“This program gave me my first experience in international health, which I am interested in pursuing. I was also able to learn about the various aspects that a village needs to become developed.”

Kavitha Bhatnagar, Johns Hopkins University, U.S.

For many villagers in India, collecting and carrying water is part of their daily routine. However, villagers often have to walk several kilometers to collect water necessary for themselves and their families, sometimes walking several times a day. Many villagers, especially women, collect and carry between 200 and 500 liters of water per day for their families and cattle.

Recognizing the hardship of the villagers, faculty, staff, and students from the Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications and Amrita Self Reliant Villages (ASeRve) worked together to build a water distribution system for more effective water use and management. 

For many villagers in India, collecting and carrying water is part of their daily routine. However, villagers often have to walk several kilometers to collect water necessary for themselves and their families, sometimes walking several times a day. Many villagers, especially women, collect and carry between 200 and 500 liters of water per day for their families and cattle.

Recognizing the hardship of the villagers, faculty, staff, and students from the Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications and Amrita Self Reliant Villages (ASeRve) worked together to build a water distribution system for more effective water use and management. 

“I chose to be part of the Live-in-Labs® program because it is distinctive. We had the opportunity to be part of and experience the hardships of those in need. I learned so much in the past one month and not just from the project itself but from all the people I worked with and met. I will be going back to my home country with so many memories, and I will definitely recommend this program to my colleagues and friends.”

- Pemba Sherpa, University at Buffalo, U.S

For many villagers in India, collecting and carrying water is part of their daily routine. However, villagers often have to walk several kilometers to collect water necessary for themselves and their families, sometimes walking several times a day. Many villagers, especially women, collect and carry between 200 and 500 liters of water per day for their families and cattle.

Recognizing the hardship of the villagers, faculty, staff, and students from the Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications and Amrita Self Reliant Villages (ASeRve) worked together to build a water distribution system for more effective water use and management. 

According to WaterAid India, approximately 76 million people in the country lack access to clean drinking water and more than 60,000 children, especially under the age of 5 years, die each year from poor sanitation and diarrheal diseases caused by drinking contaminated water. Causes of water contamination also vary. High population density, chemical farming, overuse of fertilizers, the presence of minerals in the coastal beds, and run-off from factory waste provide limited access to clean drinking water. Other obstacles are distance and cost. Many villagers have to walk several kilometers to access clean water and in some villages, residents are forced to spend money to buy clean water.

According to WaterAid India, approximately 76 million people in the country lack access to clean drinking water and more than 60,000 children, especially under the age of 5 years, die each year from poor sanitation and diarrheal diseases caused by drinking contaminated water. Causes of water contamination also vary. High population density, chemical farming, overuse of fertilizers, the presence of minerals in the coastal beds, and run-off from factory waste provide limited access to clean drinking water. Other obstacles are distance and cost. Many villagers have to walk several kilometers to access clean water and in some villages, residents are forced to spend money to buy clean water.

"My mentor was amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to guide me. He was very knowledgeable about the subject and was dedicated to helping me with the project."

- Iona Williams, University of Manchester, U.K.

Access to clean drinking water is greatly hindered during any natural disaster, with the quality of the water being an additional concern. This project seeks to understand challenges faced by rural residents during a natural disaster and the structure and execution of medical camps for disaster relief.

In an effort to implement improved waste management practices and provide a local avenue for income generation, the project investigated the feasibility of plastic brick production to address waste and sanitation challenges in the village.

"This program was particularly valuable to me because I was given an opportunity to live in the village where we were conducting research. The ability to participate in qualitative research with first-hand experience allowed me to get a sense of the everyday challenges of village life." - Nickza Dallas, Ryerson University, Canada

For many villagers in India, collecting and carrying water is part of their daily routine. However, villagers often have to walk several kilometers to collect water necessary for themselves and their families, sometimes walking several times a day. Many villagers, especially women, collect and carry between 200 and 500 liters of water per day for their families and cattle. 
Recognizing the hardship of the villagers, faculty, staff, and students from the Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications, the Department of Civil Engineering, the Amrita Center for International Programs, and Amrita Self Reliant Villages (ASeRve) worked together to build a water distribution system for more effective water use and management.

Through Amrita's women empowerment initiatives, rural women are being trained to build their own toilets, thereby addressing the urgent need for sanitation infrastructure in rural communities. However, due to low literacy, women are unable to learn about constructing toilets through traditional pedagogy. To effectively disseminate instructions and ensure comprehension of concepts, a deeper understanding of village life and the women themselves are required along with a customized educational model that will empower and encourage the women.

With increased poverty, spiraling debt, and and an inability to find sustainable employment, many villagers turn towards alcohol to drown their sorrows. Seeing this behavior, the next generation is also succumbing to its detrimental effects with families being torn apart and children dropping out of school. Therefore, alcoholism has become a growing concern among rural communities.

