My first experience with Foldscope at ICGEB, Delhi and NCMR_NCCS, Pune

I am a microbiologist and can very well understand the importance of microscope in my day-to-day research.  I read about Foldscope somewhere is 2015 and since then I was keen to have this frugal microscope.  Last year DBT, India invited proposal to use Foldscope in various activities, including research. I reacted promptly and submitted my proposal to use Foldscope to study the morphology of pea root nodules and compare it with the diversity of root-nodulating bacteria. After a long wait, I received an e-mail informing the approval of my proposal for funding and to attend a workshop for training on assembly and use of Foldscope at ICGEB, New Delhi. I was super excited to attend this workshop. On the morning of 17th April, I reached ICGEB and found that there were nearly 200 people in long queues waiting for their workshop kit (Flodscope kit). Finally, I could get my kit, which contained several pouches and few paper sheets. During the inauguration session Director, ICGEB addressed the workshop participants and talked about the importance of out of the box thinking and development of scientific temper in children. “Development of scientific temper” I believe is one of the most neglected fundamental duties of an Indian citizen. He also pointed how rational and scientific thinking is important for the development of any nation, by citing few examples. Thereafter Dr. Shailja V Gupta, DBT gave a brief introduction of the workshop and also shared the background story of introducing Foldscope to India and role of DBT, India. She informed that DBT will host more such workshops in near future and participants from neighbouring countries will also participate in next workshop. Then we took a break for tea. I met many college teachers and university professors during this break and felt the huge excitement in all of them about Foldscope. Now, we started assembly of Foldscope, and Dr. Deepak Modi was training our group. It was fun to assemble the different parts of Foldscope with Dr. Modi’s clear instructions, we could assemble the Foldscope very easily. The real fun begins when we started observing the specimen under Foldscope, the expressions of all participants were inexplicable. I captured few pictures and felt a great satisfaction, as this tool was at par with my expectations. I travelled back to Pune, where a group of young enthusiast was waiting for me, to have their first experience on Foldscope.

My first observation under Foldscope
Vikas Ghattargi holding Foldscope
Shubham Wadikar holding Foldscope
Apical bud transverse section
Dr. Yogesh S. Shouche with Foldscope

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