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14-yr-old slum girl invents washing machine that can run without Power, gets National Award

Electricity is indeed a luxury for the less unfortunate ones who come from economically backward sections of society. The sad reality is that India hasn’t attained 100% electrification and there are still villages out there without electricity. Life becomes even tougher for them at night.

While we have washing machines at home which makes our lives much easier and simpler, there is another side of India that washes their clothes manually with their bare hands. They couldn’t even possibly think of affording a washing machine and even if they do, they don’t have electricity.

Credits: inhabitat.com

Remya Jose, who is one of the residents also faced similar issues at home. Hailing from Kizhattoor Panchayat in India, she thought of an alternative that could make all their lives much easier to live.

She came up with the brilliant masterplan when she and her twin sister were tasked with the family’s strenuous household works after their mother was under the weather. So, rather than washing clothes by hand in the river, Remya Jose found her own solution that saves ample time and effort.

She invented the pedal-powered washing machine and many villagers have even expressed their interest to afford this machine which comes at an affordable price.

At the age of 14 itself, Remya Jose invented this machine, which was made from recycled bike parts that can make laundry much easier and effective for families without electricity.

Jose started to do in-depth research on electric washing machines and learnt how they work so that she could implement and experiment the functionality in a human-powered machine. Thanks to her father who helped her find the parts she needed for her design. After that, she took her sketch to a neighbourhood auto shop, where the workers helped her construct the machine with the help of the design.

Interestingly, the imaginary concept turned out to be so good in reality. In fact, it worked even better than Jose’s idea.

The machine comprises aluminium cabin with a wire cylinder inside holding the laundry. The cylinder is linked to a bike chain and pedal system. Laundry is placed inside the machine with hot water and detergent and left to soak for around 10 minutes.

Then, one can pedal to spin the laundry and clean it. A small faucet on the cabin totally drains the soapy water, and then the machine is refilled with clean water for a final rinse cycle. On top of that, it is an elegant and simple solution for families living in rural areas who might otherwise be without a washing machine.

Well, all her efforts didn’t go in vain. After being impressed with her invention, she was presented with the National Award from former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, and when she was 18 years old, she applied for a patent on her device.

Now in her mid-20s, she plies her trade as a Serial Innovator at the National Foundation in Ahmedabad, creating new inventions and creative solutions to help rural communities.

Written by Sagar Abhinandan

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