Annapurna stays in Shettykeregudlu village of Chikkanayakanahalli Taluk of Tumkur district, with her husband and two children. Her husband Manjunatha is deaf and mute. She and her husband have been engaged in pottery since the last 20 years. They supply the products to nearby retail shops and Manunath fetches a monthly disability pension of INR 1,400 from Karnataka State Govt. They have been a member of SKDRDP, a local Micro Finance Institution since 2012. They have taken loans from SKDRDP on multiple occasions for personal tasks. The previous practice of making pottery was manual, which was heavily drudgery prone. Further, the workspace lacked heat resistance, ventilation and proper storage facility. Despite working overtime everyday, the couple would only make an income of INR 10000 per month. The product range was also limited to clay pots, which didn't fetch a higher price. 50 % of the products would get damaged due to having an unorganized workspace and no storage facility. Further, the area faces intermittent power cuts, making it difficult for the end user to work beyond sunset. It also curtailed the possibility of adding energy solutions to the set up.
The solution provided was a solar powered pottery wheel, along with a blunger and pugmill. The blunger and pugmill catalyzed fast clay mixing and the DC pottery wheel helped them to scale up the production.
The workspace was renovated to solve various issues. Cool roofing paint was applied to maintain ambient temperature. Partition and storage have been provided to ensure optimum utilization of the space and turbo ventilators and windows have been added to the structure to ensure air circulation. The floor has been cemented to add elevation. An energy efficient kiln has been constructed on the site.
“The holistic intervention has helped us on all levels. We are now able to cater to high demand for diverse products, which was not the case earlier. ”
The intervention has helped the entrepreneur in increasing her income from INR 10,000 to INR 30,000. Various factors attributed to the same - Due to the Built Environment intervention the workspace has become more convenient. The storage facility has reduced the damage from 50% to 15%. Technical intervention has led to increase in productivity and decrease in drudgery. Energy efficient kiln leads to faster drying of the ready products with less fuel consumption. They have also diversified the product range from clay pots to jugs, water bottles, Vase etc. Manjunatha makes products on the wheel and Annapoorna mixes clay and dries ready products.