By Suneha Dutta
Grassroots ingenuity is Mansukhbhai Prajapati’s success formula. Case in point is his clay refrigerator that runs without electricity and can store water, fruits and vegetables for up to eight days. “My eureka moment came after the 2001 Gujarat earthquake when I saw a photograph in a newspaper of my broken pots strewn around, captioned ‘the fridge of the poor has broken,” recalls Prajapati, a potter by occupation. “I realised that clay pots are indeed our fridges. So, why not make a fully equipped fridge that the poor can afford?” Since then, Prajapati has created clay tawas, pressure cookers and water filters. The Rajkot native’s website is aptly named mitticool.com. “I was proud when former president and scientist par-excellence Dr APJ Abdul Kalam called me a scientist. I’m just a 10th standard pass. There couldn’t be a better compliment.” Prajapati’s next project is a clay headgear that cools the head when the water evaporates, and his dream is to build a mud house by 2012. His products have gone global as well, with Kenya and the UK importing 20 units of mitticool fridges.
‘I realised that clay pots are indeed our fridges. So, why not make a fully equipped fridge that the poor can afford?’