The Centre is one of 20 winners (June 2004) of a nationwide competition organized by the India office of the World Bank to consider innovative ideas, which if implemented, could make a difference to rural problems. The C-NES project, which included a model to scale, was titled: A Ship of Hope in a Valley of Flood. The concept is to develop and design a boat that is safe and sufficiently powerful, with equipment and health workers of boat, to take health services to flood-hit villagers at times of high water in the Brahmaputra. These are times when all infrastructure collapse and roads and rail lines are submerged and cannot reach people in distress.
The award was given in recognition of C-NES? approach which seeks to improve existing indigenous technologies as well as existing vessels (country boats and middle size ferries) and aim at establishing a fleet of such ships across the state.
The award carries with it a citation and a prize money of $ (US) 20,000. Boat designs are being developed in collaboration with a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and in association with local boat makers, the Inland Waterways Authority of India and Assam?s Inland Waterways Department and local entrepreneurs.
The boat is at the final stage of design and construction is expected to start by the year-end. The award is a recognition of C-NES? pioneering work and initiatives which have placed it firmly in the field of innovation, grassroots work and alternative policy development in the region.