Everyone remembers playing a game of Ludo or Snakes & Ladders be it on a hot summer day or a cool winter evening. These board games that form such a beloved part of our childhood actually take their origins much far behind in history. One such game is Chowka Bhara.

In former princely states like Tripura, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu , Kerala and Punjab, Chowka Bhara was a favorite past time. The game uses easily available articles like sea shells, broken bangles and tamarind seeds, broken bangle bits and coins. The players seek cialisfrance24.com to move them across a 5 by 5 square drawn on the board to reach an inner space called “home”. It is played in a squares format on the floor.



Fig: A Chowka Board

Fig:A custom made board




The four player game Each player have four pawns (coins, bangle bits etc) starting at different positions at the four crossed squares at the outermost ring. The rules of game

Chowka Bhara Board-(http://bp1.blogger.com/5D2Wzovowzc/SB2_kwbnjXI/AAAAAAAAAAU/LXU2kY3WVQo/s400/chaukabara-5×5.jpg )

How the game works: 

  1. The board is always kept in the center during the game.
  2. Each player has a different starting point and initially keeps all his coins there (marked by X on his side).
  3. Each player takes turn to throw all four cowrie shells on the floor and moves one of his coins according to the number as indicated by the shells.
  4. Movement of coins is in anti-clockwise direction in outer squares and then in clockwise direction in inner squares as shown by the arrow in the diagram.
  5. If a player’s coin lands on a square occupied by opponent’s coin. The opponent’s coin is cut and the player gets an extra turn to play.
  6. The cut coin returns to its starting home square and has to go round all over again.
  7. The crossed squares (home squares) though, are safe places and no coins present here can be cut.
  8. When a coin reaches the square left of its home square, it further moves up into the inner squares in clockwise direction. Each coin finishes its race when it manages to get into the innermost crossed square.
  9. The first player to get all his coins into the innermost square wins the game.

Extra Turn:

  • Whenever a chowka or a bhara (four or eight) is got during a throw of cowrie shells, the player gets a bonus turn to throw the cowries.
  • When a player cuts opponent’s coin, he gets an extra turn to play.
  • During an extra turn, either the same coin or some other coin can be played.

This ‘Game of Chance’ finds relevance in mythology Mahabharata. Evidently,in two or four player format this game involves an element of chance by the roll of special dice and an element of strategy .

The Chowka Bhara board game is still played to improve the counting skills of the children . As important aspect of personality development, it was used to teach kids war tactics and strategies as well as eye-to-hand coordination in earlier time.

Want to try this game now? Check out the ‘ Store’ section to buy Chowka Bhara at Nazariya.

Happy Shopping!


Join Nazariya at Sargaalaya as we rediscover our Artistic Heritage Together

Sargaalaya, the Kerala Arts and Crafts village in Kerala, is an initiative of the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. It is an exclusive place where you can not only pick a product fashioned by the traditional artisans of Kerala but also learn one or two lessons in the subtleties of crafts-making. While designed as a tourist destination, Sargaalaya is also a platform for exhibition, sales, and craft-making. The tourist can have face-to-face interaction with the artisans showcasing their life-long achievements, and maybe learn a thing or two!

We, at Nazariya, focus on building a platform where you can not only purchase unique handmade products, but also discover the behind-the-scenes of who makes them, what their story is, and experience their journey in a way you could have never imagined before. Our aim is to provide a platform to the artisans and help them showcase their talents and handiwork to the masses. We also organize workshops to allow the people to gain better insight into how the artist’s mind works, what nuances go into making a single piece of craft, and help them learn a few basics themselves.

The core values of Sargaalaya and Nazariya are the same; revisiting art forms. The only difference is that we focus more on how to revive dying forms of art around the world. The thought is the same but the thinkers are different.

Given below are some art forms that Nazariya would be focusing on presenting at Sargaalaya International Arts and Craft Festival- 2016.


  1. Wood Carving

“Exquisite Wood Craft from Amer, Rajasthan. Available on our website.”

