Retired Associate receives a Patent on Floral Preservation. Its never too late..
When childhood interests turn into dreams, and when the person works hard to turn those dreams into reality, such stories give way to lookup for inspiration. One such journey is of Mahalakshmi V Reddy, the retired Associate Dean of the College of Home Science, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University. What is so special about her?
Childhood Hobby And Love For Flowers:
Dr.Mahalakshmi V. Reddy is an alumnus of Madras University and Avinashilingam Deemed University. She retired as Professor and Associate Dean of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University in the year 2016. As a child, Mahalakshmi used to love arranging flowers and always thought of ways to keep the flowers fresh and alive.
Experiences Lead To Innovations:
On one mother's day, Mahalakshmi gifted a bouquet to her mother that faded within a few days. This incident didn't make her feel good. She always thought how beautiful it could be if we can preserve the flowers someone has lovingly gifted us. It hurts when they fade away. This very thought propelled her towards researching on various ways to increase the life of natural flowers.
Strong Desire Shows The Way:
In the year 1998, Mahalakshmi attended an international fair held in Hyderabad. There, the way beautiful flowers were displayed at one of the stalls amazed her and she was also astonished at how these flowers stayed fresh in a case container. Ever since then, her desire to preserve flowers grew a million times stronger. In the year 2008, her patience and perseverance bore fruits when the university permitted her to pursue her research for four years. She started her journey into the field and she could find out was the technique to retain the colour and the texture of the flowers, but not the suppleness. In the year 2013, her research took bigger shape when the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India extended their help to fund her research. Thus, she re-started her research in October 2013 and finished it in 2016. She then applied for the patent and received it in 2017. She thus became the first Indian to receive the patent for her work on ‘floral preservation through freeze-drying technology’.
In the year 2016, Mahalakshmi founded Lyoflorals TM – “Forever Memories”, a floral preservation company, that was established for preserving flowers.
Registered with MNES in September 2016 under agriculture and floro culture, this Micro Enterprise offers value addition to flowers through new and Innovative Process methodology. Mahalakshmi started this with an investment of 22 lakhs. At “Lyo florals”, flowers are preserved using advanced preservation process with Lypohilisation technology to dehydrate which are further encased into transparent cases. Dr. MahaLakshmi, through Lyoflorals, also preserves a variety of tropical flowers and uses them to create premade gifts. "I want to increase the shelf life of flowers so that people can treasure emotions and get nostalgic when they last longer,” she says.
A Not-so-easy Journey:
The journey towards achieving her current dream zone was not an easy one. Immense hard work coupled with sleepless nights gave her fatigue adding exhaust to her 59-year-old body. Frequent travels to Chennai, where the machinery and the laboratory equipment required to conduct the research are available, drained her strength. Though it became tough for her to manage administrative responsibilities along with research, she didn't want to compromise on her project. Reference to look up to was not available and there were not even enough resources to carry the study further. At one point, she approached a Hyderabadi company to provide her with the Lyophilisation equipment but the company turned her down.
Sucess Born Out Of Sweat :
That company which refused to help Reddy initially, came back to provide her with the equipment for prototyping. Amazing!
Also, the Commissioner of Rose Society of Andhra Pradesh and The Directorate Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research asked Reddy to process their flowers so that they can be placed in their museums.
Mahalakshmi told the world that his old your dream could be, you can still dig it back from the deeps of your heart, nourish it with grit and will to see it bloom.
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