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Empowering rural women

R. Ravikanth Reddy
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Students of M.J. College of Engineering and Technology have created an eight spindle ‘charka’ powered by solar energy that increases the yield, quality and decrease burden

Innovative:The ‘Solar Charka’ designed by students of M.J.College of Engineering & Technology.–Photo: by arrangement
Innovative:The ‘Solar Charka’ designed by students of M.J.College of Engineering & Technology.–Photo: by arrangement

Mahatma Gandhi’s symbol of self-esteem ‘charka’ now promises to lighten up the lives of rural poor thanks to the ‘Solar Charka’ designed by students of M.J.College of Engineering & Technology.

Farhan Ali Khan and Mekala Aditya, final year students of Industrial Production Engineering along with their associate professor A.S. Reddy have created an eight spindle Charka powered by solar energy that increases the yield, quality, and decrease burden.

“Solar energy is converted to electrical energy with the help of solar panel, battery and inverter system. With the help of battery we can extend the working hours by four hours after the sun set,” Aditya said.

Students say mostly women are dependent on charkhas. “In the manual process production rate is slow.

Each operator produces 25 yanks in 8 hours and with Rs.3 per yank the take home wages are around Rs.75 per day, which is very meagre,” they say, adding that solar charkha increases earnings by both improving the output and thread quality. “Testing with actual women workers yielded 50 yanks per 8 hrs and they have enough time to run one more machine.”

The ‘solar charka’ is powered by 100-120 W AC motor. The speed of the spindle is designed to run between 60-90 RPM with the help of speed regulator.

The machine can be fitted with LED lights to work in the nights also. The AC motor is used because it is available everywhere and easily repairable in villages.

The students got help from former Karimnagar MLA Janardan Reddy, who is also the president of a social organisation Sadana working in the concerned field.

Associate professor A.S. Reddy says refurbishing cost for two machines is around Rs.55,000. But with subsidy provided by Central and State governments cost of converting manual charkha to solar charka can be reduced to Rs. 27,500.

R. Ravikanth Reddy


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