The Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-Guwahati) has designed low-cost bamboo furniture to meet the requirements of Primary Health Centers in Assam’s rural villages.

The furniture was designed by the institute’s Department of Design.

“Considering the present pandemic scenario, where there is an urgency in improving the basic infrastructure facilities in our primary healthcare services, it offers scope for collaborative interaction amongst the various stakeholders for the improvement of health services in particular and the overall development and the wellbeing of the community,” an official statement said.

The project aimed for a sustainable and participatory design approach by utilization of locally available materials, craft skill manpower led by the active participation of local government departments to achieve the goals.

Prof. Ravi Mokashi Punekar of the Department of Design said, “The current pandemic crisis has brought to the fore the need for seeking self-reliance of sustainable solutions that are contextually appropriate for meeting the needs of the community.”

The IIT team believed the designs could be an appropriate and sustainable solution to meet local infrastructure needs and create job opportunities for craft-persons using bamboo and cane available in the region.

“Around two hundred beds can be manufactured per day. Given the current pandemic situation, if the situation arises, the bamboo furniture range will help in meeting the high demand required for patients admitted for treatment. The team has offered to share the designs with Guwahati Medical College and Hospital,” the statement said.

The design team has been already in touch with two local entrepreneurs who agreed to undertake the manufacture of a simpler version of the hospital bed, the statement added.

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