“The very greatest things – great thoughts, discoveries, inventions – have usually been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow, and at length established with difficulty,” Samuel Smiles, the Scottish author and government reformer has rightly said.
For India, being a developing nation, at a time when the natural resources are diminishing, environment is suffering and global poverty is increasing, sustainable solutions and inventions pave path to progress and development of the nation. Some of the inventions that has potential to solve problems of a developing country like India are listed below.
- Edible Bags
Plastic pollution has caused the dumping grounds in India to be saturated. Improper treatment of waste generated and longer environmental cost of plastic has caused several governments in India to issue a ban on its usage. This is perhaps a beneficial move for the environment, but has cause a lot of inconvenience for the people, causing them to use the old plastic bags they had saved secretly.
In order to solve this problem and build a bridge between the government, people and the environment, a young entrepreneur, Ashwath Hegde invented a bag using a combination of natural starch (from potato and tapioca) and vegetable oils. This bag which looks and feels like plastic, will naturally degrade in 180 days and will disappear in a day if submerged in water. It is also edible, hence will not cause harm to animals if they ate it accidentally.
- No fuel plough
A farmer from Uttar Pradesh up-cycled an old bicycle to make a low cost plough. When Ram Prasad had to sell his bullock during a drought year to sustain his family, he realised he needed a more economical way of sustaining farming. After years of experimenting, he modelled a plough using his old cycle and few pieces of iron that does not require any fuel to operate.
- Solar water purifier
A Solar water purifier developed by IISc. Researchers and Suryagen Renewables is an open source purifier that can transform water from any source into potable water. In this device, impure water is evaporated using solar energy and the vapours are condensed to pure water on a cold surface. This leaves behind bacteria, heavy metals, arsenic, fluoride and other impurities. It can effectively produce 1.5 litres of potable water from 3 litres of impure water.
- Shoes that mobilise visually impaired
Lechal shoes are made with Haptic technology which uses vibration force or movement to communicate via the sense of touch. The insole of the shoes are equipped with a series of vibrations that indicates which direction to walk. These special shoes allow visually impaired people to move around with confidence and security as their shoes and programmed GPS technology will take them to their desired destination.
- Plastic Road
Chemistry professor Rajagopalan Vasudevan devised a way to transform common plastic litter into a substitute for bitumen — the main ingredient in asphalt used for road construction. The invention has already paved 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) of plastic thoroughfares in at least 11 Indian states.
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The CSR Journal Team