Mansukhbhai Prajapati came up with the idea of Mitticool after Gujrat was hit by the devastating earthquake in 2001.
Prajapati came across a Gujarati newspaper with a photo depicting a broken water filter made by him. It was the caption of the image that sent his mind reeling: ‘the broken fridge of poor’.
“This got me thinking and I actually started working on a refrigerator that would keep food cool without needing electricity.”
Prajapati spent the next three years of his life in testing various designs of refrigerators made from different types of soil and clay. He finalised the design of “Mitticool” fridge in 2005.
This mud refrigerator uses a particular type of terracotta clay and has porous walls. The refrigerator employs the basic principles of physics to keep the things fresh. About 10 litres of water is poured into a specified compartment of Mitticool. This water travels through the pores and maintains a low temperature of the clay.
Eventually, the water evaporates from the pores while the things inside remain fresh. Prajapati guarantees that:
“Mitticool can keep the food fresh for five days.”
The ‘desi fridge’ is available at Rs.5500. Anil Gupta, a professor at IIM Ahmedabad, was reasonably impressed with the design introduced by Prajapati and thus, he submitted Mitticool to National Innovation Foundation in 2005.
Gupta also helped Prajapati to procure investment for his business.
“I received Rs 1.8 lakh due to professor Gupta’s efforts that gave me financial security and boosted my confidence.”
Prajapati later came up with the design of several “desi gadgets” made of clay including tawa (to bake bread), pressure cooker, water filter, and dinner set. He is currently working on the design of small “Minute Mitticools” like a 5-minute Mitticool or a 2-minute Mitticool that would cool the water in the specified duration.