91: The Washing Machine Project – Let’s Engineer a More Sustainable Future

Design and Innovation
91: The Washing Machine Project - Let's Engineer a More Sustainable Future

70% of the world’s population lacks access to an electric washing machine.

Hand washing clothes sounds like a simple task but for many women around the world, it poses a significant obstacle to their wellbeing and livelihood.

Navjot Sawhney was a curious child always trying to figure out how things worked. He grew up to be an engineer and wanted to use his engineering and design skills for good. He quit his secure, highly respected job at Dyson to volunteer for Engineers Without Borders Uk and Prakti (an Indian NGO). He saw his friend Divya spend hours doing household chores and he promised her that he would design and make a hand-cranked washing machine for her. He returned to Uk and after a short stint with Jaguar he went to the drawing board to make good on his promise. He designed a hand-cranked washing machine that used fifty percent less water, saved time, avoided touching the detergent and completely off the grid. By providing displaced and low-income communities with an accessible, off-grid washing solution, The Washing Machine Project’s mission is to empower women with the time to take charge over their lives. They believe that when women rise, we all rise.



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