Namaste!!! This is my first post this year! It is great to be back in the scorching heat (seriously). My feet, arms, and neck are tanning under the sun. I have an ombre tan, if that makes any sense. In fact, I have a scrunchie tan (it is kind of cool…maybe not that cool). Today, the team and I traveled to Dolatpura and conducted our first stove and toilet related conversations.
First, we met with Sumitra Ben and her family. We decided to see her stove and sit nearby in her backyard. We sat together and discussed the designs. In addition, we asked her for any suggestions to the specific model. Sumitra Ben said that as we build and test our prototype, she will be able to give us more feedback about our technology. We were interested in the procedure of making the earthen mixture for the stoves.
Therefore, Sumitra Ben’s brother-in-law walked with Shilpen and Sai to show them that the mud comes from their farm. They dig about a foot into the ground and scope out the mud. Then, they mix it with husks (or other wastes from crops) and water. Once the mixture is kneaded like dough, they let it sit outside for 24 hours. The following day Sumitra Ben starts constructing the stove. Last week, we asked Sumitra Ben if we can work with her to build her new stove. She agreed to work with us. Tomorrow, we will be building the stove similar to every resident in Dolatpura. Once we understand the techniques Sumitra Ben used to build her stove, we will collaborate with her to build her first prototype and test it. We are super pumped about building our first stove tomorrow!!
Furthermore, we met with Prakash and Chatrasinh Bhai. We showed and discussed the toilet designs to the brothers. They both were satisfied with the design and did not have specific suggestions. Prakash had great questions about each design. In the end, both Prakash and Chitrasinh Bhai selected the design with the underground soakpit with an underground urine diverter. Lastly, we said our goodbyes to the community and headed back to the factory to continue planning our week. The start of the week has been great! We have accomplished a lot from our conversations today. I am excited to see how the next week plans out. Until next time, Zoha Momin