Wood carving is a form of woodworking done by a cutting tool (knife) in one hand or a chisel in two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, to make a wooden figure or figurines of deities, like Buddha and Ganesha. It originated in Rajasthan in the 17th century. Intricately carved wooden doors and windows in palaces and havelis are testimonies to its popularity in the medieval era. In fact, even today this craft is practised extensively in various parts of Rajasthan.


  1. Phad Painting

“Ethnic tribal royalty painting in Rajasthan.”


Phad painting is a style religious scroll painting and folk painting practised in Rajasthan, state of India. Phad painting is traditionally done on a large piece of cloth or Canvas known as Phad. The paintings are the life of two legendary Rajasthani heroes, Pabuji and Devnarayan ji, who are worshipped as the incarnation of lord Vishnu and Laxman. While the story is narrated using songs and dance, the visual impact is provided by the phad.

  1. Miniature Painting

“Radha and Krishna as depicted in a miniature painting.”


Miniature paintings are beautiful handmade paintings which are often vibrantly colored, but as the name suggests, very small in size. Also, very intricate and detailed work goes into making them, which further gives them a unique identity. The art of miniature painting was introduced in India by the Mughals, who brought this art form from Persia. Here, the themes mainly depicted are court scenes, gardens, forests, palaces, stories of Lord Krishna, love scenes, and battles.

   4. Puppetry

“Kathputlis in Rajasthan.”

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VQPlWd3eee8/UOcMCyTA8aI/AAAAAAAAUy0/qIhxNf7pDqQ/s1600/Kathputli Dance, Rajasthan.jpg

Puppetry has always held an important place in traditional entertainment. Like traditional theatre, themes for puppet theatre are mostly based on epics and legends. Puppets from different parts of the country have their own identity, and regional styles of painting and sculpture are reflected in them. Like the string puppets from Rajasthan are known as Kathputli, similarly string puppets of Orissa are known as Kundhei, and puppets from Tamil Nadu known as Bommalattam.

   5. Gond Art

“Tribal Gond art”


Gond Art is a reflection of India’s largest Adivasi community called Gonds in Bhopal. It is the art of stories, the art of spirituality and is believed to bring good luck. The Gonds were storytellers who used to narrate the stories glorifying the king and this was the main source of their livelihood. The Gonds painted their walls with lively portrayals of local flora and fauna and gods and the art form is created by putting together dots and lines. Here the artists use colours developed by charcoal, plants sap, cow dung and leaves.

The passion and heart that the artisans put into creating these art forms are what distinguish them truly. Every art form has a deep history, a deeper soul, and this year at Sargaalaya International Art and Craft Festival, Nazariya is going to help voice their stories.

“Let’s live history together”

Author : Sampada Khaturia

A cycle that runs on water and land, a scooter-powered flour mill, a solar mosquito killer, a cycle-powered washing machine — these are just a few of the over 100,000 outstanding innovations that have come from school dropouts and poor people from rural India, a picture of poverty and degradation.

Over recent years India became the first country to recognize the innovative ability of its large informal sector and support it, which could prove crucial for long term for achieving long-term sustainable social and economic development. In fact, Statistics by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s (OECD) clearly state that there has been a significant increase in the number of innovation activities and filing of patents in innovation and research in the BRIC countries – (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) during 2000-2010.

Traditionally owned knowledge, that has since long been utilized effectively by local rural communities, has now become vital for driving productivity and competitiveness. Requirements in various sectors such as education, medical, health, water, sanitation, public transport, agriculture, energy, and so on are now being met by creating new delivery mechanisms, along with innovations in products, services and processes. No wonder how many other potential world changing solutions have remained in obscurity, not acknowledged sufficiently to make a significant change.

There are some social innovations developed in the Indian context and their relevance to other similar socio-economic contexts are based providing services to the disadvantaged.

