This Farmer’s Son Invented A Water Filter Which Costs Rs 7000 And Consumes Zero Electricity

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Around five years ago, when engineering student Jitendra visited Rajasthan with his friend, he was appalled to see the severity of the water crisis. He saw people used to bathe sitting on a cot and placed a vessel underneath. The bathing water was reused for washing clothes, watering the plants or other household chores. Witnessing the stark scarcity of water, it dawned upon Jitendra that human beings are incapable of manufacturing water. It is a priceless resource only to be recycled and reused. He has always been inclined to come up with innovative designs, so the “Youngest Scientist” awardee has designed a cost-effective ‘ Shuddham ‘ water filter which can repurpose used water and can prove to be a solution for drought-hit villages in India with no electricity.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

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The maintenance cost is only 540 rupees per year

Estimates show that drinking and cooking comprise merely 20% of our water usage, while a bulk 80% is utilised for washing, cleaning, bathing, flushing etc. Jitendra’s device “ Shuddham ” is a first-of-its-kind water filter which can filter up to 500 litres of dirty water per day and make it suitable for all household purposes other than drinking or cooking. The machine costs as low as Rs 7000 with maintenance demanding only Rs 540 per year.

The Shuddham water filter

How the filter works

Not only this, ‘ Shuddham ’ is entirely mechanical and hence incurs no electrical expense. Gravity is the basic driving principle behind the Shuddham machine where the recycled water emerges from the lowermost segment after undergoing a series of filtration procedures. Granular sieving followed by active carbon ultrafiltration makes the water fit for reuse within minutes. In addition, the machine is fitted with an anti-choke mechanism that ensures no blockage of flow or mixing of dirt granules with the purified water. Shuddham can recycle up to ninety thousand litres of water in six months, after which the filtering granules need to be replaced for better effectiveness.

 

The invention is awaiting a patent

Hailing from a remote village in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, Jitendra Choudhary comes from a small-scale farmer family. Finances have always been a hurdle for the hardworking family of four, but Jitendra has proved his mettle by gaining prominence as an engineer.

Lab reports verifying the effectiveness of the Shuddham water filter

The 25-year-old dynamic talent has already filed more than one patent, including one for his unique water filter – Shuddham. Presently a research assistant at his college in Ujjain, Jitendra has installed the latest prototype of the machine in and around his college campus, as well as a neighbouring village. His team is planning to extend the initiative to Rajasthan and adjoining dry areas once their patent is approved and the machine gets a green signal to be commercially marketed.

Jitendra has been awarded the first prize for Shuddham at the Social Enterprise Idea Challenge at Azim Premji University

Message for everyone

Necessity is the mother of invention. Yet, in India today, many youngsters shy away from discovering newer solutions to persisting problems, mainly due to the lack of confidence and positive motivation. “I encourage everyone to come forward with their creative ideas so that together we can make our motherland a better place to live in,” urges a fervent Jitendra. He hopes that his story will inspire many young men and women from a low-income background to pursue their dreams.

Water scarcity is soaring to a dangerous level in India, with climate change aggravating the woes of the rural agricultural population. A model such as Jitendra’s Shuddham has every potential to provide a sustainable solution to the parched zones of India, also stricken by poverty.

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A Group Of Karnataka Women Pushes Alcoholic, Abusive Husbands & Social Stigma Aside, Earns Through Recycling Workshop

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At thirteen, Neela was married off to a husband much older than her. At sixteen, she became a mother, and at nineteen, she was a widow. Despite having no regular income, she was faced with the daunting task of taking care of her in-laws, her own parents and of course, her little daughter. For young Neela, life has never known a trajectory where her voice is heard and her destiny is not blamed. That was until she came under the ambit of Hosa Belaku Artisan’s Foundation and discovered a new identity for herself. The taste of financial independence was indeed delightful for her, but her zeal to work hard for a newer, better life stood at the helm of it all.

No one has ever become poor by giving – Anne Frank

Founded by Kameshwari from Bengaluru, the foundation works with distressed women in three Karnataka villages, helping them to earn their livelihood by handcrafting a wide range of decorative or daily-use household items. Like Neela, nineteen women with struggles similar or worse, have found a new lease of life at Hosa Belaku Artisan’s Foundation. Every piece of item created at Hosa Belaku is recycled from leftover fabrics, paper, dry waste or scrap metals.

Hosa Belaku – a new dawn

“I have been working in the social sector for the past two decades. Since 2013, I got associated with Belaku Trust, who was working with rural women in Karnataka,” shares Kameshwari, a former legal executive. 

