Monday, June 1, 2015

Improving rural women's livelihoods through technology

This morning our class went to visit the Technology Informatics Design Endeavor's (TIDE) Women's Technology Park, which is located in a rural village outside of Bangalore in Tumkur District.
This morning our class went to visit the Technology Informatics Design Endeavor's (TIDE) Women's Technology Park, which is located in a rural village outside of Bangalore near Tumkur District.

TIDE employs local women and trains them how to use sustainable methods of drying food. Drying food is an ancient and sustainable way of preserving food because it does not require refrigeration, has a long shelf-life, and does not take up much space.

We took a tour of their facilities. They use biomass and solar dryers in order to dry the food.

The biomass dryer uses wood and coconut shells as fuel, and any extra waste is used as compost. The solar dryer uses the sun's heat as energy, and it dries food much faster than the biomass dryer.

After they collect the dried product, they package them in translucent packages.

Manini is the brand offspring of TIDE. Products currently manufactured include carrots, mint, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and green peppers.

Manini is rapidly growing and has an influx of orders from many wholesalers and retailers across Bangalore, including the metro supermarket.

pic of sign.jpg

manini basket.jpg

biomass dryer.jpg

solar dryer.jpg

There are many different technologies in the camp, such as greenhouses, rainwater harvesting systems, a 100 kg food processor, and eco-friendly machines that produce plates made from palm leaves.

I think it's amazing that TIDE employs rural women to empower them economically and teach them new skills so they can take assume future leadership positions.

I really like the concept of TIDE implementing ideas of self-sustainability and self-reliance into practice. This is different from the typical NGO model that sees recipients become dependent on aid, which does more harm than good in the long run.


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