For many of us, clean clothes are something we often take for granted. However, for many people around the world, who don’t have electricity, it’s not.
When Navjot Sawhney, a student at the University of Bath, volunteered in India he witnessed how people struggled to clean their clothes. Many rely on handwashing techniques that are both painful and time-consuming, a chore mostly undertaken by women.
After witnessing this, Sawhney got inspired to design and create a low-cost washing machine that would simplify the process of washing clothes. An invention to make life easier for people in areas where electricity is scarce, for example, people living in refugee camps. Divyas, which is the name of the machine, works using a hand crank. It is manufactured in the UK before being shipped abroad.
Since Sawhney launched the project back in 2018, the project has delivered orders to 15 countries.
“To give them the dignity of clean clothes is very fulfilling,” Sawhney said to BBC. “Handwashing clothes is restrictive and painful. The Divya means women, who are usually the primary washers, have more time to rest.”
Proceeding forward, the project is planning to roll out the device in Uganda, Lebanon, India, and Jordan.