“Most of these women were victims of alcohol abuse and harassment on the domestic front. Some were widowed, single mothers or differently-abled – making life all the more hard for them in a patriarchal society. Unfortunately, circumstances led Belaku Trust to close their operations in 2015. The women were left in a lurch,” she narrates.

Some of these women desperately pleaded with Kameshwari to let them sustain their only source of income and independence. Moved by their plight, Kameshwari resolved to do her best to help as many women as possible. Investing a sizeable proportion of her own savings, she launched the Hosa Belaku Artisan’s Foundation in 2017.

At present, the foundation has active workshops in three villages in the suburbs of Bengaluru, namely, Halasuru, Achalu and Kadahalli. 

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The gritty women of Hosa Belaku

At the prime of her life, Pavithra’s husband left her for another woman. Heartbroken and devastated, she was clueless about how to earn her living. The story is similar for many other women in these villagers, with careless, abusive or estranged husbands, most being alcohol addicts. The pangs of poverty would sometimes become more unbearable than the constant physical abuse by their husbands. Yet, they had no way to have some respite from the ordeal. Few women did work seasonally as agricultural labourers. The backbreaking toil in the sun would take a toll on their health, while the deplorable situation at their homes would haunt them for the rest of the year.

Empower Poor Women To Rise Out Of Poverty

Kameshwari mortgaged her jewelery for Rs 6 lakh to start Hosa Belaku Artisian's Foundation. Most of the women employed in this foundation face domestic violence in their homes. Kindly donate here : bit.ly/hosabelaku

Posted by Efforts For Good on Sunday, July 21, 2019

Society, with its primitive doctrines, only made it worse for these women. For instance, nobody was willing to marry Shivlingi because she had a facial deformity. After a point, her own brothers abandoned her as if she had become a liability.

If one visits these women now, they would be found basking in their newfound success with Hosa Belaku. But, not only the women, Hosa Belaku’s workforce comprises a 19-year-old young man as well. All his life, Yogi, who is affected by Polio, had accompanied his mother everywhere. She used to work with the foundation until she recently passed away in an accident. Yogi’s father is visually-challenged, so the entire family received a major emotional and financial setback after his mother’s sudden demise. A helpless Yogi would painstakingly drag himself from door to door in search of work. “We took him in and trained him in toy-making. Now you would find him in a corner, making beautiful toys for children,” shares a proud Kameshwari.

Sunshine, Lamp and Dawn – Illuminating lives

The women groups at the three villages are designated with three unique names and assigned with a unique task each. Kirana (Sunshine), the group at Kadahalli is involved with paper products, making notepads, bags and jewellery.

The Halsuru group Deepa (Lamp) has adopted the art of block printing. Vibrant, stylish and beautiful handbags, cushion covers, stoles and notebooks are curated with the utmost care and precision by the women.

At Ushe (Dawn), needle and thread rules. Women who were already skilled in sewing and embroidery now earn by making stuffed toys, patchwork products and embroidered fabrics.

True to their names, the groups have indeed brought new light into the lives of their employees.

Suma and Jayamma are both senior workers at Kirana who have succeeded in constructing small concrete houses for themselves, a huge step up from the dilapidated huts they spent their youth in. Another aged lady in the same group has another compelling achievement to be proud of. Bearing the taunts and trauma from her drunkard husband all her life, she has single-handedly raised a son and a daughter with proper education. Her son, who is currently an aspiring engineer, was supported with a laptop from Hosa Belaku. Honamma, a young widow from the group Deepa is treading a similar path, raising her son all on her own.

The only solace

How much gratitude these women have towards Hosa Belaku is perhaps evident from Shri’s unwavering dedication. Diabetes is taking a toll on her eyesight yet she refuses to give up and continues etching her grit on the ornate block-printed fabrics.

The reason for such gratitude is manifold. For the conscious urban consumers, Hosa Belaku is striving to save the environment with their 100%-recycled policy. But, for the workers, it is the lifeline which not only offers them economic security but also allows them a place to voice, share and resolve the problems plaguing their lives.

“They come here and find a peaceful break from their household obligations. Some still face domestic violence regularly, the workshop is an escape for them. They discuss their issues and try to find feasible solutions. It takes the load off their tired minds. The work here is a breath of fresh air for them,” Kameshwari asserts.

“We have been assisted time and again by established non-profits and retail chains across Bengaluru, who have graciously showcased and marketed products made by our artisans. We would like more people to know about Hosa Belaku and its incredible women, and respect their brilliant spirit by purchasing their crafts,” Kameshwari expresses her wish.

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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