Accessing clear water is a problem throughout a pure catastrophe as an elevated presence of micro organism, chemical compounds, livestock waste and different impurities might result in contamination. Consuming impure water might trigger a fast-spreading outbreak of illness and worsen the disaster by threatening human well being. Aside from impurities, there could also be disruptions or unavailability of potable water as nicely.
Therefore, it turns into an utmost precedence to rearrange clear water as the primary response to catastrophe administration.
Whereas many NGOs and catastrophe aid efforts present packaged consuming water to these affected by disasters, the state of affairs calls for a secure and lasting resolution, because it takes weeks or months to revive the water provide. Furthermore, the usage of package deal water creates the problem of plastic waste concurrently.
And Pune-based firm Aquaplus Water Purifiers (Pvt) Ltd, is serving exactly this trigger via their distinctive water purification techniques which have supplied much-needed aid in over 50 pure disasters up to now 17 years.
Purifying water with out energy
Nevertheless, the corporate by no means meant to cater the catastrophe aid efforts. In actual fact, its beginnings have been fairly easy, starting when an engineering scholar dropped out.
Talking with The Higher India, Rahul Pathak, the founding father of the corporate, says, “I used to be pursuing engineering from Pune the place I realised that the sphere lacks the appliance of logic. I felt that the calculations and theories made the issues extra complicated with tough options.”
Rahul says engineering requires 60 per cent widespread sense and 40 per cent technical data. “I realised that the experiments and theorems wouldn’t profit the society at giant, however addressing the issue assertion utilizing a logical framework and arriving at easy options would serve a greater function,” he provides.
In 1993, he give up teachers and determined to market water purifiers. “My inspiration got here from a enterprise my father pursued. He used to fabricate and promote filters utilizing ceramic know-how that had industrial purposes for vehicle manufacturing corporations. Nevertheless, the recession within the 90s impacted the enterprise, and his advertising and marketing methods didn’t conceive outcomes,” he says.
His father prompt that Rahul enhance his personal advertising and marketing expertise, and thus he entered the enterprise of promoting the water filters.
In 1994-95, he arrange the corporate and finally realized to make the filters himself. “I used to be advertising and marketing home water filters and determined to scale up and enter the industrial area by promoting industrial models. Nevertheless, many corporations have been engaged on the identical. The idea of membrane filters utilized in water filters was additionally turning into widespread. I needed to provide you with a singular product to face out from the competitors. Therefore, I made a decision to create cell water filters,” he remembers.
Rahul provides that the water filters have a membrane, a skinny paper sheet, enabling 4 phases of water purification. They’re microfiltration, ultra-filtration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. “These processes guarantee purification of 99 per cent of water by cleansing out micro organism, viruses, germs, salinity, minerals and different undesirable merchandise,” he says.
Earlier, the membranes have been imported from China. However over time, he realized the best way to produce membranes and even constructed a machine with scientists at The Council of Scientific and Industrial Analysis (CSIR), making it completely indigenous.
The primary alternative to make use of the water filters arrived in 2005 in the course of the Jammu-Kashmir earthquake, when Rahul and his group reached the catastrophe spot to help the defence officers in aid efforts. “We provided to donate the water filters to the military as moveable water filters have been a brand new idea. The military agreed to make use of them and set them up in Uri and Tangdhar areas in aid camps,” he says.
It was the primary time that the distinctive filters got here to be of use in catastrophe aid and caught the eye of Registered Engineers for Catastrophe Aid (REDR), a gaggle of engineering professionals, volunteering for the aid efforts. “They registered the filter among the many record of things wanted for catastrophe aid. Later, some specialists from OXFAM, a world organisation working in Water Sanitation Hygiene (WASH), approached us and requested we develop a water filter that would purify 4,000 litres in an hour,” he provides
“The cell water filters have been helpful to such an extent that they have been then utilized in a number of flood aid efforts within the remotest components of Bihar. Impressed by the effectivity, OXFAM began inserting orders and exported it to the UK,” he says.
Rahul says that the corporate labored intently with the specialists to change the water filters required in keeping with Sphere Handbook, which got here out as a collaborative effort of various NGOs advising minimal requirements of provide in catastrophe aid. Nevertheless, his efforts to improve and enhance the portability of filters by no means stopped.
“After years of fixed innovation and utilizing methods, we now have created reasonably priced, moveable, low upkeep and environment friendly water filters that may attain distant components of the nation and purify water with out the necessity for electrical energy,” he says. “The filters have a membrane of 0.01 microns, which cleans water utilizing gravity, hand pump or fuel-driven motor relying on the provision of the assets. There are 4 fashions of water filters with completely different purifying capacities.”
Rahul says that the mannequin named AP700CL was developed throughout Uttarakhand flash floods, making it handy to hold in mountainous areas. It has proved to be a game-changer throughout a number of nationwide disasters. “It may well purify 7,000 litres of water in 10 hours and has been put in in 1,500 places in the course of the flash floods of Uttarakhand, Jammu, Kerala, Assam and Chennai floods,” he says.
Sarbjit Singh Sabota, an emergency specialist at United Nations Kids’s Fund (UNICEF), says that the water filters have been essential in serving to folks entry clear consuming water. “The water filters are straightforward to hold attributable to much less weight, efficient in emergency circumstances, accessible and include completely different purifying capacities,” he says.
He provides that the hand pump characteristic is significant in emergencies the place there is no such thing as a availability of electrical energy from gas operated turbines. “UNICEF has used about 200 water filters in the course of the floods and cyclones in Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal and different states,” he says.
One other distinctive side of the water filter is that it prices much less in comparison with the rivals. Rahul says that the modern filters price 1/third the quantity in comparison with the traditional filters discovered with rivals. The know-how developed and constructed by the corporate makes them low-cost, and we consider in making moral income. We wish to earn cash for sustenance and assist the utmost variety of needy,” he provides.
The distinctive water filters have additionally confirmed helpful in different international locations like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Lagos, Fiji islands, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and others, offering protected consuming water to thousands and thousands of individuals throughout pure disasters.
Making a world mark
Watch Rahul Pathak demonstrating the functioning of the AP700 CL water air purifier.
Sharing his challenges, Rahul says that reaching far off locations with poor highway connectivity, estimating wants and anticipating the depth of the disaster all the time pose a problem. “Apart from, collaborating with the locals or organisations for the duty to supply speedy assistance is one other issue,” he says.
He says that operating an organization with no expertise in enterprise additionally posed a problem for the primary technology entrepreneur. “Banks aren’t assured to supply the mortgage. Furthermore, my enterprise was not a startup or an app that would lure enterprise capitalists,” he says.
He feels that water filters ought to turn into part of the catastrophe administration protocol and be put in at potential places. “There are particular components of the nation the place floods are an annual occasion, and pre-positioning such filters will give an edge in disaster administration as a substitute of ready for the catastrophe to occur after which launch the assistance,” Rahul says.
He says the plans are to make water filters and merchandise aggressive to international markets and make sure that an Indian product reaches many of the catastrophe aid works on this planet.
To contact Rahul Pathak or know extra in regards to the firm, click on right here.
Edited by Divya Sethu