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 water filter which can repurpose used water and can prove to be a solution for drought-hit villages in India with no electricity.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.