Women of Bharatpur district of Rajasthan who earn their livelihood by fabricating Tulsi Mala beads have received aid from IIT-Delhi as they provided them with improved technology. The IIT initiative that aims to empower rural issues with innovation discovered that the women Tulsi Mala makers were using old machines which hampered their growth so they helped them with new apparatus which has added exponentially to their production and brought enhanced features for designing and polishing.
The tulsi mala beads, which these women who belong to the Kaman, Deeg, Nadbai and Sewar tehsils in Bharatpur district make, are distributed to temple towns of Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon and Barsana, situated nearby. Religious events within the state and in nearby areas also require a good supply of these tulsi mala beads.
“New machines have been designed with wooden boxes, in which other tools could also be kept, while a state-of-the-art technology had been used to add the utilities of designing and polishing. RuTAG has offered the machines to women of the region at a subsidised price of ₹5,500 each,” Lupin Foundation's executive director Sita Ram Gupta told The Hindu on Monday.
The IIT Initiative Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG) that assisted the women of Bharatpur also kept training sessions for women to familiarise the new apparatus with them. An artisan Omwati, from Bailara village of Nadbai tehsil took the training session arranged by the IIT initiative and then taught other women to use it too. After this RuTAG presented these machines to Omwati and Lupin Foundation’s in-charge of women's empowerment programmes, Salho Hembrom, at an event in New Delhi last month.
The RuTAG initiative collaborated with Lupin Foundation to help rural women of Bharatpur and revamp their old apparatus into superior technology. With the apparatus, RuTAG enhanced its speed, added new features and helped in its operation with a comfortable sitting posture.
New machines have been designed with wooden boxes, in which other tools could also be kept, while a state-of-the-art technology had been used to add the utilities of designing and polishing.
Last month, the same IIT Design initiative provided technical assistance to potters in Bharatpur district. It organised a tech-aided camp in the area to train youth to make earthen pots and terracotta pots. The RuTAG initiative actually provided them with electric motors for the spinning of the potter's wheel, innovative design interventions and new baking techniques to help them produce in bulk.
Last year in December, IIT Delhi’s RuTAG organised a design competition for its students to create an impact in rural areas through innovation. “In a way, it was a movement for connecting engineering minds with society. The competition will hopefully find a real solution which may be ready to implement,” said coordinator and principal investigator of RuTAG at IIT-Delhi S. K. Saha.