e-charkha for e-age
By: Anshuman G Dutta
Modern version of Mahatma Gandhi's revolutionary tool of self dependence will generate electricity too
Just as Munnabhai re-invented Gandhi for generation-X, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has revived one of the most potent tools of the Mahatma the charkha.
The age-old device to spin cotton would now help generate electricity for the rural populace. The commission claims that the new age charkha would be able to generate enough electricity to run a transistor or a CFL lamp for four hours.
Launched last year, the e-charkha has already become hugely popular among the rural populace.
"Its popularity is increasing with time. It is not only more productive but also help the user to light his home," said a KVIC official.
This year the evolution of charkha is going to the theme of KVIC's Republic Day tableau. "We will display all forms of charkha, including the latest e-charkha on the tableau which can operate with two, six and eight spindles," the official said.
The e-charkha comes fitted with a dynamo which converts the kinetic energy generated by the spinning wheel into electric energy. The electricity thus generated charges a battery connected to the device.
Officials informed that the charkha generates six to nine Watt of electricity after being run for two hours of operation. The charkha, which costs between Rs 3000 to Rs 12, 000, comes with a warranty of 35 years and is made of light material to make it more user-friendly.
The KVIC has decided to manufacture about two lakh e-charkhas to distribute in the villages. The commission is also exploring the export potential of the product. The project is also expected to generate a sizeable number of employment opportunities in the rural India.
The charkha comes fitted with a transistor. So, when a user is spinning the yarn, he can enjoy music too. "These things are introduced to make the charkha more popular. The cost is not too much but we need to give villagers worth of their money so that the dream of introducing charkha on big industrial level lives on," the official added.
The charkha was developed in cooperation with a Bangalore based firm- Flexitron which is now involved in its commercial production also.