Oomen in india spend up to 352 minutes (about five hours) taking care of household chores every day. Many are forced to manage several roles at once – from cleaning the house to preparing meals, before they can leave for work.
In Dokrikheda village, Madhya Pradesh, Rajini Bai, Navshri Thakur’s 14-year-old mother faced the same problem. She got up early in the morning to prepare food for the family and left to work in the fields until evening.
“My eldest sister and I help my mother so that she can leave for work on time. Sometimes there are chores pending and she will have to finish them in the evening after she returns from work. We can’t help it at that time because we are studying,” says Navshri, a class 10 student at Pipariya Girls High School in an interview with The best India.
Simplify household chores for mom
In 2019, to give her mother an extra pair of hands to simplify household chores, Navshri decided to innovate a device that can perform different tasks.
“I first imagined and drew a crude device on paper. I applied simple scientific principles that can help my mother chop vegetables and prepare other dishes at the same time. However, to improve the design and develop a real-time prototype, I reached out to my science teacher Aradhana Patel for advice,” says Navshri.
Aradhana consulted a few carpenters to figure out if the design would work. Based on their advice, the device was modified and, by 2021, replicated. It was named Multi-Use Kitchen Machine.
The device, which can be operated by hand, has eight functions including cutting vegetables, extracting juice, crushing spices, rolling rotis, among others. It is made from teak wood, steel plates, mugs and more. To purchase the hardware, funds were provided by the National Innovation Foundation.
“The device is like building blocks. It has removable parts that serve different purposes. It was built with the help of a carpenter from our locality and cost less than Rs 3,000. When all the fittings are removed, it can be folded into a single plank,” says Navshri, adding that she gave to its innovation a slogan, Jhat-Phat Kaam, Maa Ko Aaram (Quick work and relief for mom).
To test the effectiveness of the prototype, Navshri’s mother used this device during her daily cooking for a few weeks. She says the device helped her finish preparing meals faster and was easy to clean.
“Usually I need several 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,” says Rajini Bai.
Additionally, the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) awarded Navshri the INSPIRE Award and is in the process of patenting its design.
(Editing by Divya Sethu)