May 24, 2016

Posted by in 2016, Children Workshop Report, News | 0 Comments

Children workshop – Parikshit nagar

Children workshop – Group 6


Day 1:

Orientation meeting. Bhavesh sir gave a talk emphasising the fact that every individual thinks differently. Students were given assignment problems which were previously given to engineering students and then, thinking of both the groups were compared. Children were shown some of the previous innovations from SRISTI. This was followed by lecture by Prof. Anil Gupta which … Schedule of the whole program was then given followed by the dinner.


Day2 :

The Day started with dividing of the students into six groups along with teachers, engineering students and volunteers. We were a part of the Group 6 which was taken to Parikshit nagar.


Students interacted enthusiastically with slum dwellers and tried  to  get to know about their problems in daily life. They noted all  observations.This was followed by returning to the campus and  then  the lunch. After the lunch group six led to the Apang Manav  Mandal  where we met the physically disabled people. We came to  know about  the various problems they face for basic commuting  needs and while  following their daily routine.Then we got back to  the campus and  discussed about the problems and how we can go  about in solving the  problems.

Here I have documented some of the interesting things those were  noticed during the field visit and for which we brainstormed in      the   afternoon session.6.3

1. Tricycle
We met a middle aged man using tricycle.

The students along with some of us(engineering students) interviewed him on the advantages and disadvantages that he faces while using tricycle on a daily basis. The tricycle was given to him free of cost by Govt/NGO. He uses the device for accessing distance within 0.5km from his house. When travelling on difficult terrains or slopes, he required assistance.

Some of the observations those were made:


  1. The device had no parking brakes. The user had to place a medium sized stone at the back of the chair when it is parked or at times when he wishes to talk to someone by stopping at one position.
  1. The calliper brake handle and the steering wheel are located in such a way that when the user has to access brakes, while steering, he has to do it in a awkward manner using his index finger for pulling the brake lever while using the other fingers and palm for rotating the steering.


Potential solutions discussed:


  1. Introduce parking brakes to solve the problem a. mentioned above.These brakes could be accessed manually by levers like the normal wheelchair brakes


  1. Include an attachment to the brake lever so that the extended brake lever can be accessed easily while turning the steering
  1.  Some students proposed that we use bike engine to propell the tricycle.
  2.   Others suggested that we use disc brakes instead of the normal calliper brakes as they are more efficient and reliable.(I was really    amazed at the ability of 8th std students to propose solutions such as disc brakes!)

1.Someone mentioned we make a solar powered tricycle

2. Roof top


We observed that people in slums used corrugated metal sheets as roof cover. Students observed that such type of model would lead to more heat being trapped by metal.


Proposed solution:


Use natural insulator above these corrugated sheets to prevent the heat transfer. Students proposed the use of sand layer above the corrugated sheets.


3. trolley for carrying vegetables/ fruits etc.
We observed quite many of these devices in our field visit. On keenly observing them and talking to some of the users, here are some problems that we came across:
a. The tires get punctured

  1. The size of the trolley makes it inconvenient to maneuver in narrow corridors
  1. The fruit/vegetable seller has to stand all the time when the trolley is parked at a particular place for selling fruits
  2. While selling the groceries, the seller has to sometimes go narrow passages vehicle is parked at one place for selling goods into an apartment for distributing stuff to people’s house leaving the trolley unattended. So, a reliable locking mechanism with a provision to cover the goods from being stolen by trespassers was required.

Proposed solutions:

  • Use double tube tires
  1. Make the trolley foldable by including door hinges at appropriate locations
  1. How about using a trolley powered by IC engine?
  1. Using sensors to detect the trolley owner’s fingerprint which can be used for locking the vehicle
  2. Including an attachment to the trolley which can be taken out and used as a seat when the lorry is placed at one location.
  3. Including a sheet metal sliding cover(with holes for ventilation) to be included in the trolley design thus proving the feature to cover the groceries when the vehicle is left unattended.

4. Kitchen Stove

It was seen that most of the people use stove which requires wood to be fed into it for fire. A considerable part of the fire spreads around the vessel thus leading to inefficient heat transfer from fire to the vessel.

A intermediate device/tool to be placed between the vessel and the fire to channelise the fire frame to the bottom of the vessel.

5. Wood cutting device add­ons/ accessories

It was observed in of the family that all the house members were involved in wood cutting process. Among them, women were the ones most affected. On continuous usage of hack­saw blade, it had damaged their palms considerably. The intensity of this problem increases when women also do other household work, cooking etc.

An ergonomically better hand grip attachment which would prevent the palms from getting damaged. This device could be attached to the existing cutting device.

