22-year-old Ashutosh Vashishtha was elated and on cloud nine when he came to know that ‘MyGov’ had mentioned his ‘Ujala table’ on its social media platform. Ashutosh, a final year student at the National Institute of Design, Haryana, has designed a table for students. However, the table is unique as it generates electricity, which the students can use to study under. The purpose of the table is to make sure that education remains unstoppable.
Ujala table is a simple study bench that has a pedal in the leg area. When a person moves that pedal, just like the tailoring treadle machine, it generates electricity which can be used in multiple ways.
Ashutosh told PBNS that he deliberately did not use solar or wind energy to generate electricity. “There’s a provision for storing generated power in a battery to be used later. There is a reason why I chose to use peddling (mechanical activity) to generate power instead of solar or wind.”
He also mentioned that he wanted to make a fully sustainable and simple infrastructure that was not dependent on any external factor like the sunlight or the strength of the wind.
What first began as a submission for an international student design competition has now the potential to be converted into a start-up that could help many. The NID student plans to turn his design into a sustainable start-up.
Ashutosh designed a 3D CAD model in July of 2020 to enter the competition. But, when it got viral on social media in January 2021, he gave the design a practical touch. It took him a total of 3 days to make the prototype of the pedal and other electric systems. After which he went to his school, DL DAV Model School to test the prototype on an actual bench. The proof of concept (POC) cost him approximately Rs 2,500 which only includes the cost of electronic components and not the bench.
**Ujala table to help students**
The idea behind ujala table was to have no barrier to education. Ashutosh’s design aims to help students, especially the ones from rural backgrounds. “The foremost aim is to aid students and workers in rural India where there is neither access to electricity nor any proper natural resource like sunlight or wind to generate power,” he said.
**Vocal for local**
With the ujala table, Ashutosh Vashishtha not just wants to help students but also the locals. He uses local materials like bamboos, which he says will help in fostering the craft sector in India and generate an innovative approach to furniture making in the country.
**Prospects and future projects**
Ashutosh will soon be graduating, after which he plans to work on developing the idea further and make it fit for urban areas as well. “I plan to work on the idea for its refinement and then pitch it to the government or any other entity for financial support to convert this product into a full-scale startup,” he shared.
Next, he is working on designing a ‘Mohalla clinic inside a reusable cargo shipping container’. The medical space design project relates to interior design and space and aims to deliver primary healthcare facilities like OPD and family planning services by doctors along with good quality staff in the remote locations of the country.
“While the ultimate beneficiary of these clinics would be the marginalized communities, the design of the clinic is made taking doctors and their comfort level into consideration, so that they don’t face any issue in a remote location,” Ashutosh shared.
**Service to mankind**
“I aim to provide a better standard of living so that people can be empowered. I feel electricity and education are extremely important for humankind,” said Ashutosh.
Adding further, he mentioned that solutions that focus on physical infrastructures are needed to solve the problems in education, as it is the foundation of human development.