Namaste India, Europe, USA, and to readers from other parts of the world!
I, Zoha, am writing my last blog post for the trip and BLUElab India. This trip has been phenomenal because of the FAILURES and CHALLENGES I faced, the support of SETCO Automotive, and the exchange of knowledge between us and the residents of Dolatpura. I cannot think of any better way of spending this last month in Dolatpura. I hope my failures and successes here allow me to apply my knowledge in my future career (or careers). Now on to today’s blog:
Today, the team and I went to Dolatpura to build our third prototype. Erica, Kaylla, and I decided to teach Sumitraben the methods of building the chimney and support metal strips of the stove. Sumitraben quickly caught on. She was excited to use the tools to cut the metal and bend it with the pliers. After she successfully build the metal parts of the stove, Erica and I worked with Sumitraben to prepare the kali mati (black dirt). Then, we suggested that Sumitraben take the lead in building the stove. As she was building, we noticed that she was able to quickly build and replicate the design. In addition, she made the necessary modifications we discussed.
During our building session today, a couple of stove builders came to visit and view Sumitraben make the stoves. In fact, Sumitraben talked about the designs and explained why she was building the way she was to the other stove builders. One woman helped Sumitraben build the stove.
Sumitraben’s husband decided to assist her in building the stove as well. Everyone was discussing the design amongst themselves and with us. When they had design questions or comments, we were able to clarify. When we had questions or comments about their design techniques, we communicated with them. It was definitely a co-design experiment.
To talk about what Sai and Shilpen did…here’s Shilpen: Hi all! Sai and I had an interesting day searching for materials that the families in Dolatpura wanted to incorporate into the design. Specifically, we were looking for cement pipes to put around our metal chimney to protect the metal pipe and prevent people from being burned by touching the metal. Unfortunately, cement pipes that are small enough and light enough to fit the stove design were nowhere to be found. We looked in three different towns, no luck! Instead, we are planning to suggest that they put a second metal pipe around the existing pipe. During our search for cement pipes, we discovered cement chulas (stoves) that cost 500 rupees, which is significantly expensive. Overall, Sai and I gained a really good understanding of the materials that are available near Dolatpura.
After the boys returned to Dolatpura, we discussed our future workshop with Sumitraben. I am excited to work with Sumitraben to conduct the workshop.
This is my last goodbye, and it is bittersweet.
Avjo (see you again),
PS: Hi world, Kaylla here. Today while documenting the stoves process I took a great selfie with some villagers hence the title :)