Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Ravindranath was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Working extensively in the Brahmaputra-Barak basin in the upper stretches of the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Ravi’s model incorporates local mechanisms to facilitate accurate warning systems; river levels and rainfall data-sharing processes concerning river levels through River Basin Friends, a network of 6,000 volunteers; alternative livelihoods that harness the forces unleashed by the flood cycles instead of succumbing to its fury; issues of health and shelter; and, dialogue with the government to drive policy.

Propounding the philosophy of “co-existence with floods” Ravi’s model is designed to address every stage of the flood cycle and make productive use of the time during and after. His Early Warning Network System is a community-managed process involving local and regional data-sharing and simple technologies to measure water levels and land contours to accurately forecast flash floods. Warnings are then transmitted throughout the region.

Ravi provides disaster mitigation solutions by introducing alternative crops suitable for cultivation during “safe” months including innovations of creeper varieties of vegetables, highly profitable livestock breeding such as pig farming, a seed bank, and forty markets during the dry periods to move people away from government promoted welfare programs like food-for-work.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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