Many rural residents do not have access to sustainable sources of energy to heat their homes or for cooking. Similar challenges exist for cooling purposes during the summer heat. This project looks into designing and developing a needs-based non-electric cooling system for a tribal community.

Many villages in India do not have access to electricity. Villages that do receive power intermittently and with frequent disruption, making the supply of electricity unreliable. 

Students from the Harvard School of Public Health worked with the Amrita School of Social Work and AmritaCREATE to conduct alcohol awareness classes and self esteem programs for children in the tribal village of Mothakara, Kerala.

“We had the opportunity to do a real-time project in the field. As the device we created is a prototype, we wouldn’t know or understand the problems or challenges unless we were actually there in the village implementing the device. This is very important as it has real world implications.”

- Henri Bittel, EPFL, Switzerland

A variety of traditional occupations exist in rural communities and residents depend on those occupations to earn a living. However, with more awareness about market segments, pricing, and updated methods, some occupations can become more lucrative, leading to a better standard of living for villagers. This particular project focuses on working with women from the village's Self Help Groups (SHGs) to help increase their earning capacity.

Many villages in India do not have access to electricity. Villages that do receive power intermittently and with frequent disruption, making the supply of electricity unreliable. While government projects and initiatives have come a long way to address the massive challenge of complete rural electrification, a more localized and sustainable solution is warranted.

This project is a continuation of Lemongrass Essentials Optimization Solar Powered Distillation Unit and Marketing. The village of Mothakara is home to the abundant and naturally available lemongrass plant. There was an age-old tradition of distilling the plant to produce a valuable multi-purpose oil and selling it as a method of generating income. However, villagers could only assist in the distillation process and were never able to own distillation units themselves due to the high cost. The main aim is to further develop the product in terms of packaging and identify potential market segments to see the produced oil.

Rural women are often a marginalized group when it comes to bringing in a sustainable income for the family. They are often overlooked when it comes to opportunities for skill development and life enrichment initiatives. This project seeks to understand the ground realities and pain points faced by women and explore possible avenues for sustainable skill development.

In spite of the large scale mechanization of agriculture across India, agricultural operations are still carried out by human hand using simple and conventional tools like sickle, hoe, rake, etc. Farmers engage in manual labor for long hours resulting in serious health implications. However, many farmers have become accustomed to the resulting health problems and have resigned themselves to living with them.

Sustained access to water for agriculture and management of water resources are still common challenges faced in rural communities. This project looks into understanding the ground realities and challenges when it comes to water management for irrigation.

Sustained access to clean water and management of water resources are still common challenges faced in rural communities. This project looks into understanding the ground realities and challenges when it comes to rural water management and usage practices.

With an increase in globalization, urbanization and consumerism has touched all parts of India, including its villages. While the benefits of globalization and development are prevalent, an adverse byproduct is the increase of non-biodegradable waste proliferating into rural communities that have always been known for their natural and pristine environments.

Many villages in India do not have access to electricity. Villages that do receive power intermittently and with frequent disruption, making the supply of electricity unreliable. While government projects and initiatives have come a long way to address the massive challenge of complete rural electrification, a more localized and sustainable solution is warranted.

Access to healthcare is still a major challenge for residents of rural communities. One particularly vulnerable group are farmers who have to engage in manual labor for long hours leading to serious health implications. However, with a lack of sufficient transportation facilities, transportation infrastructure, and sheer distance to healthcare centers rural patients are unable to connect with doctors and receive required treatment. The current project seeks to study the scope, usability, and receptiveness of a wearable wireless monitoring system.

Farmers have been unable to meet irrigation requirements during the summer months due to insufficient availability of water. This has lead to low crop yields and a drastic decrease in income during these months. This project examines alternative methods for water conservation and management of available water resources.

This project is about the empowerment of a village through a broad business management of the lemongrass oil distillation unit located in the district of Wayanad. Work was carried out to develop the distillation factory,  and a business model study was done to help developp it as a social entreprise.

"These systems will provide enough clean water for 400 families each. If we can help supply clean water, we can reduce the possibility of people getting sick. This knowledge allowed me to tackle the project with a sense of purpose. My time spent in India has become an unforgettable memory!”

- Hirata Rao, Ritsumeikan University, Japan

“I have taken many classes at my university, but I really wanted to do something in the field. Water is something that everyone needs, especially clean drinking water. I am very happy that I was able to work as part of a team and deploy a water filter that will now give clean water to everyone in the village.”

- Hiroto Tahaku, Hosei University, Japan

With a lack of consistent and sustainable employment as well as a lack of access to sustainable housing, many rural fishermen communities find themselves in cyclical poverty and spiraling debt. This study aims to understand and identify areas for potential economic growth, social development, and methods for building sustainable homes.

