When it comes to tropical developing countries, women folk carrying earthenware filled with water is a pretty common sight, especially in rural areas. Now, the rustic scene may evoke romanticized reveries of sylvan times, but the hard practicality dictates otherwise – the earthen pots tend to be very heavy in nature, thus requiring a skilled balancing act from the person carrying them.
Well, a US social venture Wello has found a way around this water carrying predicament, with their ingeniously designed WaterWheel.
Created with the help of numerous inputs from villagers of Rajasthan (a North-West Indian state with dry, arid climate), the contrivance is a water carrying container that also acts as a big rolling wheel.
Crafted from high-quality, sturdy plastic, the WaterWheel is tailored for ‘navigating’ over rough terrains. Of course, this innovative ambit is bolstered by the weight of the design that makes it easier to maneuver and balance when rolled over the undulated ground.
And, since we are harping about the weight, the WaterWheel has a substantial capacity of 50 liters.
The cost factor is also kept on the lower side with a $25 to $30 price range, which is much less than the comparable capacity products that retail for more than $75.
In an interesting note, the adoption of WaterWheel is not just limited to rural womenfolk. Beyond the confines of narrow-minded traditions, even men have taken an active interest in using the product. As Cynthia Koenig, CEO of Wello, proudly observes –
One of most exciting things is that men love using it, they see it as a tool. Men take on the primary role so the women are freed up to do other things. Or the role is split so men use it four days a week and the women use it two days. It has reduced the burden on women. A nurse told me she is not late for work anymore because the husband collects the water.
The WaterWheel will start its production cycle from Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat. Wello is also planning for the commercial retailing of the water-carrying design in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.