Hyderabad, Nov 25 : Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has developed an innovative spinning wheel, which apart from spinning yarn also generates electricity sufficient to energize rural homes for 7-8 hours.
Mahatma Gandhi promoted Charkha (the spinning wheel) during freedom struggle as a symbol of self-reliance and source of income for the rural population.
It is after more than six decades of independence that the KVIC thought of the dual use of the spinning wheel.
It was acute electricity shortage in Indian villages that inspired the making of e-charkha (spinning wheel).
A follower of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy Ekambar Nath has designed the e-charkha. It has a hand driven spinning wheel and the attached battery gets charged while operating the wheel.
The spinning of thread on e-charkha for two hours charges the battery for eight hours.
K. Mohan Rao, State Director, KVIC, Andhra Pradesh said the effort is to replace the old charkha with new e-charkhas so that the villages could become self-sufficient in generation of electricity.
"Stress is that wherever old spinning wheels are they should be replaced by e-charkhas (the electronic spinning wheel), so that simultaneous benefit of generation of power in the remote villages will go down to the spinners," said Rao.
These e-charkhas are distributed free of cost under a scheme 'Funds for Regeneration of Traditional Industries' SFURTI sponsored by the Central government.
This has made the inhabitants of Hyderabad like Jehangir immune to the frequent and long cuts in electricity supply.
"After the coming of e-charkha's we can generate electricity while spinning. In villages where there is no electricity using an e-charkha could solve the problem. If one spins an e-charkha for two hours it charges the battery sufficient to last for eight hours. Now when the battery is charged one can work at night also. There are provisions for entertainment attached to this e-charkha as well. One can listen to a transistor or charge a mobile while spinning the charkha," said Jehangir, a resident.
Officials of the KVIC said that each e-charka costs approximately 9,000 rupees. Currently, Andhra Pradesh has 200 e-charkhas. By Narendra