The project aims at sustainable de-centralised technology development in rural India, through a participatory design approach.
It is spearheaded by Krishna Thiruvengadam, a Chennaiite, an SRM University graduate and a runner-up at the 3M-CII Young Innovator Challenge Award 2017 of the India Innovation Summit. At dHive, the local community is encouraged to solve issues locally so that solutions adhere to socio-cultural values of the region.
Planning to establish a similar model in Tamil Nadu as well, Thiruvengadam recommends youngsters to adopt the (open source) dHive’s participatory design approach that has seen successful field results to solve the pressing issues (like farming and water shortages) of the state. “I believe young minds are the future change makers,” he noted.
The project started during his SBI Youth for India Fellowship (2015-16), has been now institutionalised by the BAIF Development Research Foundation and Maharashtra Institute of Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (MITTRA). “We are now setting up a women Self-Help-Group based micro enterprise to make the project self-sustaining by locally manufacturing these products, creating alternative livelihoods for drop outs and youngsters to reduce village migration,” he said. With a design thinking process developed for easy adaptation to the rural context, Thiruvengadam said, the two-stage process consists of: problem solving and design thinking.
Pedal-powered washing machine:
Inspired by the concrete mixers in cities, this portable device washes clothes when the user pedals his way back to his home fetching water from the river. A stand-alone stationary model was built and tested successfully and the portable version is under development.
Built using abundantly available bamboo, this low-cost device enables women to carry firewood much easier reducing neck and spinal strain, by equally distributing load over the user’s shoulders.
Hybrid smokeless stove:
A cook stove built with local materials capable of heating water and cooking food simultaneously while generating no smoke, to aid mothers in hassle-free cooking. It also features simmer control unlike the regular stove. The product was a quick hit and is now generating alternative livelihood for a few families in the village by selling
* Youngsters, school drop-outs and other community members joined the team, which is now 20-member strong
* Three of them turned into serial innovators
* They could solve the community’s most pressing problems that existed for generations in their village
Ideas on the anvil
* Retractable rain cover (windshield) for bicycles
* Solar powered rice cleaner device
* High beam prevention cap
* Safe jaggery production device