Even as you’re reading this, winds of change are blowing across India. From places as busy as Mumbai, as faraway as Erode and as troubled as Kashmir, great new ideas are sprouting, promising a better tomorrow, making us proud. Our nation of jugaad is taking a giant leap forward – inventing, adapting and creating bold new ways to make your everyday life easier.
We scouted the length and breadth of the country to find the brightest innovations, and roped in author and entrepreneur Rashmi Bansal to pick the ones with the most promise. This is a list that is as diverse as it’s ingenious. They’ve already inspired us to dream big – in full-HD, actually! Now it’s your turn…
Tools that compost your trash at home
Idea: Daily Dump
Brainchild of: Poonam Bir Kasturi
A ride-sharing app that’s actually safe
Idea: Let’s Ride
Brainchild of: Rajkumar Mundel, Praveen Mane and Averi Pal Choudhuri
Imagine you woke up one hour before an important meeting and missed your bus. Here’s an option that will be like hitching a ride with a friend, perhaps a new one. Let’s Ride, a free web app, is a platform for people to connect so they can carpool their way to work or college.
In other cities
Ten minutes before you need a ride, give a missed call to the number the site provides. The site connects you to other users on the same route so you can carpool. It will soon be available as an app.
In Bangalore, sign up on this application with your corporate email ID or use your Linkedin.com profile and share rides with people who live and work in the same locality as you.
A toilet that needs no plumbing
Idea: The Banka Bioloo
Brainchild of: Namita Banka
A blanket that fights mosquitoes
Brainchild of: Shreya and Kasturi Poddar
Imagine a mosquito flying towards you as you get ready for a nap. It’s dengue season and none of those coils, creams and vapourisers have worked. You need better weaponry.
A fridge that doesn’t need electricity
Idea: Mitticool Fridge
Brainchild of: Mansukh Prajapati
The Mitticool Fridge doesn’t need electricity. Instead it runs on a simple principle – when clay comes in contact with water, it drops 10 degrees in temperature. Potter Mansukh Prajapati’s invention uses 10 litres of water to cool down its terracotta clay body to keep a steady temperature of 10 to 15 degrees.
This makes it ideal to store fruits and vegetables for five to eight days. Milk products can last up to 24 hours in the fridge and it doesn’t need a replacement for 10 years.
A directory for Kashmir in one app
Idea: Dial Kashmir
Brainchild of: Mehvish Mushtaq Hakak
A wheelchair that can climb stairs
Brainchild of: Shanu Sharma
When she designed a school that would give physically challenged kids the same access as others for her final-year Architecture project, Shanu Sharma realised there was a need for a product that helped a disabled person feel included in all environments.
A site that rewards you for your trash
brainchild of: Shahbaz Shamsi
Architecture student Shahbaz Shamsi knew that if he had to get people to care about their trash, he had to offer them a reward. “It’s all about motivation,” he says, laughing. And so he started Wasteplus.in.
Rashmi Bansal loved these ideas too
The solar powered backpack:
Lumos is a backpack that will charge your phone, your iPod and all your gadgets on the go. Gandharv and Lavina Bakshi’s company, Lumos, creates backpacks that are fitted with an in-built battery that can store solar energy and in turn charge any USB-based device. It’s also water-resistant, and impact and shock-proof.
Affordable sanitary napkins:
Arunachalam Muruganantham’s company provides affordable sanitary napkins to Indian women who can’t afford the big brands. He built his own machine, which now produces 1,000 pads sold at Rs 2 a piece.
The machines have been bought by NGOs who distribute the product to rural women through a “resident dealer” who is a woman who educates them about feminine hygiene products.
From the author's diary
It’s a very different India we live in today – one that sorely needs creative minds to give it that extra push towards tomorrow. We have always had engineers and doctors but it’s time we had a bunch of out-of-the-box thinkers who can create and innovate to build a world that’s different.
We were struck by how all the inventors and innovators we spoke to, young and old, were not doing this to make a quick buck, but to just make our cities more liveable. They wanted to do something “that will change the world”, as the inventor of the mosquito repellent blanket Kasturi Poddar said.
But we knew we would need expert help to pick the ones doing truly good work. And that’s why we got author and motivational speaker Rashmi Bansal on board to curate our list. Along with giving her stamp of approval, she offered advice on how to make the ideas sustainable. Because that’s what will make them truly successful. Get ready to get inspired.
With inputs by Junisha Dama
Follow @aastha82 on Twitter
From HT Brunch, November 30
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