For example, Shantha Biotechnics, a pioneering Indian Biotechnology Company that took up the challenge of developing a low-cost, high-quality vaccine for the recombinant Hepatitis B Virus. By the early 1980s it was clear that countries needed to ensure that children were vaccinated for the deadly Hepatitis B virus. However, a few multinational pharmaceutical companies held the monopoly on the Hepatitis B vaccine. Priced as high as USD$23 a dose, most Indians families could not afford vaccination. Founded in 1993, they saw an unmet need domestically, and developed novel processes for manufacturing Hepatitis B vaccine to reduce prices to less than $1/dose. Recognized by UNICEF, the vaccine was then used to fight the deadly virus across the developing world. In 2009, Shantha sold over 120 million doses of vaccines globally. A more familiar and popular case is that of Dr. Venkataswamy, a Doctor at the Aravind Eye Hospitals who can implement more than 2400 cataract surgeries each year, in india, with a kind of efficiency where the service could reach out to the millions of poor people who had no access to the doctors and hospitals. In fact, 70% of all the patients coming to Aravind Eye Hospitals get the service free of cost, and yet, the organization runs its operations at a 40% operating margin. A great example of getting more, from less, for more.

Further, thanks to the ingenuity of innovators, healthcare now reaches remote communities in India on boats and buses. Where patients can’t reach clinics and hospitals, locally recognized mobile healthcare initiatives are bringing high quality services to their doorsteps. For the 30 lakh people living in one of the 2 lakh villages situated among the 3000 isolated, erosion prone islands of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, doctors and hospitals are a luxury of the mainland.  And, although it can be as little as a few kilometers away, the distance, as well as the required ferry travel, are enough to prevent these marginalized communities from receiving the healthcare they need. Seeing an opportunity within this delivery challenge, the Center for Norteastern Studies (C-NES) in conjunction with the National Rural Health Mission (NRMH), Government of Assam initiated the Akha Boat Clinic Initiative (Akha means “Hope” in Assamese). Healthcare reaches these ecologically and economically fragile communities on fully equipped boat clinics carrying a complete medical staff—doctors, nurses, and technicians—and furnished with examination rooms, operating suites, pharmacies, laboratories, kitchens, toilets, general stores, and sleeping quarters. The boats make 5-6 trips per month to selected islands where health camps last anywhere from 10 to 20 days. Aside from any required emergency services, doctors prioritize child immunizations, pre and post-natal check-ups, and preventative care. Education and IEC initiatives also form a core component of the offering and include workshops on various issues such as reproductive health, hygiene, nutrition and healthy lifestyle recommendations. These supplementary activities ensure that the care provided by the Akha Boat Clinic staff creates long-term improvement in the health status, and as a result the income level, of these island communities. From 200 camps in 2008, the number of camps broke 2,000 in 2013. Markers of success in the communities served by the Akha Boat Clinics include a dramatic increase in routine immunizations administered, from approximately 9,000 in 2008 to more than 20,000 in 2013, as well as a decrease in the number of children out of school due to repeated illness.

Mansukhbhai Jagani, Madanlal Kumawat, Mansukhbhai Patel, Chintakindi Mallesham and Mansukhbhai Prajapati are among Forbes’s list of seven most powerful rural Indian entrepreneurs, whose “inventions are changing lives” of the people across the country.

Mansukhbhai Patel, a farmer who merely studied up to Class X, invented a cotton-stripping machine, that has significantly cut the cost of cotton farming, and revolutionized India’s cotton industry, and has even won a United States patent.

Chintakindi Mallesham, inventor of the Laxmi Asu Machine, “ignited a revolution in India’s weaving community.” Weavers making the traditional ‘Tie & Dye’ Pochampalli silk sarees used to undergo a painstaking process, moving their hands thousands of times in a day while weaving sarees. Thanks to Mallesham’s patented device to mechanize this process, hundreds of weavers in Andhra Pradesh now spend less time on making a variety of designs.

Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a potter, invented a clay non-stick pan that costs Rs 100 and a clay refrigerator that runs without electricity for those who cannot afford a fridge or their electricity and maintenance costs. During the 2001 earthquake, all earthen pots were broken. “Some people told me the poor people’s refrigerators are broken. They referred to the ‘matkas'(pots) as refrigerators. It struck me then that I must try to make a fridge for those who cannot afford to buy a fridge,” says Prajapati. He added, “My wife could not buy a non-stick tava as it was costly. So I thought many people would be facing the same problem. That’s when I designed the non-stick tavas, priced between Rs 50-100,” he says.

