Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Indian student creates a mobile classroom

Indian student creates a mobile classroom


“A classroom is generally a box with 4 walls and a blackboard on one side,” says budding architect Jayshil Patel, “I came up with the whole idea of modifying the same box in a different version making it modular and mobile”. The result is Baksha, a modular moveable classroom that can be transported to remote places and villages devoid of any educational infrastructure. Thus, bringing education literally to the doorstep of disadvantaged communities.

Having been forced to go to boarding school because there was no quality senior-secondary school nearby, Jayshil says he couldn't help but think of those students who had absolutely no access to any form of education and had to travel miles just to get to a classroom. “Due to the sheer scale of the population in India, education is a luxury not a right; especially for the poor and down trodden” he says.

This made him rethink the whole concept of school and classroom, and sparked off the idea for a moveable classroom that would bring education to children, particularly in the rural areas, instead of forcing them away from their homes. The concept of Baksha was thus, born. While examples are rife, across the world, of mobile vans being used to provide books and other educational materials to people on the go, there are several unique features that set Jayshil's innovation apart.

Although, it functions primarily as a classroom, Baksha’s flexible nature allows it to be used for other purposes as well. “The modular classroom with an area of 21 square metres is equipped with the latest teaching techniques, storage space, modular furniture and public utility services. As the furniture is modular it aligns itself with the floor” Jayshil explains. “Fusing a few of the Baksha units together, it can be utilized for performing various other activities. It can be converted into a relief camp, clinic, polio booth centre, etc”

Besides being multi-purpose  and versatile Baksha is also environmentally friendly. Built using Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF) it uses solar panels for electricity and is economical in the long run. It is also relatively easy to transport. Jayshil’s ‘box of life’ can easily be attached to a truck, train or a helicopter depending on where it needs to be transported.

He further adds, “The structure is transparent so it gives an eye for natural light and ventilation. Sound-proofing materials are also used. It can also be raised on stilts which protects it from rain.”

However, despite the overwhelming positives, the 22-year-old graduate of Sardar Vallabhai Patel Institute of Technology is finding it extremely difficult to get adequate resources for his project. As a result he is yet to create a prototype. He is currently looking at government and corporate backing to help get his idea off the ground.

Innovation Jockey’s, he says has given a great platform and the confidence to pursue other ideas and innovations. And he doesn’t intend to stop. A conscientious architect he wants to innovate in the field of sustainable buildings. “I am working on a concept home, which would be the first Lead and Griha certified” says an excited Jayshil.

However, early challenges and hurdles have already made the 22 year old wise beyond his years.
An innovator he says, like his idol Steve Jobs needs to have tremendous belief in himself and his ideas in order to fully succeed. For that one has to be willing to put up with the occasional failure.




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