New Delhi: Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday gave away awards to the winners of the “innovation challenge” of the National Innovation Council (NIC) and said there was need to improve the dignity of labour and reduce drudgery.
The minister said while efforts had been made to improve the remuneration of workers, enough attention had not been paid to improve the dignity of their work.
“Innovations are meant to improve dignity, reduce drudgery,” Ramesh said.
The six winners of innovation challenge, who were picked from among 450 proposals, were honoured for designs that would help reduce drudgery of the working class.
Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja, who also honoured the winners, said a toilet was a basic element of human dignity.
“(We) read through media how many are deprived of toilets. The situation is far more alarming in urban areas,” she said.
Kumari Selja said her ministry was considering central legislation on street vending and urban livelihood.
Sam Pitroda, adviser to prime minister on public information infrastructure and innovations, said the innovation challenge to reduce worker drudgery was initiated in 2011.
“I hope this becomes a process,” Pitroda said.
Pitroda, who is also the chairman of the National Innovation Council, said the next stage was to turn innovations into business models.
He said the council had sought ideas from citizens in areas of design improvement of work implements and new techniques for occupational groups such as blue-collar workers, street-vendors and construction workers.
The winning entries included a display unit for street hawkers, an innovative design of a rickshaw and a low-cost cycle for the disabled.