Gandhi's Charkhas turn to be power generating units

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Jaipur, Aug 13 (UNI) After Mahatma Gandhi rediscovered spin wheel-Charkha to challenge the British rulers and support economy of rural Indian households, new version of Charkha is all set to make strides as poor man's mini power house.

A Bangalore based techno firm using Chinese technology has recently developed e-Charkha converting the multi spindle Amber Charkha into a spinning-cum-mini power generating device.

'E-Charkha' is new version of regular 8 spindle Amber Charkha with a dynamo based mini electricity generation attachment.

The charkha is designed to produce yarn by spinning and also produce electricity during its operation without extra efforts or cost.

During its 2-hour spinning operation e-attachment unit, comprising in-built battery, generation and converting unit- can generate and store electricity sufficient to glow a light and/or use a radio for 6 to 7 hours.

The new model has attracted the Khadi Gramodyog of Commission's attention as the commission's research wing has launched a pilot project for its field trial.

Under the pilot project 21 e-charkha units have been sent to Jaipur for trials by Khadi spinners affiliated to Khadi Gramodyog Saghan Vikas Samiti, Bassi (Jaipur), a leading khadi institution of the state.

These units have been used by khadi spinners at the Samiti's Jatwada village about 35 Kms from here on the Jaipur-Agra Highway, for a couple of months..

'The initial results are encouraging by and large', Samiti Secretary Laxmi Chand Bhandhari said.

Mr Bhandhari an experienced Khadi movement activist said 'power generated and stored in the e-attachment has been serving the needs of poor spinners who get electricity without extra effort and costs without affecting their earning from spinning.' User spinners are also happy and excited with their new Charkhas.

Sharda, a teen aged girl, helping her mother in spinning said 'now we can listen radio or use light by electricity generated by ourselves'.

Another spinner Shanti Devi complained that electricity generated and stored in their equipment did not last for long.

ver half a dozen other spinners also wished longer back up span of the e-attachment unit.

Samiti Secretary Mr Bhandhari also endorsed users complaints and said he had come across their opinions, these were all obvious practical problems which crop up during the trial of a new product.

'We will consult the experts who could easily address and solve them', Mr Bhandhari said.

Amber Charkha invented by Ekamber Nath, about 40 years ago, had increased the productivity of user spinners and enabled them to earn up to Rs 50 per day by working on part time basis at home addressing all domestic affairs simultaneously, Mr Bhandhari added.

The Charkhas were supplied to users by the samiti on a subsidised cost of Rs 2,000 whereas cost of e-attachment about Rs 1,500 would have to bear by the user spinners, Mr Bhandhari said.

Besides Amber Charkhas, spinners were also using traditional single spindle Charkhas but their earning were less.

There were around 1,400 spinners affiliated with the samiti, Mr Bhandhari quipped.

A total of 174 certified Khadi institutions were operating in Rajasthan which provide livelihood support to over 64,000 spinners and weavers, Mr Bhandhari observed.

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