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An Experiment with Azolla

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Azolla? What's that? the question reverberated in my mind for quite some time before I actively started searching for answers.

The government, as per the latest provisions under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), had included construction of 'Azolla' tanks along with cow sheds in villages. The search for answers led me to Google and then, some videos and blogs posted across the web. The Wikipedia suggested that Azolla (sc. name Azolla caroliniana), is a type of fern with very small leaves that is mostly found floating over still water bodies - lakes & ponds. Its nitrogen fixation properties make it useful as a bio fertilizer and fodder for animals. So that's where everything connected. Azolla tanks were to be constructed along with cow sheds to provide for additional fodder for the milch animals.
That cleared some air about what we were trying to do. Further exploration on the internet brought me across some videos (mostly from South India) about h…

From Where We Stand...

Its been almost two years since I became a fellow and was posted in one of these so called backward districts - Surajpur. Time and again I have been asked questions like what am I here for what is the agenda that I'll pursue here. Some have probably gone far ahead and labelled me as the crazy guy to leave home to spend time a 1000 miles away. But there is something about the job that we do as fellows that makes waking up every morning and slogging it out very addictive.

May be its the power that we derive out of our knowledge. This isn't a generalization, but most of the mid level and lower level staff in the government have low educational qualifications and haven't had anyone to guide them or teach them efficient ways of doing everyday work. Teaching new tricks for analyzing data on excel or using cloud computing for syncing files or even basic techniques in any software makes the staff look at you in awe and the more interested youngsters are always eager to learn thes…