DREAM:IN Tumkur is an open innovation project to seed the process of creating new socio economic value, in an inside-out developmental approach.
DREAM:IN Tumkur gave the residents of the district a platform to share their Dreams, create new knowledge and systems, and work closely with leaders and partners to catalyse the process of positive and long lasting change.
Tumkur district is an administrative, progressive district in the state of Karnataka in South India. The district headquarters are located at Tumkur city. The district occupies an area of 10,598 km². It is a one and a half hour drive from Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. It consists chiefly of elevated land intersected by river valleys. A range of hills rising to nearly 4,000 feet (1,200 m) crosses it from north to south, forming the watershed between the systems of the Krishna and the Kaveri rivers. The mineral wealth of Tumkur is considerable; iron is obtained in large quantities from the hillsides and excellent building-stone is quarried. The slopes of the Devarayanadurga hills are clothed with forests. Wildlife such as leopards, bears and wild boar have been recorded here. The annual rainfall averages 39 inches.
Tumkur is a district that depends on agriculture as it’s primary source of income. There is a lot of agricultural activity in all the 10 taluks of the district. Apart from agriculture, Tumkur is home to hoards of small and middle scale hardware industries. The Siddaganga Math is a famous centre for pilgrimage. Siddaganga has a temple dedicated to Siddhalingeshwara on a hillrock which is held in high esteem by devotees. The Math feeds thousands of students and pilgrims daily. This is one of the important educational centers. There are several esteemed (primary and higher) educational institutions across the district, some of which are run by the Math. According to the 2011 census, Tumkur district has a population of 2,681,449, roughly equal to the nation of Kuwait or the US state of Nevada. This gives it a ranking of 149th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 253 inhabitants per square kilometer (660 /sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 3.74 %. Tumkur has a sex ratio of 979 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 74.32%.
Three weeks after 13 students of NICC, Bangalore, were into their training in the DREAM:IN Methodology and associated lesson plans as part of their DREAM:IN Global Academic Program, a decision was needed on where exactly they would undertake their DREAM:IN Journey. Meanwhile, the DREAM:IN project had been presented in New Delhi to Dr Sam Pitroda and the National Innovation Council. One of the suggestions that the National Innovation Council came up with was to try to focus the DREAM:IN methodology on a single district and design and develop a prototype for social and business entrepreneurial ventures for that district by means of a DREAM:IN Journey, DreamScaping session and a DREAM:IN Conclave. Back in Bangalore, DREAM:IN connected with the Manipal Foundation which saw promise and potential in the methodology to spur social transformation and development. The Manipal Foundation had initiated social work in Tumkur district, (just 70 km from Bangalore and fast developing into a satellite for the metropolis), and suggested that the district be adopted for the project. The consensus was that Tumkur should be where the district prototype is initiated.
This decision was followed up by means of several scoping trips to Tumkur where DREAM:IN found a partner in the Postgraduate Department of Management Studies, SIT, Tumkur, headed by Dr M. R. Shollapur. Using the SIT-MBA Centre as a base, DREAM:IN Tumkur became a reality. In the weeks prior to the DREAM:IN Journey, significant contacts were made across the 10 taluks that make up the district. The contacts included people from the Tumkur Management Association, Tumkur District Chambers of Commerce and Industry, faculty in several colleges teaching engineering and management, businessmen, students, doctors, government officials, NGOs like BAIF, etc.
Awareness was spread about the DREAM:IN Tumkur project across many layers of society and help began coming in from friends in Tumkur – the hostel where the students would be put up, transportation, specific contacts in the taluks to enable ease of DreamCatching on the journey, pointers from influencers in the district, etc. The base was thus laid for a successful DREAM:IN Journey, a Dreamscaping session and the concluding DREAM:IN Tumkur Conclave. The SIT MBA Department provided the DREAM:IN Tumkur project with their auditorium for the DREAM:IN Conclave.
The DREAM:IN Journey across Tumkur district was undertaken by 13 students of NICC from May 18 to May 27. These students were trained by DREAM:IN (as a part of the DREAM:IN Global Academic Program) for over 2 months before they set out on the journey. They traversed the 10 taluks of the district – Tumkur, Tiptur, Koratagere, Madhugiri, Pavagada, Sira, Chikkanaykanahalli, Gubbi, Turuvukere and Kunigal – doing a taluk a day to capture 800 Dreams from across all sections of society.
60 people from Bangalore and Tumkur, gathered together to DreamScape and were involved in three half-hour viewing sessions to absorb and sift through the harvested Dreams. The Dream Capsules were differentiated as Tumkur 1.0 (Dreams pertaining to basic needs, fears, anxieties), Tumkur 1.5 (Dreams to improving various aspects of Tumkur) and Tumkur 2.0 (Dreams that looked to the future of Tumkur). These sessions were punctuated by short trigger-talks by eminent individuals.
