Aren’t laundry and exercising the two vices of your life which you are forced to fight with almost on a daily basis? But, what if I tell you that a girl in India has managed to kills both these vices from one arrow. How, you ask? Well, Remya Jose from Kizhattoor Panchayat, Kerala has invented a pedal-powered washing machine when she was just 14 year-old.
The story behind Remya’s inspiration to invent the innovative washing machine is equally inspiring. Remya, a class 10th student, had to commute for four hours a day to get to and from school everyday. Yet, she was always a top performer in her class, winning prizes at science exhibitions and scoring phenomenal marks year after year. Then one day, Remya’s mother’s health deteriorated while her father was undergoing his cancer treatment, so the responsibility of taking care of the house cores fell on Remya and her twin sister. Since four hours of their lives were being spent daily on commuting to and fro from school, Remya decided to think of ways through which she could decrease the burden of her and her sister. Since the house didn’t have a washing machine and laundry was a chore that took a lot of time, Remya decided to take matters into her own hands.
She started by understanding how a washing machine functions, and then decided to make one for her house that functions on human power rather than the expensive electricity.
While her parents tried lecturing her about not to waste her time and learn to wash clothes by hand, Remya kept strong and believed she could make this wonder washing machine a reality.
Replacing mechanical power with electrical power, she drew up a basic diagram of a washing machine that functions when someone works the pedals attached to it. Seeing Remya’s dedication, her father pitched in and searched and founded all the parts that she wanted to make the machine. He then took the diagram that Remya drew and the parts he found to a nearby auto shop and asked them to assemble them according to Remya’s diagram.
The final outcome was an aluminium cabin like structure with a cylinder placed inside it to put the dirty clothes in and wash. One needs to soak the clothes first for a minimum of ten minutes in detergent and hot water, and then cycle the pedals for another 2-3 minutes.
The innovative washing machine model can be of much use in the Indian rural areas where people have to suffer from frequent electricity cuts.
This was a few years ago, now in her 20s, Remya has found herself a job in the esteemed National Innovation Foundation as a serial innovator in order to fulfil her thrust for innovation and technology.