Guwahati: The department of design at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has completed a project in designing bamboo furniture to meet the requirements of Primary Health Centers (PHCs) for rural villages of Assam.
Bamboo craft forms an important economic driver in the Northeast region of India. However, for a craft that is so prevalent in the region, its effective utilisation for public community facilities like health centres in rural areas were limited and this particular project demonstrated the potential.
Considering the present pandemic scenario, where there is an urgency in improving the basic infrastructure facilities in primary healthcare services, it offers scope for collaborative interaction amongst the various stakeholders for the improvement of health services in particular and the overall development and the well-being of the community.
The project aimed for a sustainable and participatory design approach by utilization of locally available materials, craft skill manpower led by active participation of local government departments to achieve these goals.
Speaking about their project, Prof Ravi Mokashi Punekar, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati, said, “The current pandemic crisis has brought to the fore, the need for seeking self-reliance of sustainable solutions that are contextually appropriate for meeting the needs of the community.”
IIT Guwahati team believes that the designs that they have developed are an appropriate and sustainable solution to meet local infrastructure needs and concurrently creating job opportunities for craft-persons using bamboo and cane available in the region.
Given the current pandemic situation, if the situation arises, the bamboo furniture range will help in meeting the high demand required for patients admitted for treatment. The team has offered to share the designs with Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Guwahati.
The design team is already in touch with two local entrepreneurs who have agreed to undertake the manufacture of a simpler version of the hospital bed.