Ever heard of Universe Simplified? It is a Mumbai-based organisation that has been busy conducting hands-on science and astronomy workshops across the city’s schools, for the past three years. Started by the impassioned Henna Khan, Meena Rathod and Aditya Pappu, this little body now boasts students who have made their own wheelchair. But, it isn’t your regular wheelchair. Universe Simplified’s kidoes actually made a wheelchair out of old, discarded materials like pipes and tyres.
The organisation’s core value is innovation and this can easily be seen in the children’s latest creation. However, what is as amazing as the wheelchair itself is the place where the tech found its birth. According to YourStory, the low-cost innovation has hailed from a Zilla Parishad School on the outskirts of Mumbai – a place called Mamnovli.
Universe Simplified had taken its children to a good number of hands-on science workshops. Hence, it had now decided that the youngsters were ready to put their own creative skills to the test. Henna said,
We did one brainstorming session with the children, where we gave them several examples of innovation being done by other people… After the children brainstormed for ideas, one child came up with the idea of making a low-cost wheelchair from old cycle tyres and bamboo.”
However, the team got the kids to build a wheelchair with PVC pipes first, before they took on the challenge of working with bamboo. With about 5-6 lads working on it over a course of 4-5 sessions, and with mentors to guide them, the stunning pipe-based wheelchair took shape without any help from the Internet. They even worked through challenges like figuring out a sturdy frame, a steering system and a route to attaching a seat to the cycle tyres. And that is how a meagre group of brilliant Indian boys created a wheelchair from waste.
Universe Simplified is currently a non-profit that funds its own work. Further, its facilities are provided to economically-challenged children for no cost at all. Still in its pilot phase and with five spaces to work in, the heartwarming organisation is already climbing that daunting mountain of education that’s constantly threatened by poverty. Even the productive Mamnovli outfit came up only recently in October. Still, with just a few months and no external funding, Universe Simplified is on a road to truly setting up “low-cost, frugal makerspaces within schools and orphanages in India,” and converting “existing office spaces into public weekend makerspaces that are free and open to people of all age groups.”
With one clever, low-cost innovation to its name in just a few months, we wouldn’t be surprised if this little body eventually transformed India, one frugal creation at a time.