Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Two Ninth Grade Students From Anantnag Make National News for Their Cool Invention

Tehrim Kaiser and her class mate Omar Ali invent a food storage system

Kashmir students devise innovative food storage system

Anantnag: "It is not an alternative to a refrigerator which can even freeze things but our model is good enough to help in storing perishables like cooked food, milk and vegetables for more than a day," Kaiser and Ali said.

Two high school students in this South Kashmir town have made a 'cool' invention - a food storage system that does not need electricity, is environment friendly and costs just Rs 100.
Tehrim Kaiser, a ninth grade student, and her schoolmate Omar Ali have together put in place the system that works on the simple principle of 'evaporation causes cooling'.

"It is not an alternative to a refrigerator which can even freeze things but our model is good enough to help in storing perishables like cooked food, milk and vegetables for more than a day," Kaiser and Ali, who are students of Rosy Tots School here, said.

"In Kashmir, we don't need to freeze things to keep them edible. The model we have put together can bring the temperature inside the cabin down by at least six degrees at the moment which is good enough to preserve the food items for more than one day," she said.

The model of Kaiser and Ali was adjudged the best innovative work at the state level science festival held recently. Since it does not consume any energy, it also does not emit anything but heat and that too naturally.

The invention does not emit harmful cholo-floro-carbons which refrigerators running on electricity emit.

So what does this food storage system look like?

The exterior of the storage compartment and the interior of the inner compartment are covered in a cotton lining. The outermost jacket and innermost compartment are then filled with water which takes away the heat from the storage compartment, bringing down the inside temperature, she added.

The innovation has been tested by experts who have given it a thumbs up.
An official of the Kashmir University's Science Instrumentation Centre (USIC) said besides being environment friendly, the invention also is very affordable. "The model prepared by the students does not cost more than Rs 100," he said.

Another student of the school has developed a irrigation pump which uses the potential energy of water to lift water from low lying areas to high altitudes without using any fuel.
The irrigation pump, which has been named High Altitude Irrigation System, is a conveyor belt which pulls up bucketfuls of water to higher altitude using the energy generated by the fast moving water in a river or a stream.

"It is similar to the equipment used in rural areas of Punjab. The only difference is that instead of using a camel or a bull, the potential energy of the water is used to lift the water to higher altitudes," Najmus Saqib Wani, a ninth grade student, who has devised this pump, said. The Automatic High Altitude Irrigation System was adjudged the best innovation at last year's science festival held in Srinagar and Jammu, Gulzar Ahmad Khaki, principal of the school, said.
Khaki said since most of the students come from rural areas and poor families, they think of ways and means to improve their lives.

"These are not chance innovations ... these students are a thinking lot who are guided by our Director, Academics, Bashir Ahmad Talib in seeking excellence in the field of science," he added.
Asked if the school was thinking of applying for a patent for these innovations, Khaki said "at the moment, both the projects are just miniature models. We would like these students to improve upon their work so that they can be used for practical purposes."

Khaki claimed that Talib had recently got a patent for developing an iron which operates on liquefied petroleum gas instead of electricity. "He holds the patent for this invention for 20 years."

And that is not all. A fifth grade student of the school, Saim Dawood, has also claimed to have developed a chart on which you can test any mathematical formula. "There is an outer steel jacket which has pores in the upper half. Then there is the main storage compartment made of copper and another inner copper compartment which acts as the cooler," Kaiser said.

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