In a contest arranged by New York based Core77, a product designed & created by Vikram Dinubhai Panchal of The National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad won an award. But that it won an award is not as important as the fact that the product can save back aches of millions of people who are forced to carry load on their backs, heads or in trolleys to make a living.
Load Carrier for Labour
The product “ Load Carrier for Labour ” (LCL) is amazingly simple and costs just Rs 300 to make. Made of cane with metal and plastic fittings, it is amenable for production by local craftsmen anywhere in India. Where cane is abundantly available it can be produced of cane; but elsewhere it is possible to produce it out of materials like metal and plastic.
The big advantage of the product is that it can be used for all three modes of carrying loads – on back, on head and as a trolley; the mode can be changed in just a minute by using two knobs on the device. The total weight of device is only 2 kg. Ergonomically the load is distributed on the shoulder and at the lumbar support by softer material.
LCL is bound to make the life of labourers at construction sites, factories, ports, railway stations, etc easy and reduce the occupational hazards in their jobs. The workers are presently exposed to various occupational hazards like musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, restricting the head and eye movements and damage to the vertebral column while the load is on head and back. They also work in the environments, where ground or floor levels are uneven, rough or slippery.
The innovation is indeed laudable because it kills two birds at a time : it provides relief to the users (workers), thereby increasing their productivity, and it creates business opportunities to the producers (village craftsmen). The product can be modified for use in other situations as well – at camping sites, offices, libraries, or even as a baby carrier.