6. Multi­Stage dishwasher
The utensil washing process in slums is very disorganised. It consists of a vessel where dirty plates are immersed . Then they are removed, washed outside and collected separately. The people in slums devoid of washing sink with a tap have to resort to such a process.
A 3 stage stack for washing utensils(one on top of the other). The unwashed dirty plates to be placed in the bottom most compartment. The intermediate stack is meant for washing. The top most is for placing the washed utensils. The 3 stage stacking allowing the washed plates to be on top would mean dirty water if any would drip down into the bottom most stack which is anyway filled with unwashed plates.

7. Ladder­table foldable device
It is seen that not all people use ladders on regular basis. Most of the houses possess one but it’s not used on a daytoday basis. These ladders lie in some corner of the house(sometimes outside) occupying unnecessary space.


A foldable ladder which can be converted to a small table or chair so that the ladder when not in use, can be used in this alternate fashion as a chair or table inside the house.

8. Skating board type mobility device for physically challenged

It was observed that most of the physically disabled people with lower limb problems use tricycle outdoors and a skating board time device to be moved by pushing with hands when indoors. One drawback that was observed with this device was its inability to brake and control the speed. This is usually done at the expense of using user’s hands. When the user wants to slow down, he holds the ground more firmly with his hands thus reducing his speed. Though this is a simple solution, on a long term basis, it would wear out the skin on users palms.


To include a feature that allows the user to lean backward, thus engaging a link which presses the brake pads to be placed around the wheels. This would provide user with more control over the chair and also prevent hands from getting worn out due to hard pressing for stopping the chair.
An alternate version for this would be to provide the user with a small lever which he can pull and brake the skating board.

Other problems those were identified and require more brainstorming


9. Rag pickers and other people who exchange utensils for clothes by going around the city

These people carry a bucket containing utensils on top of their head. They go about the locality asking for used clothes which people want to be disposed. They exchange these clothes for utensils. They then carry these collected clothes in a handbag which they hang around their shoulders. The users complained getting muscle pain after a long day of strenuous work.


To come up with a bag/ movable trolley/ device which can be easily carried around the place by the user which would help transfer the load to ground instead of being lifted by the user using his muscles.

Better bag design for pressure distribution over the user’s upper body instead of being carried by shoulders.

  1. Cleaning machine using broom fibres driven by motors
  1. Problem of electricity meter being quite close to ground level a way to cover it
  1. A filter to be installed on chimneys to reduce the extent of smoke emission
  1. The problem of houses down hill getting flooded during rainy season
  1. A simple device/ filter to be attached on windows for preventing dust from entering the house


10. Cleaning machine using broom fibres driven by motors

11. Problem of electricity meter being quite close to ground level a way to cover it

12. A filter to be installed on chimneys to reduce the extent of smoke emission

13. The problem of houses down hill getting flooded during rainy season

14. A simple device/ filter to be attached on windows for preventing dust from entering the house


15. A sewing machine attachment to convert the existing foot operated sewing machine to hand operated machine for people with physical disabilities. There are sewing machines which can be used with upper limbs. These are used by those having lower limb problems. Also there are machines driven by electricity. But I believe, in our visit to the apang nivas, we realised that there is no simple way to convert a foot operated sewing machine to hand operated one by shifting the actuating mechanism by adding an intermediate device. We could come up with a device which could be attached to any standard sewing machine thus converting it from feet operated to hand operated device.


Day 3:
We started with analysing the problems that we jotted down on the previous day. Chart papers and sketch pens were distributed among the children.

In a matter of 1hr from there, children came up with some sketches. Engineering students were instructed just to observe them do their work. Children were divided into 6 groups along with engineering students, teachers and volunteers. In a matter of 1.5 hours, children came up with amazing sketches. One observation was that children tend to me children worked on multiple problems also.

Prototype crafting:


After discussing all the ideas with professor we organised a 30  minutes group discussion amongst children. Children chose  three significant and interesting problems, and analysed  different aspects of all the problems to narrow it down to one  problem—Improvised commuting pad for handicapped.

In order to analyse all the aspects of the problems we crafted the  prototype using Styrofoam.

After crafting the prototype we presented to proffesor and class  for their input.

Modifications and alternatives were suggested. In fact we got to  know that children in our group independently thought of incremental innovation which can be applied to the commuting pad designed in earlier Summer School.


The session was concluded with acknowledgement to teachers, students and volunteers. Certificates were distributed to teachers. And their experience and learning was uttered to one and all. Professor Gupta too delivered a speech and tried to communicate various techniques to teachers which can help in the development of children’s attitude towards innovations and communication of the ideas.

The workshop ended on a high note with the message that children possess sensitive hearts and can see what we can’t.And there is huge opportunity for adult ones to learn from them.6.13

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