Image Source: http://im.rediff.com/money/2010/nov/15anil5.jpg

Santosh Kaveri, who was presented the “Best LEADer” by Ratan Tata during Yuva Summit 2013 as well as 2014 for the entrepreneurial and innovative nature of his devices, comes from a rural background, and has himself faced different health and economic issues while being brought up in a remote village. He reflected on the struggles that his own family faced, identified essential problems and as a part of the LEAD campaign, and undertook projects such as devising Carrot Cleaning Machine, Brake System for Bullock Cart and Eco Hot Water Coil. The Carrot Cleaning Machine uses no electricity, and very little water, to make the process of carrot cleaning for appealing to customers more quick, easy and effective. Eco Hot Water Coil is a stovetop device that simultaneously boils water for cooking and collects hot water for bathing, helping people conserve gas, and save more than Rs. 1000 per month. The bullock carts primarily used in rural areas to transport large quantities of goods over long distances, no longer no longer have to be stopped manually, that put strain on the laborers, and causing pain to the oxen. Thanks to his brake system that is simple, effective, and affordable, bullock cart accidents are being reduced, farmers can now carry more weight on their carts, less manual labor is required to manage the cart and no pollution is being created from the cart as no fuel source is required.  

Most of these grassroots innovators and traditional knowledge holders reduced entropy by utilizing the limited resources available in creative ways, restraining consumption, reusing components, and thereby reducing waste. They may address the needs of the affluent sometimes but mostly meet the needs of those who cannot afford most of the available solutions for the purpose.

Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Chairman of India’s National Innovation Foundation, and the former Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), summarized the essence of these ideas by acknowledging that India’s challenge over the last 6 decades, has been to find innovative ways to get more output, from the few resources available and ensure that benefits reach many more than traditionally possible, since there is a large population to cover. This context has set the ground rules for inclusive innovation and Gandhian engineering- getting more, from less, for more – an approach that is now widely followed by the innovators, entrepreneurs and change makers, both in India and globally.

Grass-root level innovations scouted in various parts of India are now provided a complete cycle of support, integrated into the formal sector through networking cooperation with research and development institutions, businesses and governmental organizations at various levels. These very cost effective, low tech, grassroot-level innovations may hold the key to overcoming some of the resource challenges and myriad problems India faces today, by improving rate of employability among the rural youth, improving governance and initiating traditional intellect value, as well as meeting the requirements of all the sections of the Indian society.



Author: Shruti Sharma

Image Source: http://kalamkranti.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ahd.jpg

Since the inception of civilization, man has centred their living habits based on the availability of water and its managed usage. The evolution of civilizations around the globe saw various similarities, the most important of which remained their development along the banks of rivers. The ancient civilization of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Indus Valley flourished around abundant sources of water. These rivers coupled with the climate, vegetation, geography, and topography shaped the expansion of the early river valley civilizations. In addition to this the river facilitated and inspired the growth of newer technology, financial systems and organizational innovation.

While some cultures prospered due to their water management skills others saw their downfall and degradation due to their dependence on shrinking water sources and seasonal rain. The availability and administration of water has always shaped the survival of civilizations.

The Indian economy and financial system has largely depended upon agriculture for its major source of income for the larger portion of the 20th century. Even today agriculture and rural sectors contribute towards being the chief employment provider to the people of India. In addition to that, India remains the world’s second largest producer of agricultural goods. Agriculture in India has mainly been dependent on rain water, which, due to the changing pattern does not remain a reliable source. With the unpredictability of monsoon and the depleting groundwater coupled with the expensive water harvesting techniques, the poorer and technologically deprived famers and agrarians have always been on the suffering end. In a country like India which majorly constitutes of small, self sustaining farmers, development and growth becomes a distant dream.

These problems and necessity for change led to the development of novel ideas centred at efficient use of water along with its cheap availability.


Hand operated water lifting pump

Image Source: http://im.rediff.com/money/2011/mar/15nif3.jpg

Innovator’s Name:-  N Sakthimainthan                                                                                                                                                             State:-  Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu

The innovation sought to resolve the problem of the poor farmers who could not afford the technologically advanced pumps in the market. The need to lift ground water together with unavailability of funds and insufficient time and manpower to operate conventional water lifting pumps resulted in the development of rotating handle, manually operated pump.

