solution in front of the panel comprising Prof Adhidhesh Kumawat and Prof Suverna Trivedi from the Department of Chemical Engineering. A Q&A session followed the presentation wherein the team members answered to the panel's queries and cross-questions. 

Winners – Team Gramapala from Institute of Chemical Technology, Bhubaneswar

Runners Up – Kmical Minds from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Special Mention – Team Parivartan from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela


This competition was a platform for writers to pen down their innovative ideas for solving real-life problems on rural development. The competition registered write-ups by the participants of a maximum word limit of 1000 words. The topics were based on Industry Integrated Rural Development. The submissions received from 171 students on “Dare 2 Compete” from all around India and other AIChE Chapters abroad, were evaluated based on ideas, facts, vocabulary, error-freeness and composition. 


  • Are Government Schemes enough for Rural Development?

  • Is Technology leading to Rural Unemployment?

Winner – Harsh Baid from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela

Runners Up – Hitesh K from Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Special Mention – Jyotisman Rath from Institute of Chemical Technology, Bhubaneswar


The poster design contest was conducted on the platform “Dare 2 Compete”, which examined the participants’ abilities to voice their thoughts using appropriate graphic imagery. The registration deadline was on the 11th of January. The contest witnessed a successful number of 116 registrations. The competition topics were based on rural development so that the participants can pitch in their ideas for the rural upliftment. 

The topics given for the contest were: 

  • Healthcare Infrastructure in Rural India 

  • Education Scenario in Rural India

The prizes were offered by carefully considering the creativity, the information conveyed, and poster aesthetics. 

Winner- Ritik Kumar Amanta from Parala Maharaja Engineering College, Berhampur

Runners Up- Foram Malde from Dr Vishwanath Karad MIT World Peace University, Pune


The AIChE chapter took the initiative to represent rural India's challenging situations through pictorial demonstrations and subsequently turned infographic representation. To proffer the participants better insights, two posts were uploaded on their social media handle encompassing various issues like water unavailability in rural areas, the concept of clean cooking, literacy rate, poverty rate, connectivity, and menstruation hygiene. Aloof these statistics, a bar graph representation was also proposed, highlighting the differences in the percentage of the urban and rural Indian households concerning electricity, toilet, drinking water, etc. The AIChE chapter also tried to put forth an underrated issue, i.e., "In rural India, the right to education is not translating to learning", which enlightened everyone!

Dark alleys of Rural India: Blogs

'Navdhara: A Rural Development Outreach Initiative' not only focused on the problems and difficulties faced by rural India but also emphasised the solutions for a better tomorrow. The 'Dark alleys of Rural India' was a combination of 6 microblogs that brought out strategies and solutions to multiple problems that were left unattended. Whether it be the rural economy or the idea of women empowerment, these six microblogs rendered everyone’s utmost explanations. Other predicaments like health and sanitisation, traditional blind practices, agriculture, rural education system, etc. were also bought into prime consideration.

The AIChE chapter organized a webinar to encourage the students to explore new concepts and analyse ideas that can cause rural upliftment in association with the SDG club on 17th January. Eminent personalities like Mr Ashutosh Nayak (Co-Founder and Chief Advisor, SEE Green Technologies) and Ms Kehkashan Basu (Founder of Green Hope Foundation, United Nations) shared many insightful ideas to contribute to the rural society through start-ups. Ms Basu also narrated about her struggle as a young social activist and how rural development is one of the Sustainable Development Goals of our society. 

Following this exceptional accomplishment, the AIChE chapter organising team's efforts and diligence received appreciation from the media fraternity like Samaj, Prameya, Dainik Jagran, Orissa Diary, etc. The efforts of all the members of AIChE, coordinators, and postholders has brought them a lot of accolades from the institute and other AIChE Chapters across the world. Let’s see what Millen Samantray and Swagat Das, Core-Coordinators of the event and also the ones who brought up this idea, had to say,

The event first started as a very small idea, and the pace at which it grew didn't give us any time to understand how big it had become. We had recently conducted SRC (Student Regional Conference), which was huge and to pull off this event after such a small gap was a tremendous effort from our team. The fact that our seniors found us worthy of handling the full responsibility of the event was itself very satisfying, and we can't thank them enough for their continuous backing. There were, of course, a few unwanted incidents and circumstances that we had to face, but we didn't let them hamper the proceedings and took them in our stride as learnings for the future.

It all started with a single event (IDP), which was then shaped with seniors’ help to this initiative. We never thought of organising at this level, but with our seniors’ guidance and batchmates’ help, we all tried our best to make this event grand and successful. It was an amazing experience organising it online that too managing events along with webinars. We faced some problems but tried to manage them and at last, did it successfully. Thanks to all the event coordinators, juniors, batchmates and seniors who helped and guided us throughout this journey.

AIChE NIT Rourkela Chapter has been very successful and productive in this academic year regarding event organisation, achievements, and response from peers. After completing SRC in the recent past, conducting Navdhara wasn’t a cakewalk for the club. This is what Kanishk Singh, Vice-President of AIChE had to say,

This has been a golden year for the AIChE NIT Rourkela Student Chapter; we achieved all the milestones we wanted and a few more to come as well. But the response and the appreciations we got during and after the successful conduction of ''NAVDHARA'' is overwhelming. It was probably the most successful and unique event in the history of AIChE ever. We got appreciation from all around the globe. We did a lot of brainstorming in framing the whole event and finally came up with a fantastic concept in a short time. I remember our sophomores surprised us all in a casual meet that we sometimes do on weekends with this idea; at that time, it was raw, but then our whole team worked a lot on it, and the rest is history. Our motive was not to organise an event in our chapter’s name to make it look that we are active throughout the year. Instead, we thought let's do something that can bring young brains to a single platform, encourage them to utilise their knowledge and skills to provide nourishment to our country's roots, a.k.a our ''Villages''. That was the inspiration behind drawing a foolproof layout of such an outreach drive of two weeks, virtually on rural development to attract young brains first. This event is close to our heart as soon as our tenure will end, and seeing our juniors taking the lead and organising such a successful event is bliss. Our sophomores freshers wholly conducted this event. We(Executive body members) were keeping our eyes on everything. It's such a pleasure to see our freshers and sophomores putting their whole for this event. Our future is brighter, and I hope our juniors will take our chapters to new heights.

Team MM congratulates AIChE NIT Rourkela Chapter for successfully organising ‘Navdhara’ and appreciates them for a great initiative.

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