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Vol. 1 No. 20 Pages 16 PUNE, MONDAY MAY 14, 2012 Rs.4
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‘Earthy’ cooling solutions
He was on the Forbes list of the seven best rural entrepreneurs in India. He’s Mansukhbhai Prajapati, an entrepreneur, who designed and popularised a refrigerator called ‘Mitticool’ that runs without electricity!
nnovation, more often than not, is a result of adversity. It is precisely this virtue that propelled Mansukhbhai Prajapati into the Forbes list of the seven best rural entrepreneurs in India, for designing a refrigerator for the rural folk that runs without electricity. So how did it all happen? It was the devastating Morbi earthquake disaster and a photograph of a shattered earthen pot that set Mansukhbhai on the path to innovation. Spurred on by the image, he sought inspiration from the very essence of the manner in which the pots were depicted in the photograph. An earthern refrigerator? Why not? The project was aimed at providing a sustainable watercooling solution to rural areas, usually plagued by erratic loadshedding schedules and power cuts. And what makes all this all the more interesting is that Mansukhbhai’s story has all the elements of a bestseller. From dropping out of school while in Class X to getting an award from the president of India, his journey has been a tumultuous yet successful one.
The Early Years Mansukhbhai was sent to school but was forced to quit while in Class 10. Undeterred, he tried his hand at different things before settling for making tiles. After mastering all aspects of the business and armed with a loan of Rs 30,000, he set up a
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Find Mitticool at... z Mitticool products are available in Pune with Made in India Sales Corporation, Mahavir Electronics. Contact person: Nikhil - 9890198195. You can also visit the website http://www.mitticool.in/about_us.php to view their products. The refrigerator costs Rs 4,190.
The Mitticool methodology z The Mitticool refrigerator has a water storage unit on top and cold water is available at the twist of a tap. The lower part has a glass door enabling you to view the refrigerator’s contents. It can preserve vegetables for eight days and milk for over 24 hours.
Workers lending a charming personal touch to one of the products
small unit which could produce 700 ‘tawas’ (pans) a day. Mansukhbhai left no stone unturned to ensure that he succeeded in the endeavour, going to the extent of modifying the existing tile-making units to suit the tawa manufacturing process. Innovation with enterprise was Mansukhbhai’s mantra and by 1998 he had made quite a name for himself. When asked to design and deliver an earthen water filter within a month, he produced
one within eight days! So impressed was the exporter with his ability that he doubled the originally offered price and placed another order. This was to be the first of the many orders that helped put Mansukhbhai on the Forbes’ list.
Overhauling Tragedy Life, however, had struggle in store. When disaster struck in the form of the Gujarat earthquake in January 2001, resulting in huge stock losses for
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Mansukhbhai, he decided to give away the surviving undamaged stock to the earthquake victims. After three years of research, trial and error, ‘Mitticool’ was born. And almost overnight, it spelt success. Recognition came his way in the form of international news media coverage and prestigious awards.
Restless Creator Mansukhbhai is now working on improving the Mitticool fridge by using a reverse osmosis process designed to enhance the taste and quality of the water. He is also working on designing a home that will run without electric cooling or lighting. He is also trying to create an entire set of cooking utensils from clay to go along with the non-stick tawa and clay cooker, a part of product portfolio. Mansukhbhai empowers rural women by holding workshops and teaching them how to make toys and artifacts from clay. Wood, which he procures at wholesale prices for factoryuse is also made available to the community as fuel at cost price. “Anyone can be a businessman and make money, but an entrepreneur also works for the betterment of community,” he concludes thoughtfully.
EXTRAA Mansukhbhai Prajapati R.K. Nagar Wankaner, Rajkot, Gujarat, Call : 9825177249 Email : email@example.com
how they lend an extending hand could propel you to contribute your bit to the society. In this progressive city of Pune, the desire to the serve the society is very strong, as we learnt from interaction with citizens.
Striving for a greener tomorrow ‘Treevolution’, an eco-awareness campaign, recently promoted the tree sustainability mantra with gusto at the Symbiosis Vishwabhavan BORIS DIGHE B
he three-hour-long event, based on the theme ‘Lighting Hope, Growing Green’, included a panel discussion led by Rajendra Shende, former head of the United Nations Environment Programme, with the participation of leading educationists, architects, industrialists and environment experts. On the occasion, the audience was treated to specially-crafted art performances presented by various television artists. The panel discussion focussed on burning issues such as reducing the use of detergents and other chemical-based products in everyday life, cutting down on electricity consumption, building better sidewalks, and the like. Support for the campaign poured in from diverse quarters, including the Indian Army, the local police authorities, Tata Motors, 4 orphanages, 40 schools and numerous other colleges and organisations. Surgeon, educationalist and environmental expert Dr Erach Bharucha made an emotional appeal regarding Pune’s environmental stability as well as its sustainability. “We must think of Pune as a living organism, as a living human
being, we must protect the lungs of the city,” he said. Abhishek Kawitkar, founder and president of Tree Public Foundation, said, “Pune’s vehicular population has increased from 9 million to 27 million in just 10 years and with the development patterns showing no signs of easing, all of us—the class we hail from notwithstanding— are faced with the challenges of dealing with climate change.” In association with the Indo-German chamber of commerce and I Built, ‘Treevolution’ was an ideal platform for environment activists to showcase their progress in the field. Commercial partners such as 94.3 FM Radio One, Zee TV, Sixth Element in Outdoor, Vedant Graphics as well as educational partners including Symbiosis, the MIT Institute of Design and IIEBM lent a helping hand in making the event a success.
EXTRAA Tree Public Foundation Address: Shrikant Bungalow, Opp Income Tax Lane, near Prabhat Rd, Jaigad Marg, Pune-4 Phone: 9923934881 treepublicfoundation.org email: treepublic@gmail. com
An ‘eco-friendly’ skit was performed on the occasion
Tree Public Foundation (TPF) z ‘Tree Public’ is a non-profit NGO located at Prabhat Road. The organisation was formed in order to address some pressing environmental issues facing Pune with a renewed commitment and vigour. Over the last two years, TPF has planted as many as 26,000 trees, with an impressive 85 per cent survival rate. Tree Public’s immediate objective is to plant at least 50,000 trees in Pune by the end of 2012 as well as to instil a level of respect for nature amongst citizens.
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