Every day, women in India spend up to 352 minutes (nearly five hours) on home duties. Before they can go for work, many are compelled to manage many jobs at once, from cleaning the house to making meals.
Rajini Bai, the mother of 14-year-old Navshri Thakur, was experiencing the same issue in Madhya Pradesh’s Dokrikheda village. She’d get up early in the morning to prepare supper for the family before heading out to work in the fields till the evening.
“My elder sister and I help my mother out so she can leave for work on time. Sometimes, there are chores pending and she will have to finish them in the evening after returning from work. We cannot help her at that time, because we are studying,” says Navshri, a Class 10 student of Girls High School, Pipariya in an interview with The Better India.
Mum’s chores are being made easier.
Navshri decided to invent a gizmo that can perform multiple jobs in 2019 to provide her mother an extra set of hands and simplify household chores.
“First, I imagined and drew a rough device on paper. I applied simple scientific principles that can help my mother cut vegetables and prepare other dishes at the same time. However, to improve the design and to develop a real-time prototype, I approached my school science teacher Aradhana Patel for guidance,” Navshri explains.
Aradhana sought advice from a few carpenters to see if the plan would work. The device was modified and replicated based on their advice by 2021. Multi-Use Kitchen Machine was the name given to it.
Cutting vegetables, extracting juice, grinding spices, and rolling rotis are among the eight tasks of the equipment, which can be operated by hand. Teak wood, steel plates, cups, and other materials are used to create it. The National Innovation Foundation donated cash to purchase the items.
“The device is like building blocks. It has removable parts that serve different purposes. It was built with the help of a carpenter in our locality and cost less than Rs 3,000. When all the fittings are removed, it can be folded into one plank,” Navshri explains, adding that she named her invention Jhat-Phat Kaam, Maa Ko Aaram (Quick work and relief for mom).
Navshri’s mother utilised the prototype during her everyday cooking for a few weeks to see how effective it was. She claims that the appliance aided her in completing dishes more quickly and was simple to clean.
“Usually, I require multiple utensils to cut vegetables, crush garlic, extract lemon juice, etc. But with this device, I can do all the activities in one place. Thanks to this, there are fewer utensils to wash after cooking,” Rajini Bai says.
Navshri has also received the INSPIRE prize from the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), and her concept is being patented.