When British-born Indian Navjot Sawhney took a sabbatical from work within the UK and moved to India, he had by no means fathomed that ladies refugees in Iraq can be eternally grateful to him.
And all of this for his work on a washer.
An aeronautical engineer by career, Navjot put his engineering abilities to make use of when he met Divya, a homemaker in Kuilapalayam village, Tamil Nadu, throughout his sabbatical.
Seeing her endure from backache and pores and skin irritation from washing garments together with her arms, he constructed a low-cost handbook washer that requires no electrical energy and little or no water. It not solely washes but additionally dries 70-80% of garments.
Priced between Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000, the unimaginable innovation by Navjot has bagged a number of grants, awards and assist from corporates and non-profits all over the world.
He launched his first machine in August 2018 and since then he has deployed over 150 items throughout Iraq and Lebanon, positively impacting near 1,350 individuals by means of his initiative ‘The Washing Machine Venture’. Underneath this venture, organisations buy machines from him and distribute them without cost.
“I used to be working at a high-end vacuum manufacturing firm once I took a sabbatical. After experiencing the village life-style and its issues, it didn’t really feel proper to make use of my abilities to make merchandise benefiting the privileged. So, I stop my job and spent almost a 12 months to give you a washer,” Navjot tells The Higher India.
‘Designed Like A Salad Spinner’
From sanitation, electrical energy, water to training, all Navjot noticed was a plethora of points that plagued the village life. What shocked him extra was that folks have been pressured to be habituated to those issues.
His first innovation was clear cooking stoves that got here in 2017. This was for the ladies who would typically journey deep into the forest to gather firewood to organize meals.
He then shifted his focus to the problems of washing garments with arms, which is commonly undermined, particularly within the rural landscapes.
“We regularly see ladies laughing and chatting away on the river banks whereas washing garments. What we don’t see is the period of time, endurance, power and stamina that goes into the exercise. My neighbour, Divya, had contracted a water-borne sickness and pores and skin irritation. Not simply that, the exercise consumed a number of her time due to which she missed her incomes alternatives. Even her daughter needed to forgo her research for a while to scrub garments,” says Navjot.
After that, Navjot travelled to 12 creating nations and spoke to over 2,500 households to survey handwashing garments. He discovered that this burden is widespread — disproportionately affecting ladies and kids, affecting their well-being and livelihood.
A 12 months later, Navjot discovered himself twiddling with spare components of various machines in his Greenford condo kitchen. With salad spinner as his primary half, he constructed a prototype inside two days.
He christened the hand-cranked machine ‘Divya 1.5’.
“I designed the machine primarily based on the ideas of a salad spinner. It has a capability of 5 kg per wash and a pace as much as 500 RPM. It comes with a guaranty of two years and weighs 35 kg. The speed-soak drum gives wonderful dewatering that reduces drying time and is 75% quicker than hand washing. All one has to do is put the garments inside and switch the wheel manually with a deal with,” he explains.
Whereas Divya and different ladies of that village are but to obtain the washer on account of technical challenges, Navjot has managed to make inroads in conflict-affected zones of Lebanon and Iraq the place the machines are making a distinction.
“Girls use roughly 50-60 litres of water if they’re hand washing the garments. Furthermore, they must stroll for miles to supply the water and in addition carry the burden of crammed buckets. This was inflicting back-breaking issues for ladies of Iraq’s Mamrashan Refugee Camp. Moreover, their free time is used to relaxation or assist the youngsters with their research. Girls can save roughly 750 hours yearly in the event that they cease hand-washing garments,” Navjot asserts.
At current, he has greater than 2,000 pre-orders of the machine from 15 nations.
If you happen to want to donate a washer or cash, you’ll be able to click on right here.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)