A moral dilemma gripped Anil K. Gupta when he was invited by the Bangladeshi government to help restructure their agricultural on-farm research sector in 1985. He noticed how the marginalized farmers were being paid poorly for their otherwise unmatched knowledge. The gross injustice of this constant imbalance led Gupta to found what would turn into a resounding social and ethical movement-the Honey Bee Network-bringing together and elevating thousands of grassroots innovators.
For over two decades, Gupta has travelled through rural lands, along with hundreds of volunteers of the Network, unearthing innovations by the ranks-from the famed Mitti Cool refrigerator to the root bridge of Meghalaya. He insists that to fight the largest and most persistent problems of the world, we must not rely only on expensive research labs but also look towards ordinary folk, and eventually build bridges between the formal and informal sectors. Innovation-that oft-flung-around word-is stripped to its core in this book.
Poignant and personal, Grassroots Innovation is an important treatise from a social crusader of our time.