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Film producer's fund eludes real Idiots

January 09, 2010 03:05 IST

The makers of 3 Idiots may be smiling their way to the banks with box-office records in Bollywood, but the National Innovation Foundation awaits funds promised by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the film's producer. NIF sourced the innovations for the film.

The innovations -- scooter flour-mill, cycle-based horse shaver and pedal-driven washing machine -- were sourced by Padmashree winner Anil Gupta, founder of NIF and faculty at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. The innovations were showcased in the film and the producer paid a sum of Rs 10,000 to two of the innovators whose works were used in the blockbuster movie.

When Business Standard contacted Gupta, he said, "He (Chopra) promised an 'Idiot Fund' to NIF once the film was released to promote more grassroots-level innovations."

Gupta is yet to receive any news on the same.

"Frankly speaking, there is no further news from them. I think you should ask Vidhu Vinod Chopra on this," Gupta said.

Meanwhile, a mail to Chopra remained unanswered.

According to Vipin Kumar, chief innovation officer at NIF, "We have not heard from Chopra about the fund after the release of the movie. However, we received cheques of Rs 10,000 each for the two innovators. We will not ask for the fund as the innovations were granted to create awareness. But, if the fund is created, it will be good for the innovators."

The brains behind the innovations were Remya Jose, a student from Kerala, who created the 'exercycle-cum-washing-machine', Mohammed Idris, a barber from Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh, who invented a cycle-powered horse clipper and Jehangir Painter, a painter from Maharashtra, who made the scooter-powered flour mill.

NIF is hopeful the film will encourage grassroots-level innovations and help them reach the market.

The department of science and technology was set up by NIF in Ahmedabad in 2000 to provide institutional support in scouting, spawning, sustaining and scaling up grassroots-level green innovations and help their transition to self-supporting activities.
Chitra Unnithan in Ahmedabad