Mallikarjuna, lives with his family of 5 in Besaralli village which is 12 kms from Kalghatgi taluka and 35 kms from Dharwad City. 2 years ago, Mallikarjuna did not have a steady livelihood other than the 2 acres of agricultural land which was reliant on rain-fed irrigation and only arable in the monsoons. To strengthen his income channels, a local NGO- SKDRDP, suggested that he starts a small shop business. Mallikarjuna had no electricity connection at home, which he felt was imperative for his shop to be open till late in the evening. With the support of SKDRDP, he took a loan of INR 10,000 for solar lights and an additional INR 10,000 to construct a small shop space in front of his home. Keeping a few items in his shop, he would constantly get asked by villagers if he could provide photocopying and printing service as well. Villagers had to travel for 5-6 km to access one. Once again, with the help of SKDRDP, he applied for a loan and invested in a solar powered photocopying and printing station. He also started to stock some stationery items and started seeing a footfall of 50-60 people per day, earning him INR 2,000-3,000 per day. A large part of his business was owing to a school nearby.
Modroof is a modular roofing system for slums and village homes, schools, hospitals and other structures. The main component of the roofing system is panels that are custom manufactured from packaging and agriculture waste. With large air gaps, the roof has enhanced thermal insulation. The roofing material is also designed to take on heavy loads, and can be used as a terrace, or to store water tank etc.
The shop space was also redesigned with ample storage space to stack all of the various items that he is selling, ventilators for allowing circulation of air and entry of natural light, repainted with lighter tones and the solar system was redesigned keeping in mind active and passive offsets - which were achieved through daylighting through ventilators and the light coloured wall paints.
There is sufficient day light and air entering the shop through the ventilator, cutting the need to switch on lights in the day. He is able to sit in the shop at all hours without suffocation or excess heat and is able to be more productive.
The old structure had lack of storage facility, leading him to have to store his supplies in an unorganized manner on the floor space. It was inconvenient and time consuming when he needed to access certain items. With storage space being included in the redesigned space, he is able to stock his items in an organized manner.
Mallikarjuna would face issues throughout the year due to the poorly constructed structure and the tin roof. In the summer, the space would get extremely hot and stuffy making it uncomfortable to stand in and work through the day. In the monsoons, the rain water would seep in from the sides and through the roof putting the items in the shop at risk of getting wet. And in the winter, the condensation from fog would form on the roof and drip into the shop. Throughout the year, through all seasons, he would face inconveniences due to the structure and it was getting tough for him to work productively.
"I am able to use my work space comfortably now and look forward to working even as the monsoons are arriving. All the people visiting my shop are also very curious about the roof and like taking rest in my shop when they come. I want to build a room for my children on top of this roof so they can have a comfortable space to study in."
Petty Shop Entrepreneur
Cool Interiors Attracting Customers: According to Mallikarjuna, his new roofing interventions is very appealing and attractive for a lot of customers. He feels that a lot of people have started visiting due to this reason as well as they enquire about the roofing solution, ask where they could get one too. Due to the lockdown, a lot of other photocopying services have not been available leading to increased footfall. A lot of these customers come from afar to access the photocopying service and find it very comfortable to sit in the shop and take a break from the heat outside. They find the interiors very cool compared to the outside, so they rest for 15-20 minutes before setting back on their journey.
Unaffected by Power Cuts: The region has been suffering extended power cuts, especially in the evening. During the lockdown, he has permission to open the shop only in the evening post 7 PM during which he needs to use the light and the photocopying machine - both of which are working unhindered due to his solar energy system. He feels he would have lost business otherwise.
Terrace as an Additional Utility Space: With the metal sheet roofing earlier, the structure was weak, and the roof was not accessible. With the new roofing interventions, the household now boasts of an accessible terrace. Mallikarjuna is planning on building a room on top of the roof, as a study space for his children who are in 10th grade and college.