MSU Research Student Develops Prototypes Of Portable Shelters

| Updated: July 5, 2022 8:02 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to provide dream homes to people. A MSU research student drew inspiration from the same idea. She designed portable and easily movable house prototypes for people needing temporary houses.

Many people are migrating to the cities in search of work. As they find one, the next challenge is finding a dwelling place with basic facilities. Because most of the migrant workers make their ends meet majorly as daily wage labourers.

Understanding their needs, designing a low-cost make-shift shelter with basic facilities was a good solution for the dignified living. Since their nature of employment is not permanent, they shift to other places frequently.

Anisa Shaikh researched the designing and developing of portable shelters as part of her master’s degree. She worked under the guidance of Dr Reena Bhatia and co-guide Dr Sukriti Patel. Moreover, Deepak Foundation, Vadodara, funded the construction part of the shelter.

“The study’s objectives were to define the problems faced by these people in context to their dwelling environment. Exploring the possibilities of creating user-centred fabric surfaces suitable for specific needs was also a goal. We also wanted to design and develop portable tents to meet needs with selected amenities. Further, we wanted to evaluate the developed new product in terms of its cost and facilities suited to the user environment,” said guide Dr Reena Bhatia.

“I learned that every situation has a different type of problem and living environment”- Anisa

Anisa Shaikh, the research student, interviewed 150 people living under bridges, open space, footpath, slum, near railway and bus stand to define their problems, including their dwelling environment. She wanted to develop portable shelters for them. “I did the situational analysis to understand their issues. For the study, I collected data from randomly selected people living in different locations in Surat city. I used self-administered questionnaires. I also used observation methods for data collection and took photographs to support the study. Through the survey, I learned that every situation has a different type of problem and living environment,” said Anisa.

Dr Reena Bhatia said that these people continuously move from one location to another, and these portable houses can provide them with much-needed private life in public. We also wish to join with the government or NGO to make these prototypes a reality and give these people a home of their own.

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