The teams worked on the task of visualizing, ideating and creating Dream Ventures that could come alive and be realised for Tumkur, after absorbing all the Dreams captured. The scenarios that emerged by the end of the 10-hour session pertained to projects and ventures in the sectors of education, agriculture, water, youth, farm festivals and farmer’s market, wellness and ecotourism. Each team presented the scenarios that they had created at the end of the session. The Result: The central character in the scenarios was identified as the future Agripreneur of Tumkur. All other systems and products imagined would revolve around this character.
The DREAM:IN Tumkur Conclave was a gathering of leaders, designers, academicians, business professionals and students that came together for a day long session at the SIT MBA auditorium in Tumkur. The aim of the Conclave was to formally introduce DREAM:IN Tumkur to the people of Tumkur and to share the ideas that were developed at the DreamScaping. The participants came together to absorb the Dreams captured from the 10 taluks of the Tumkur district and to discuss the DreamScapes developed, also to determine the steps needed to realize them as social and business enterprises. The objective was to share the ideas as open source, to seed the change process and to give shape to four or five sustainable ventures that could be taken forward as fast as possible.
In September 2012, DREAM:IN Tumkur set up it’s project office in the heart of Tumkur City, opposite the RTO office on BH Road. At present, a project leader and two Tumkur Youth Fellows are working out of this space. They have been out in the field identifying the future agripreneurs which involved mapping more than 60 villages across Gubbi, Tumkur & Sira Taluks.
A network of more than 380 farmers, processing and packaging units and food research institutions, mentors, government agencies, financial institutions and NGOs has been created.
Three farmer groups have agreed to work with DREAM:IN Tumkur. Two of them are in the process of registering their ‘agripreneurial’ enterprises with the support of DREAM:IN which will provide them with support in terms of branding, know-how, networking, setting up connections to processing and packaging units, training and certification centers and potential markets. One group has already signed an MoU with DREAM:IN & they have applied and received most of the legal licenses, certificates and permission required to proceed, from various departments.
Coconut, ragi, tamarind & arecanut have been initially identified as the base crops which can be taken up for processing and packaging of next generation food products that appeal to contemporary consumers. A brand that identifies all the food products that will emerge out of Tumkur with the support of DREAM:IN has also been created.
Two brands have been created. These brands are licensed free of cost to the Tumkur Farmer Groups. DREAM:IN has also created packaging design for the Tumkur Farmers products.
1. VILLAGE ECONOMY (BRAND FOR INDIA FARMERS MARKET)
Gandhiji noted even in his time that “the wanton destruction” of the village economy meant that “intelligence and brightness have fled from the villages, leaving them inane, lusterless, and reduced almost to the state of their ill-kept cattle”. He pointed out that village economy cannot be complete without the essential village industries. He wanted them to be given a “new life and a new dress”. In Gandhiji’s larger vision, the village economy is the foundation for a prosperous nation. “Given the demand there is no doubt that most of our wants can be supplied from our villages. When we have become village-minded, we will not want imitations of the West of machine-made products, but we will develop a true national taste in keeping with the vision of a new India in which pauperism, starvation and idleness will be unknown”, he wrote in his book India Dreams.
"If we want and believe that the village should not only survive but also become strong and flourishing, then the village perspective is the only correct view-point".
DREAM:IN Tumkur believes that the desire to have booming village economies can become real if their Dreams are harvested, recorded, believed in and realized. The Village economy brand will become a certification for farmer brands across the country.
2. TUMAHARA (BRAND FOR TUMKUR PRODUCTS)
One of the conclusions of the DREAM:IN Tumkur project was that a powerful brand was needed to be designed and implemented for the products and services emerging from the taluks and villages of Tumkur district. Tumahara is the brand that DREAM:IN has created for the farmers of the Tumkur district. The word brings together the name of the region – Tumkur – and Ahara - the food products that Tumkur farmers will provide to the nation. The brand also refers to “you” (tum in Hindi) and everyone who will benefit from this emerging village economy giving assurance that it will be healthy “food” (ahara in Hindi) for all in more ways than one.
The brand reflects the thrust being given to the emerging agripreneur in Tumkur who will move up from just producing crops like ragi and coconut to processing, packaging and marketing them directly via national outlets without middlemen. The Tumahara brand will be licensed out by DREAM:IN to the farmer partnership groups who set up enterprises and are keen to move forward from plain farming to developing higher order food-based village industries that are sustainable and contribute to human wellness. Tumahara will be a premium brand that audits and keeps a check on all products manufactured under its umbrella by different agripreneurial groups.
DREAM:IN is facilitating training to the selected farmer groups with recognized institutions and experts
Meanwhile, the Tumkur team has been researching the market for the Tumkur Farmers products by collecting data from various sources like hyper-markets, stores and supermarkets in Bangalore and Tumkur. This will help the farmers in planning their production & processing.
Based on the success of the first group, DREAM:IN Tumkur is planning to extend the whole process to three more farmer groups in the coming financial year 2013-14.