Friday, 01 May 2015 08:06

Tete-a-tete with Prof. Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director, Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, Takyel, Manipur

 1. How can IBSD help youth of Manipur to establish a stable career?

 IBSD as such doesn’t provide any bachelors or postgraduate programmes, of course, we provide PhD programmes. However, recently Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan came to IBSD and laid a foundation stone for IBSD’s skill and technology development centre so if we do not develop skill how we are going to develop products, how we are going to develop employment of youth, so we need to train our youth, they may not be highly educated, but they may be trained in vocational training, they can be trained in the traditional crafts, they can be trained in the post-harvesting, processing, modern agriculture, modern horticulture etc. So there are so many avenues in these bioresources. So what we are trying to do is we are going to villages trying to train the common people, supplying them quality materials, so these are things IBSD is trying to do for the common youth apart from the students registered in the IBSD. So we create a lot of awareness programmes, we go to remote places; we try to preserve the traditional knowledge of conservation.

 2. What all initiatives IBSD have taken to conserve the bioresources of Manipur? 

 Only development cannot do, we need to also conserve and preserve certain things for our future generations. For example, in Manipur you have a beautiful Loktak Lake but it is under serious threat, Sangai-Manipur’s state animal in also under serious threat, state flower Siroi Lily too is under threat. So, we need to conserve them otherwise it would be a big problem. So IBSD has started initiatives to conserve these three important assets of Manipur. We have started campaigns for the conservation of these three through all available directions like awareness programmes in our campus as a starter. So my way of doing things is do science to reach the people. That’s how our IBSD’s slogan came into picture i.e. ‘touching the lives of people’. We have started the awarenesss programme in the campus. So one can see the condition of the campus and compare for himself how was its condition before and now in just three months. We have to have a real sustainable development and morals. One can see most of the development  taken place in the IBSD are natural resources. We are not using much of the artificial things. So this has created a lot of local employment. For example, the bamboo structure which one can see inside the campus, the person has got an order of more than 2 lakh rupees that is his biggest order in his life! There are more and more people whom he has employed that has created a cascading effect. So our next target is to expand this sustainable development. The major challenge is to create a ‘brand Manipur’. Manipur’s black rice, bamboo are some of the bioresources which can be promoted on a large scale. So whatever was possible in my tenure till now I have been doing not only for the institute but for Manipur as well. IBSD is one of the cleanest campus in Manipur, now, my target is to make Imphal a clean city so that more tourists will come. Now next priority of IBSD is to promote eco-tourism. We are planning to construct state-of-the-art orchidarium which is another priority of IBSD which will be done under public-private-partnership. Also, Imphal should have a science city, this is what I also have been emphasizing ever since I reach here in Manipur, because Manipur has a lot of talented students and Northeast also has I; so if Manipur can come up with a science city with the help of the government, I personally, am willing to help in all possible manner so that Manipur can become the only state in the whole of northeast India to have a science city that will encourage many youth to take up science and a profession and then we can promote innovation in terms of rural areas. Also, women are quite active in Manipur, you have Ima Market in Manipur so I would like to encourage  more women entrepreneurship so women’s empowerment is also one of my agendas. 

 3. Since IBSD has started campaign to conserve Sangai, Siroi Lily and loktak Lake of Manipur; how common youth can be part of these campaigns?

 At first, youth should understand what is the ecosystem value provided by the Loktak Lake like it provided drinking water, huge quantity of fishes, irrigation water, recreation etc , so if you killed this lake then what will happen? It gives a lot of values, the values which you will not be able to calculate in terms of crores of rupees. Hence, Bioresources gives you a lot of ecosystem service which is difficult for you to quantify. So youth play a very major role is the conservation of bioresources as they are the pillar of future.

 4.Is it possible to sensitise every youth of this nation about conservation of bioresources and sustainable development?

Yes, it is possible. We need to create a lot of awareness among the among through media, we need to educate the students from the school age; we need to utilize the services of the retired people in the villages, towns and ask them to sensitise the youth through stories. And once they start respecting the bioresources then they will conserve it. As if you respect somebody, you never try to hurt that person or that living organism. So you must know how to respect nature rather than abuse nature. If you don’t act now, it will be too late.

 5. Your message to Youth through YSN.

 See the glass as half-full not as half empty. If you want to achieve something in life, don’t worry about the failure. Many of the global icons have failed before their success. So success will come only after the failure. Think out of the box, don’t be conventional. Don’t take unnecessary risk, be innovative, don’t copy.

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