Category: Social Change


An automobile AC consumes about one-tenth of the total fuel. This is a significant cost for the vehicle owners such as truck drivers who travel round the clock running. The innovation by Harish Tiwari addresses this challenge by designing an AC that may be able to run itself by using waste heat from the automobile exhaust. It may therefore make the running of an automobile more economical. It achieves this by using an adsorption refrigeration system powered by exhaust heat with only two control valves. A prototype of 1 kW cooling capacity has been designed and developed in the laboratory. The adsorbers use an innovative double pipe heat exchanger to enhance heat transfer and reduce the heating and cooling time. The system dimensions have been obtained and found to be suitable for Automobile and the system can operate in mobile applications. The overall weight of the system for a cooling capacity of 1 kW is around 30 kg. The heating time required to achieve the cooling effect is around 10 minutes. The number of valves is just two which gives reliability to the system and reduces the likelihood of leakage. The project requires support in fabricating a full-scale prototype. The project received Appreciation under the Gandhian young technology awards ‘More from less’ category from Dr. Mashelkar.

Harish Umashankar Tiwari, Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering, Pune University Prof. Dr. G.V. Parishwad, Government College of Engineering, Pune

Sanjay and Tula, an engineer and a computer professional, got together several years ago to bring about a small change in the world through ‘Vishwagram’, ‘Yuvagram’, and ‘Karunagram’ initiatives. They decided not to seek any funds from private or public sources, national and international agencies. Their belief was simple – if they are useful to society, then society must find a way to sustain them. Not a bad logic at all! They decided to live in a small village, work with school and college teachers, and teach children themselves.

The engineer-computer guy duo also set up an ashram for children who ran away from their homes, and were found loitering at the railway station. These 19 kids of different age groups are being enabled to face the world with greater hopes and faith.

One of these kids used to run away often. Sanjay asked him why he did that. His answer – he missed home, the railway station.

Kids, who have such concepts of a home, need their place under the sun and a chance to grow as a worthy citizen of our society. Even one such child rehabilitated means one lamp lighted to make the world a better place.

Homeless kids aside, Sanjay and Tula organise workshops for teachers at very low costs. I recently attend one of such workshops at a resort where the place was donated by the owner, apart from boarding facilities at cost basis. A very frugal workshop thus took place in which a whole range of ideas about education were discussed. One of the questions I asked was – are there questions which teachers cannot answer? What have teachers learned from students?

There were children who asked a question as to why did they have to study all the subjects and achieve better marks in them. Why could they not focus on only a few and excel in them, and perform just satisfactory in others?

This is a question that is at the core of educational policy.

Perhaps, one day, children who need freedom of this kind, will get it. Another teacher mentioned how sometimes teachers are so full of themselves, that they don’t pay attention to the questions of children. Not answering questions is a lesser problem but a bigger problem is of not paying attention. The question should carve out some space in our consciousness. Sanjay and Tula have created a lot of space for such questions in the minds of teachers and through that, they have expanded the space for the questions of children.

They also work with youth and organise camps for them to ask basic questions. And at One such camp, Sanjay had met Tula. They get help from all kinds of quarters. Some religious preachers made a contribution, few friends pitched in and sometimes, even strangers did their bit. They don’t ask, they wait.

The issue at hand, however, is we need more such volunteers to contribute towards social good, help abandoned children, conserve nature, trigger hopes among teachers and thus help in making a difference. There is not an organised platform for sup porting such change agents. SRISTI wishes to support such silent, scattered and significant forces of change. Creation of public good, strengthening society’s moral fabric through practice and not preaching, and expanding space for free spirit, questioning minds and communitarian culture are necessary for inclusive development.

The concept of social enterprise is rather very restricted in scope. Bringing about new consciousness among youth, children and teachers is not an enterprise for Sanjay and Tula. Let us look within ourselves. Maybe, we will find a path and that may pass through service to strangers.

A joint team of students and faculties at Sir Bhavsinhji Polytechnic Institute in Bhavnagar under the guidance of Prof. G.D. Acharya took up an unique project last march. Theproject served twin purposes- contributing to the society and enhancing learning of the students. The team designed a drainage system for the residents of Village Sanosara.  Sanosara is one of the Village in Sihor Taluka in Bhavnagar District in Gujarat State with a population of 10,000. Residents of the village were facing problems due to a lack of drainage system.

Underground drainage lines were not covering the entire village and most of the older drainage lines were dysfunctional due to poor gradient & inadequate workmanship. The civil engineering department took up the work to redesign a better drainage system for the village. Students took up the survey and design work with support from their faculty and submitted the drainage designs to the Sanosara panchayat for execution. The designing process involved use of designing software such as Autocad.

The proposed design of drainage system included elements of Sustainable Rural drainage systems (SRDS). ‘Sustainable Rural drainage systems’ is a generic name for a range of techniques which seek to deal in an integrated way with the issues of water quantity, water quality and amenity. They seek to manage surface water run off as near to source as possible, slowing down run-off, treating it naturally and releasing good quality surface water to watercourses or groundwater. For this the students have proposed a waste water treatment pond for proper water treatment through biological activity before the water is released into the ground or waterways.