Thiruvananthapuram: All over the world, when people for science marched on Saturday, a march was taken out in Thiruvananthapuram as well. Organisers here claimed that the participation from the scientific community has increased. However, many scientists kept out of the event. While the ones working in government institutions said that they would be given memos for participating in a march which demanded more funds for science and education, most pointed out that there were no results to show from the previous event. "Results!" scoffed a scientist who did not wish to be named.
A march might not be the best of strategies to awaken a sleeping government, believes a scientist who did not take part in Saturday's March for Science. "They ought to have approached the scientific advisor to the Prime Minister, and tried various strategies, rather than take out a march, if they really wanted to work towards an increase in funds," he said. "Moreover, while there is some reality in the crunch of funds, one must also consider how well these institutions have delivered. ISRO does not have any shortage of funds." However, organisers say that compared to last year, the number of participants from the scientific community had risen.
"Last year, most of the participants were students," said Rajeevan P. P., National Executive Committee member, Breakthrough Science Society (Kerala). "However this year, of the 500 participants at least half were faculty members of science institutions in Thiruvananthapuram, like ISRO, IIST, RGCB, Government Medical College, CET and NIIST. The march last year was only the beginning. The momentum will increase in the coming years." Breakthrough with Astro Kerala and Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad had brought together various science enthusiasts and formed a March for Science Organising Committee.