Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cool stuff!

A well designed product excites me. A well designed product that is functional excites me even more. One that is functional and eco friendly really gets me salivating! And a well designed product that is all of the above, AND affordable and a creation of a man consumed with passion, has me hyperventilating. That's exactly what happened when my husband's aunt, visiting us, told me about Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a potter from Wankaner in Gujarat. Mansukhbhai, a high school drop out (much to the disappointment of his parents) has achieved the enviable! He has been awarded a national medal by the President of India for his out-of-the-box invention - an eco friendly refrigerator called Mitticool made of clay, that cools without electricity, a boon for people living in rural India where electricity is still unpredictable and a luxury! 
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....!

11 comments:

GB said...

Kamini, this is a fantastic post!! I love it, all of it...I wish more people would try to think out of the box. The one thing positive that we Humans have going for us is ingenuity, and I really wish we'd use it!!

Best of luck to this awesome man and his awesome venture!!

Emreen said...

Wow ! kamini... This is a great post...How innovative..!!! - somethin that even the learned couldn't achieve.. .really wish that Mansukhbhai's fridge and fame reaches every part of the country...

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

What a talented man and a fantastic post!!

PreeOccupied said...

Thank you for introducing Manshukh Bhai to us. I hope he gets all the support and visibility with these great out of the box innovations.

Sayantani said...

thanks for bringing this up Kamini. I always think of these art form that goes unnoticed. we need more bloggers like you to spread the words...would love some of those storage jars. very Indian.
between if you get time check my post on Amader Haat. a place I love to visit.
http://ahomemakersdiary.blogspot.com/2010/09/amader-haat-weekly-market-with.html

Patricia Torres said...

Oh My!! Kamini!! this is awesome.. Hope he gets his products out everywhere!!! Such a genius!!

I also loved the clay pot water thing.. So pretty!!

Sound Horn Please said...

A fantastic post! Thanks for introducing me to mitticool. As kids we always had an earthen pot filled with water to keep it cool from Chennai's sweltering heat.It is so nice to see the concept made more sale-able.

Sreelu said...

Kamini,

this is so cool, mitti pressure cooker awesome I say, they say next big thing will come from the east. Can I repost this on my blog. please let me know I would love for my readers to discover these cool products.

Kamini said...

Its so nice to get such positive feedback....we really need to spread the word, so if anyone wants to, feel free to repost this.
Thanks for your comments.

Rekha said...

Brilliant post Kamini, very innovative...

purplehomes said...

lovely post! And what great work! my fav has to be the water dispenser