While a washing machine is a common appliance found in nearly everyone’s household, it’s still not the case for a majority of Indians. To them, owning one is a privilege. It’s either of these two reasons: affordability and a good supply of electricity.
According to the International Energy Agency, with an estimate of about 240 homes, electricity remains a huge concern for underprivileged people in India. But thanks to the invention of a 9-year-old student, many can now benefit from the washing machine that does not need to rely on electricity to operate.
The Grade 8 student from Govt LBS Boys Middle School, Pandhurna, Madhya Pradesh, Darshan Kolhe, was able to make a washing machine with a recycled plastic cylinder and bicycle parts. The cylinder is connected to the bicycle chain which can be powered by pedaling. A mesh container sits inside the cylinder where water can be loaded together with soap.
Darshan demonstrated how the pedal-powered washing machine works by putting the dirty cloth into the mesh container inside the cylinder and manually cycled the bike for a while. Like the typical washing machine, the invention comes with a drying option as well. You just have to empty the cylinder of water and let the mesh spin openly, removing excess water from the clothes. The outcome is a newly washed cloth the same as machine wash!
The student demonstrated his innovation at the National Level Inspire Award competition at IIT Delhi where it was selected to be presented at international portals. Not only is it a creative breakthrough, his invention is also beneficial to many underprivileged families around the world without access to electricity. Lastly, it is cost-efficient and can be a form of exercise just like cycling! How amazing is that?