A group of innovators, artists and writers called on President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan as part of a programme held to felicitate them for their contribution in various spheres of life.
The group, which interacted with the media today, had participated in the In-Residence Programme of the Rashtrapati Bhavan which was initiated to encourage the creative and innovative potential of the people, especially the youth of the country.
The 14 participants also expressed gratitude to President Mukherjee for being given the opportunity to be the part of the prestigious programme.
Dheeraj Yadav, 27, presented one of his paintings to the President and was in for words of praise and encouragement from him for his artistic skills.
Yadav, a national-award winning artist from Allahabad, feels fortunate enough to have met Mukherjee and lived as a guest in the sprawling Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Once a budding cricketer, he had represented Uttar Pradesh in a state-level tournament not aware that destiny had some other plans for him.
Being a below average student throughout school, Yadav recalls he was often scolded by his father Ramesh Chand Yadav, a lecturer who wanted his son to excel in academics.
While playing in one of the matches, he developed a major implication in his spine which left him bed-ridden for more than two months and subsequently dashed his hopes to play for the country.
It was then that he decided to move ahead in life with his natural talent of painting and drawing, something he had neglected for long.
He completed his Bachelor of Arts in painting in 2012 and Master of Fine Arts in painting in 2014 from the Allahabad University.
"As I always wished to become a cricketer, I have made a painting of cricket bats. I use to draw pictures of deities, goddesses which depict the mythological stories. My love for my mother is shown in my paintings.
"In my paintings, I depict social issues, mythological thought and culture. Trying to give the message to the society that our natural climate and environment should not be damaged," Yadav said.
He has received a number of awards which include 29th State Lalit Kala Academy Award in 2010 and 57th Lalit Kala Academy in 2016.
"Though I was opposed initially by my family members, I draw my inspiration from my parents who use to encourage me as an artist. They understand my world and provide me all the support in my work for which I would be grateful to them," he said.
Another innovator to meet the President was Akash Manoj, a 15-year-old student from Tamil Nadu, who has invented a device to predict silent heart attack. Silent heart attacks, which have a little or no symptoms, are alarmingly common and extremely deadly. Currently, there is no way to detect a silent heart attack. Once Manoj's grandfather collapsed due to a heart attack, he decided to find a solution to this problem. He then contacted the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and began work on his device. His device sticks to a person's wrist or back of the ear which can be used to monitor whether there has been a heart attack.
His technique is currently undergoing clinical trials. The other innovators include Surjeet Singh who helps farmers produce high quality basmati rice. Moa Subong from Nagaland invented a musical instrument made from Bamboo. Ajay Kumar Sharma has prepared a farmer-friendly compressor for biogas bottling. Girish Badragond from Karnataka has invented a device to detect water availability in a particular area. Mansukhbhai Prajapati from Gujarat has invented clay refrigerators which run without electricity and clay kitchen utensils. Subhash Ola from Rajasthan has prepared energy-efficient milk boiler for industries. Paresh Panchal from Ahmedabad has prepared a machine which helps prepare Agarbatti (incense sticks) in large scale. Santosh Pachar from Sikar in Rajasthan has invented an improved variety of carrots.