Sunday, December 16, 2007

Efficient Rat trap tool brings prosperity in Rural India

I always believe that technology should aide the development processes. Here is a live example:

Irula is a tribe living in tribal areas of  South-East India living on "Rat catching " as a profession. They do this by lighting a fire in a clay pot, then using their mouths to blow air through a small hole on the bottom to force the smoke into a rat burrow. Then, they dig out the stunned rat, along with any grains the rat had accumulated. These rats and grains (accumulated by rats) is the main source of living. Due to this inefficient procedure, many times they suffer from health problems, such as burned lips and hands, and smoke inhalation resulting in respiratory and cardiac illness.

As per  this paper, CDDP designed a steel trap, with a wooden handle to prevent hand burns and a crank to eliminate smoke inhalation and lip burns.

The results: Irulas using the new traps have doubled or tripled their incomes, greater numbers of Irula children are going to school, and more Irulas are receiving health care.

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