The efficient working of the pump delivered 20,000 litres per hour. This invention not only improved the scene of water availability but was also substituted the poor drainage system giving it multiple usage.  The invention acted as a boon for farmers stuck with minimal resources in terms of funds and time.

Modified hand pump

Image Source: http://www.siliconindia.com/news/newsimages/special/C965LhZI.jpeg

Innovator’s Name:-  Swayambhoo Sharma, Madanlal Kumawat, Chandan Agarwal

Drought in several areas of the dry land like that of Rajasthan has been a major concern for safe drinking water for both humans and animals alike. The lack of surface water and falling levels of ground water reduced the availability of clean drinking water. The accessibility of water for humans was still a problem that could be curbed but the maintenance of livestock and providing for their need for water became a bigger problem.              

The innovation involved the filling of animal trough while pumping water for self consumption. Twenty percent of the water, in this process, was transferred to the animal trough and facilitated the fulfilling of the animal’s need.

Cycle Operated Water Pump

Image Source:- http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3094/3093461554_5fb49c1562_m.jpg

Innovator’s Name:-  Vikram Rathore                                                                                                                                                                 State:-  Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh                                                                                                                                                                       Patent Number: 371/CHE/2004, 23.04.04

The innovation came up an environment friendly replacement for the conventional water lifting pumps which required electricity or diesel to function. Functioning on an arrangement of belt-pulley and impeller, fixed over a bicycle, it works to pump water by the application of centrifugal force through the simple process of peddling.

The affordability of the technique due to the replacement of a bicycle parts with shafts for improving the availability making pumping water from rivers, ponds, wells and similar water sources thus enabling poor farmers for pumping water for irrigation and cultivation. Also This innovation requires less maintenance and is very efficient to use.

Hand pump with modified plunger

Image Source: http://nif.org.in/upload/innovation_photo/5th/handpump-and-new-plunger.jpg

Innovator’s Name:- Ramshankar Sharma                                                                                                                                                         State:- Bindusar Hamid, Siwan, Bihar

The importance and utility of hand pumps in rural India is one that cannot be sidelined. This innovation is yet another modification of a  pressure hand pump, made of mild steel unlike the conventional iron cast hand pumps which are prone to rusting, hence contaminating the water. They are fitted with an advanced plunger system. The optimized plunger delivers higher efficiency by minimizing the pressure leakage compared to the conventional hand pumps. In addition to its minimal cost it also delivers 69 per cent more output with the same input. It not only insures water purity but also reduces labour efforts by pouring more water as compared to iron based pumps.

Rain Water Syringe

Image Source: http://teca.fao.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/technology_images/rainwater%20harvesting%20tank.jpg?itok=8B0U5vAr

Innovator’s Name:- K J Antoji                                                                                                                                                                                State:- Cochin, Kerala

The need for clean, non-saline drinking water gave rise to the idea of a rain water syringe system that was developed by Mr. K J Antoji in the coastal regions of Kerala. The technique is centred at using the rain water pressure and injecting it in the ground water below sea level to dilute the saline water. It not only makes the water fir for drinking but also ensures the availability of water by recharging the ground water level.

 The financial support advanced to the development and use of these unique and cost effective technologies has been close to none. Also the exercised of these techniques remain barred by geographical retains and hence have been used at a very small level. These pose a hurdle in the spread of their efficiency along the expanse of the Indian landscape. The lack of governmental support and economic sponsorship has restricted the spread and development of innovative ideas that may facilitate cheaper amenities to farmers towards rural development. Many such innovations would not only provide for self sustained farming methods but may also introduce the idea of commercialization of small scale farm produce by the means of increasing productivity of livestock and land. The effective use of water that acts as the pre requisite for all developmental goals has to be initiated in the areas where it is required in abundance. The development of ideas vital to the management and conservation of water remain essential, especially in the rural region as the economy and socio-cultural uniqueness of India lies largely in its rural identity. Efforts by both, the government and individuals are crucial on this front of promoting innovation and experimentation as the effective growth of the rural society coupled with other innovations would be a stepping stone towards development of the Indian Dream