At a function in New Delhi on November 18, 2009, Muruganantham received the National Innovation Foundation Award from President Pratibha Patil, whose speech on the occasion paid glowing tributes to grassroots local innovations. The President said that “our grassroots local innovations” would be useful not only for our national problems, but also for problems of the world.
Reading through the text of her speech I discovered that India is observing the current decade as “The Decade of Innovation.” (Decade of Innovation… Sounds good – if it were only real!
Well, we will try and make it so. Let this decade belong to the likes of Muruganantham, the worthies, who lack the money and the PR skills of a Procter and Gamble and a Johnson and Johnson, to work the corridors of power in New Delhi.
The President had stated at the NIF award function: “I am pleased with the decision that whenever and wherever any proposal is submitted for consideration to the Union Cabinet, it must contain specific information on how it will advance the over-arching goals of equity, better accountability and innovation. Such steps give a boost to innovative approaches to governance. Innovation and technology can be used for effective implementation of welfare schemes, as delays and leakages are amongst the biggest drawbacks of our governance system.”
The President’s words will be the basis of our next course of action. ‘Stop the Napkin Scam’ proposes to write to the President, the Prime Minister, the Health Minister, and the Finance Minister about Muruganantham’s invention and request them to consider his proposal before the government finalises the free sanitary napkin scheme.