Pottery has been the family's traditional business. Here is a picture of his father at work.
Mansukhbhai was inspired during the earthquake of 2001 in Gujarat, by a newspaper caption that said that ‘the earthquake did not even spare the poor man’s fridge’, meaning the earthenware pot many under privileged people use as refrigerators. That made him think and that’s when he thought of making an affordable eco-friendly fridge for the common man. The result of 3 years of his efforts resulted in Mitticool, a fridge that is made entirely of clay, runs without electricity and does not require any artificial energy. Touted as a mud fridge, it has 2 large water tanks at the top and the bottom that cool the sides.
Akin to clay pots, or "matkas" that keep water cool in summer, Mitticool can lower the temperature by about 8 degrees Celsius in comparison to the room temperature. The USP of Mitticool lies in the density and quality of the mud used, which ensures that everything kept inside is protected from the heat outside. The upper portion of the fridge can store about 20 liters off water, while the bottom cabinet has separate storage space for fruits, veggies and milk. The natural cooling process inside the refrigerator can keep fruits and veggies fresh for about 5 days, while milk can be preserved for 3 days!
Here is a video of Mansukhbhai talking about the fridge...
Undeniably the low cost fridge which retails for 2500 rupees or approx $50, is his pride and joy, but his small industry also makes beautiful clay water filters. I would love to have one of these in my kitchen.
gorgeous ceramic storage jars....
and believe it or not, a clay pressure cooker! Isn't it beautiful?
At a time when global warming is wreaking havoc and we all want to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet by conserving energy, people like Mansukhbai deserve all the support and encouragement possible. It is products like these that will not only help the low income folks, but will also help spread awareness on eco friendly design....not Nano cars being made for the "poor man" at a cost of 1 lakh rupees, that will just choke up the roads and pollute the cities even more!!! Ratan Tata would have been better served putting his efforts into an electric car...but that's another story that I do not want to get started on......!
For more on Mitticool and Mansukhbhai, go here....!