Pages From This Book Can Filter Sewage Water Fit For Drinking, Each Page Can Last For Weeks

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When two entirely unrelated words as ‘drinkable’ and ‘book’ are put together side by side, it takes us quite a while to grasp the practicality of the product it designates. However bizarre it might sound, the ‘ Drinkable Book ’ is undoubtedly a revolutionary invention.

Manufactured by a group of researchers in the USA, in collaboration with non-profit organisation WATERisLIFE, the ‘Drinkable Book’ is ensuring clean drinking water in developing countries of Africa and Asia.

Drinkable Book in the Science Museum, London

So what exactly is ‘ Drinkable Book ’?

It’s the first-ever manual that provides safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education — all in one! Each page is a literal water filter inscribed with hygiene and sanitation education,” reads the description of the book on the WATERisLIFE website.

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The book is the brainchild of Theresa Dankovich, a researcher at the Carnegie Mellon University, who designed an efficient filtration system with silver nanoparticles infused on a page made of cellulose. Later, she also upgraded the design by introducing copper nanoparticles, which give the same result, but at a lesser expense.

Drinkable Book
Theresa Dankovich

The advanced paper filter is capable of eliminating nearly 99.9% of disease-causing bacteria present in sewage water. When sewage-contaminated water is sieved through the filter, harmful bacteria like E.coli are killed by absorbing the silver and copper ions, which have noted antibacterial properties.

Each book can last up to four years

The filter has undergone several field tests in areas like South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Haiti and Bangladesh, which face consistent scarcity of clean drinking water. At all places, the result has been astonishingly successful, ridding the polluted water of over 99% of contaminants.

Drinkable Book
Communities using Drinkable Book in Bangladesh

The ‘Drinkable Book’ is a compilation of 25 pages of such filters, with information on sanitary hygiene printed on each page with edible colour. Each page can last for weeks and one book has the ability to solve an individual’s or a family’s water woes for up to four years.

The challenges and future prospects

Though the cutting-edge technology is turning heads in the scientific community, its sustainability in actual zones of need is yet to be ascertained properly. One main roadblock happens to be educating the people about how to use and replace the filters in time. Also, the book is still being developed further by researchers and would take some time before being commercially launched. In an interview with Washington Post, Dankovich had shared that her target was to bring down the cost of each filter within 10 cents (approx. INR 7) so that the underprivileged communities can afford the book easily.

At present, the filters are handcrafted which increases the production time and cost. The creator is aiming for automated bulk production of these, without compromising on the quality and efficiency.

If the ‘Drinkable Book’ is made available globally, it will certainly transform the dynamics of water wastage and recycling, helping the population take a big leap towards sustainable usage of this priceless resource.

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‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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It's not how much we give
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- Mother Theresa Quote
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