A group of 55 grade 10 students from the city school started a crowdfunding initiative to help smallholder farmers in Marathwada build a simple brick and mortar warehouse designed by a startup at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. The warehouse will help farmers store their products for up to a week and overcome the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Students at the Bombay Scottish School in Mahim wanted to raise around 16 rupees to help over 100 farmers in Marathwada build the Subjee Cooler, a refrigeration unit designed by Rukart Technologies. While a rupee 30,000 unit can be set up, many farmers do not have the funds due to the effects of the freeze, said Vikas Jha, founder of Rukart.
“If we could finance half the price, farmers would be willing to pay the other half,” he added.
During a workshop at the school with a crowdfunding platform – Fuel a Dream – the pupils learned about the plight of the farmers. Each student then decided to raise Rs 30,000 to help two farmers build Subjee Coolers. However, many students have already exceeded their goals and the funds are being used to help more farmers. “I went into the campaign honestly thinking I was barely going to hit the 30,000 rupee target and I was pleasantly surprised with the result. I’m currently at Rs 1,29,100. The first day I texted and called close friends and relatives about the campaign, “said 14-year-old Auroni Gupta, who claimed most of the posts were on social media, and so far the students have raised 13.87 lakh.
The Subjee Cooler works on the principle of evaporative cooling and does not require any tools other than watering once a day.
According to Jha, the cooling chamber temperature is 5 to 15 ° C lower than the ambient temperature (depending on the relative humidity) and maintains the high relative humidity of over 85% to 90% in the cooling chamber. The low temperature and high humidity in the chamber will keep the vegetable (without the tubers) for five to eight days.
“Rukart and a Pune-based non-profit Swayam Sikashan Prayog contacted us about the farmers in Marathwada. We have held workshops with students across the country and the students from Bombay Scottish have shown interest. This is how the initiative started, ”said Ranganath Thota, founder of Fuel a Dream, who teaches crowdfunding as a skill to students.