UK-Indian Engineer made low-cost washing machine inspired by salad spinner

A London-born Indian-origin engineer, Navjot Sawhney, has successfully made an environment-friendly low-cost washing machine. Keeping the financially week people in mind, he started the project 3 years ago. Currently, the supply of his project to countries like India has got off to a good start.

The project had passed the test done by a field research in Iraq camps, where lack of water is a major environmental issue.

Navjot set up his Washing Machine Project to provide energy efficient washing machines to low-income regions and has been working with volunteers and partners to conduct research ahead of supplies.

“At the Washing Machine Project, we believe in the power of innovation to empower lives. That is why we have developed an off-grid, manual washing machine, which saves 60-70 per cent of time and 50 per cent of water, for people in low-income and displaced communities,” notes the charity’s fundraising campaign.

“This idea was born out of a friendship. Nav, our founder, was on a sabbatical in rural South India, making clean cook stoves when he met his neighbour, Divya. It was through their conversations at the end of each day that Nav came to realise the significant burden unpaid labour places on women,” the note added.

According to the sources, Navjot was on a sabbatical from his engineering career in the UK when the idea of a hand-cranked washing machine struck him.

He also mentioned that when he lived in his village Kuilapalayam in Tamil Nadu, the community had limited access to continuous electricity, and water was switched on only twice a day. “My next-door neighbour Divya and I became excellent friends. While we talked, she would hand wash her clothes. I was always so shocked at how long and how much effort it would take to conduct the relatively unproductive task,” he said.

His journey along with the united idea has today led the world to ‘Divya 1.5,’ model of his manual washing machine, inspired by a simple salad spinner. With the help of the charity Care International, currently, 30 of Divya 1.5 model will be used at Mamrashan Refugee Camp in Iraq.

The project is expected to bring a positive impact over 300 people and save up to 750 hours per household, annually. The man behind the project himself plans to head to Iraq at the beginning of September, to help distribute the machines.

The goal for this project still remains to fulfil orders to refugee camps in Jordan along with being shipped to other parts of the world, including India and Africa.

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