IIT-Madras students have designed study desks using discarded cardboard boxes, for underprivileged students, in some of the government schools. Under the REACH (Reuse cardboard to help children) initiative as part of Shaastra, IIT-M’s annual technical fest that starts from January 3, students have created a supply chain network to collect hundreds of used cardboard cartons from shopping malls, electronic shops, retailers and other places.
The material was then sorted, based on size, shape, and thickness, and then shaped by cutting the sorted boxes into pieces such that they can be assembled easily by anyone with minimal instructions.
The design was inspired from a South Korean interior designer, Ha Young Lee, who designed a sturdy desk made out of cardboard for underprivileged kids in his country. “After a month of trial and testing, we came up with a prototype which was tested by distributing in schools which are devoid of these facilities and infrastructure.
We collaborated with one NGO named ‘BHUMI’, which helped us to get volunteers for making the desks and TFI (Teach For India) which helped us to reach out to schools which didn’t have desks. We have currently reached out to 200 students in 5 schools with each child getting access to these desks,” Shaastra team said in a release. In India, according to a survey, there are 20 million students in the age group of 6-14, who lack basic facilities.