This inspiring news comes to us from Tamil Nadu, India.
For migrating workers and daily wagers, owning a house is a distant dream. However, one architect from Tamil Nadu has achieved a rare accomplishment. Arun Prabhu has designed a temporary dwelling atop an auto rickshaw that comes for just one lakh rupees and is a godsend for all the poor people who cannot afford a permanent dwelling.
Arun was born and brought up in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu and graduated from an architectural institute in Chennai. He conducted in-depth research on slum dwellings during his degree. He paid visits to slum dwellings and noted don observations with a view to mending some of the inherent faults in the system. He could see that a lot of people had built dwellings after spending 5 lakh rupees but they lacked basic amenities like toilets. With an intent to improve the shelters of people like hawkers, vendors and daily laborers, he took an active interest in the gypsies who travelled from one place to another.
Arun observed that after the gypsies reached their camp, they would store their belongings in an auto rickshaw and live in tents that had no amenities at all. This gave Arun the idea that small-scale architecture could be used in order to build portable housing that would provide for the needs of the poor people.
Arun chose the 36 sq feet of space afforded by an auto rickshaw as a base for the portable house. His designed house is made from old auto rickshaws and recycled scrap materials that are abundantly available in Namakkal. The portable house is secured by 4 bolts to the auto rickshaw and also has supporting stands. Also, Arun has managed to install solar panels that can produce 600 watts of power, along with mechanisms to boil water with the help of firewood or charcoal. His portable house has a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathtub, a water tank with capacity of 250 liters, cupboards, staircase, batteries, doors, a terrace area, foyer, area for vendors, and last but not least, a lounge with adequate shade.
Even as the designed house has all of the above features, at the end of the day it can be unscrewed and detached. Also the weight of the portable house is evenly distributed and there is no chance of it getting dislodged or unbalanced. Besides the cost of the auto rickshaw, the house cost Arun only one lakh rupees. It took him 5 months to build the house and he vouchsafes the quality and durability of his invention.
Arun has filed an application for the patent of the portable house, and is now working with similar ideas in collaboration with The Billboards Collective, which is an architecture firm. Arun has certainly showed the way with his innovative designs and we cannot wait for him to announce another new venture.
Image Source: The Better India