Five Ingenious, Electricity-Free Contrivances Reinforcing the Rural Populace

Residing in the deplorable rural areas, larger sections of people are deprived of the basic amenities in life, like potable water, electricity, sanitation and many more, thereby leaving them no option of innovating affordable and effective products that can sustain their lives. In fact, rural innovators across the globe, despite improper education and cash crunch, have created a plethora of beneficial marvels by productively deploying technology, basic materials, and zero electricity.  After all, “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk,” quoted America’s greatest inventor –Thomas A. Edison.

Here are a few ingenious products highly utilized by the rural populace across different parts of the world that are reinforcing their lives at starkly affordable costs and zero electricity!

Mitticool Refrigerator: The Earthen Marvel


Envisioning to create a healthier and robust lifestyle, Mitticool, India’s best earthen cookware company introduced its pioneering product, an all-natural refrigerator made from terracotta clay to store water, milk, fruits, and vegetables. With no utilization of electricity or any other form of artificial energy, this earthen refrigerator provides natural coolness to the stored products and preserves their original taste and quality for 2-3 days.

In contrast to a modern design, it operates based on the basic principle of evaporation and maintains the temperature inside about eight degrees below room temperature. Firstly, water droplets percolate from the bottom layer of the upper chamber of the fridge into the inner atmosphere, which later evaporates through side walls thereby decreasing the inner temperature and delivering the best cooling effect.

Hailing from a family engrossed in the traditional profession of clay, Mansukhbhai Raghavjibhai Prajapati was the genius behind this eminent rural innovation. Fame knocked his doors many a times when Mitticool clay refrigerator was featured at many conferences and shows.

Rolling Water Purifier: Leakage-Less Transportation of Pure Water

The concept of a rolling water carrier cum air purifier sprouted in the minds of Ramesh Kumar and Swathy Ravindran, students of IIT Madras when they were fascinated by the innovation of ‘hippo roller’, a rolling drum to transport water in rural areas.  Their rolling water purifier device helps in the purification of water through just effective nano-materials and no power besides the transportation of water via roller. While the other rollers then in the market had only one barrel body which can easily cause leakages during breakdown/crack, this rolling water purifier was designed with an outer body to withstand mechanical forces and a polybag to store water. 

Clearly, the device stands as a major help today to most people who still carry water (sometimes non-potable) on their heads or shoulders from local water bodies to their homes. Ramesh and Swathy were recently bestowed with the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (BIRAC – GYTI) Award by Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the Honourable President of India.

Solar Mosquito Destroyer: Stench-Based Traps & Heat-Based Extermination


Kerala-based Mathews K Mathew, an ardent nature lover is a mastermind behind the creation of solar mosquito trapper cum destroyer who spent most of his childhood in developing traps to capture rodents and small animals. Installed near septic tanks, this eco-friendly and self-sustaining product eliminates mosquitoes at the source itself, away from our homes without the usage of any chemical or pesticide. This one-of-its-kind device that captures mosquitoes through the smell from septic tanks and later kills them through the accumulated heat from direct exposure to sunlight.

The device in fact comprises of a polymer-based base housing, a transparent dome-shaped solar furnace with two side wings to accumulate the dead mosquitoes at the bottom, inner fine mesh layers, a central conical channel with trap hole, adapter system for the biogas inlet tube, control valve to calibrate the bio-gas and bio-gas exhaust tube. Presently, the solar mosquito destroyer stands as a masterpiece that is managing the menace of breeding and multiplying mosquitoes over many rural areas of India.

Eco-Cooler: The Zero-Power DIY Air Conditioner


Fusing the dynamics of physics with waste soda bottles, Bangladesh-based Ashis Paul came up with the brilliant idea of a DIY cooling system that uses zero electricity to bring down the indoor temperatures to a maximum 5 degree Celsius. With extreme support from Grey Group (Bangladesh), Paul was successful in transforming the Joule-Thomson effect of cooling air via gas expansion into an incredible air-conditioner out of plastic soda bottles.

But how does it operate? A cardboard is cut out as bottleneck-sized holes over a grid pattern, into which the empty plastic soda bottles with their bottoms cropped are placed. As the wider parts of the bottles are located towards the outside, they extract the passing wind and funnel it as cool air into the interior of the building, thus dropping down the room temperature. Today this zero-power DIY air conditioner is used by some of the rural populace of India, especially who live under tin-roofed huts that augment the sun’s heat as well as for people in many other countries.

Milking Machine: Effective & Hygienic Milking

While many power-operated milking machines have come into the limelight, affording them has always been pretty tough for the dairy owners across the rural sectors of India. On the other hand, milking of cows/buffaloes by hand is a tiresome process as well as unhygienic. But the manually and power-operated milking machine invented by Raghav Gowda outclasses as a very simple, affordable, easy to operate and effective machine that deploys suctions to milk as much as 1.5-2  liters of milk per minute, with no pain in the udder for the cow/buffalo and no milk leakage.

Delving into the structure of this device, one can infer that it holds reciprocating vacuum pumps with a vacuum gauge, a suction assembly unit and an air bubble free gasketed milk canister to collect the milk. By leaving no milk in the udder of the animal, this machine enables one to milk up to 100 liters single-handedly and is currently used by over 300 dairy farmers across India.

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