Every morning, a throng of people gathering around water tankers is that is commonplace in many areas of India. Pots and buckets of various shapes sizes and colors–line the roads as families fight to access their fair portion of the water needed for the day’s chores, as well as for other things such as drinking.
The issue of water scarcity has been a fact that has afflicted a number of developing nations. India is home to 18 percent of the world’s population only has 4 percent of the water sources which makes it one of the most stressed by water across the globe. It is not surprising that a significant amount of Indians suffer from extreme to high water stress.
As a design student in the Pearl Academy, Delhi, Harleen Kaurwas evident that she was looking to make a career in the area of social accountability. She’d seen her household helpers carry huge empty protein powder containers to her house.
When she inquired, she found out that the boxes were made for collecting water. When it came to her final assignment, she didn’t need to consider it twice.
The year 2020 was the time Harleen began Jal Saathi–a low-cost, clean, portable water container designed specifically for urban slum dwellers of India.
Most urban shanties don’t have access to clean , tap water at their homes. They use external resources like water tankers from the government which are available for a short time each day, leading to lengthy lines. In most cases, young mothers, children as well as the elderly are required to carry a range of water-filled containers in order to satisfy their family’s water needs, 25-year-old Harleen says.
Incredulous, Harleen decided to visit more than 12 slums located within Delhi and the surrounding areas of Delhi. She would then speak to the residents and take photos, record and take water for herself in order to comprehend the severity of the situation.
However, not everyone living in these regions were willing to talk about the issues they confront every day.
There were a variety of issues that people living in the slums had to face. I focused on accessibility, transportation and storage issues, she tells Newsexposer
After much deliberation as well as mentoring and design, Harleen came up with Jal Saathi to assist people living in slums deal with the everyday water storage and collection issues.
Jal Saathi has a compact shape, designed to make it easy for the transportation of items through narrow alleyways and storage space aids in the mobility of other things needed in the process.
The product comes with industrial-sized wheels as well as simple pull-out handles that allow you to move it easily. It is able to be carried horizontally or vertically, depending according to the weight of the person and also via the ergonomically designed grip.
Jal Saathi containers are available in two sizes, 15 , and 25, Liters. Harleen says that the 15-litre version is designed specifically for kids who participate in the transportation of water.
While it was initially launched in 2020 Jal Saathi’s production stopped due to the COVID-19 virus. The only thing Harleen did was try her design in the slums. she was pleased to get favorable feedback from those who used it.
Because the containers are made of PVC Making a couple of moulds to make them is costly. Therefore, Harleen would like to outsource manufacturing to a mass-production.
Recently the project was showcased during The Delhi Portfolio 2022 exhibition at the Pearl Academy, which displays a wide range of creative projects that span the areas of fashion, design media, creative practices and business.
Additionally, it was chosen to present a virtual version of the presentation as one of the shortlisted 100 graduates in the Global Grad Show-Social Impact Innovations 2020 The show was comprised of 1,600 applicants from 60 countries. Jal Saathi also was selected for the Global Design Graduate Show 2020.
A UX Designer at Accenture. Harleen would like sponsors to help fund the manufacturing processes of her project.
Her mentors from Pearl Academy helped her design the prototype, Harleen has largely bootstrapped her idea using her savings.
She adds, I may not be in a position to solve the issue of shortage of water for them [the residents of the slums], but I can by easing the process of filling the water.