I came across The Economist: Pictures of Tomorrow Challenge on The Economist’s Android application. I first thought of one problem that has deeply affected my community: the poor transport management system. When I took part in the Challenge, I recalled how one of my acquaintances had slipped and lost his life while traveling on a train’s foot board. This incident wouldn’t have occurred if proper transport system was in place. People are forced to travel in extremely crowded trains and buses because there are no alternative modes of transport. My main idea was about improving the transport management system in Mumbai. Currently, the strain on trains and buses is enormous due to the ever increasing population. People are forced to travel using conventional modes of transport thus leading to overcrowding. However, if the vast coastline of Mumbai can be used for water transport and dedicated bicycle lanes can be kept for commuters, the problem of transport management can be solved. I feel that my idea won because this problem is being faced in many other cities across the world and hence everyone can relate to it.
After winning the Challenge, my family and friends felt extremely proud and it is great to see them happy. Also, office friends can’t stop raving about me and my manager dropped an email to our entire team of 40 people appreciating me. I feel an additional sense of responsibility now to achieve my goal of improving my community in 2012. With the cash prize, I indulged myself in some long overdue shopping and after coming to California, I intend to spend some part of my cash prize money over there.
I think that The Economist-InnoCentive Challenge series is a great boon for people who have a burning desire for the betterment of society and have great ideas to achieve that goal. This Challenge series gives them a platform to express themselves and achieve something constructive over a period of time.
Overall, last 3 months have been great and further strengthened my self belief that I can achieve greater goals in the future.
Outside my workplace, I have co-directed a short film of 30 minutes and I have also penned education-related articles for local newspapers. I taught computer skills to child abuse victims at St. Catherine’s School, affiliated to the Archdiocesan board of education. I am also a huge soccer fan and follow almost all of the European leagues. I am glad I am a part of this great community of InnoCentive Solvers for whom ideas are a form of currency!