With a lack of consistent and sustainable employment opportunities, many villagers are forced to seek employment far away from their homes, thereby temporarily requiring families to move to different states for a major part of the year.

Rural communities, especially tribal villages, carry with them a wealth of knowledge passed down over generations regarding traditional healing practices for diseases.

The project focused on designing and testing a prototype low-cost biomass to liquid fuel system to provide a clean and sustainable source of energy for rural residents.

"During this period we learned about compost and vermicompost. It was very interesting! We also tested out some permaculture techniques, such as the bokachi technique, which is a fertilizer. Overall, this was a very enriching experience and we met a lot a nice people!"

- Loise Bagein, ISTOM, College of International Agro-Development, France

"The size, simplicity of design, and firing time for this particular kiln was perfect for the women of this village. The size would allow them to fire many items of the scale they were making within a time frame that would not keep them from their homes for too long. The design of the kiln was also simple enough to be built in just three days, and since the walls were made of a single layer of bricks, future repairs would be easy to make. "

- Meaghan Gates, University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth, U.S.

"This experience gave us the chance to explore our own personal strengths and weaknesses and allowed us to play to each individual’s strengths within the team. These past two months have been an amazing experience and one that will live in my memory for a long time to come."

- Emma Sumner, University of Manchester, U.K.

"My experience wholeheartedly changed my global perspective. It showed me the amount of effort, time, and energy it takes to create simple, but sustainable solutions for basic human necessities like drinking water and the work that needs to be done."

- Jewel Yoko Kentilitisca, University of New Mexico, U.S.

"The project aligned with my research interest in affordable, sustainable, and responsive housing. This was a real-world, real-time project that helped me develop, especially in regards to field work and data collection. We were in charge of the project, and moving it forward. The professors and mentors were very helpful and responsive when we needed it. It was great to collaborate and learn on a multidisciplinary team! ”

- Nicole Little, University at Buffalo, U.S.

The departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, Amrita School of Engineering, and Amrita School of Biotechnology, along with Dartmouth College, USA, set up bio-filters in the tribal villages.

Amrita Institute for Medical Sciences and Research Center (AIMS), carried forward the research, along with the foreign University of Groningen, Netherlands.

Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center (AIMS), along with the foreign university, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, carried forward the research.

"I had a chance to take the core Chemical Engineering skills to design a technology system that could be practically implemented for the genuine societal benefit through income generation and improvement of livelihood of a tribal village... Many staff members and students, including international students, worked to make this project a reality. I am extremely delighted to have been able to apply my interest in Chemical Engineering towards the betterment of a community."
-  Dr. Udaya Baskar Reddy Ragula, Department of Chemical Engineering

The Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications (AmritaWNA), the Department of Civil Engineering, the Amrita Center for Nanosciences– Nano Solar Division, the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences

Many villages in India do not have access to electricity. Villages that do receive power, do so intermittently and with frequent disruption, making the supply of electricity unreliable. Komalikudi, a tribal settlement in Kerala well-known for its abundant natural resources, is one such village.

This project is a continuation of Development of Solar-powered Steam Distillation Unit for the Production of Lemongrass Oil. The main aim is to conduct experiments on the prototype and determine optimal distillation conditions (parameters).

"I really liked the amount of responsibility we had to conduct the project. The intercultural exchange with the Amrita students and villagers was very valuable.” 
- Mathew Falcone, University at Buffalo, U.S. 

“We conducted our study in multiple settings, mainly in the hospital, and sought feedback from various health professionals. This allowed us to understand how our devices can meet the health care needs of remote rural populations.” - Arsalan Haghdel and Aye Bay Na Sa, BSc. Bioemdical Engineering, University at Buffalo, U.S.

Located 25 kms from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, Dewgain lies on a hilly terrain with lushly green forest land.

Through Amrita's women empowerment initiatives, rural women are trained to build their own toilets, thereby addressing the urgent need for sanitation infrastructure in rural communities. However, women do face some challenges while constructing toilets such as the acquisition of construction materials (which can be expensive) and the overall time required to build the toilets.

In an effort to curtail urban migration and provide a local avenue for income generation, the project investigated the feasibility of plastic brick production as a novel employment opportunity for villagers.

 

"The production and use of plastic bricks is a one stop solution to address poor urban waste management and lack of rural sanitation infrastructure. Other benefits are employment, retarding urban migration, and shifting the concentration of economic growth from the urban to the rural sector."
Harish Mohan, Mechanical Engineer, AMMACHI Labs

Therefore, the main aim of this project was for to study how to increase the community engagement in  the project. For that the students to engaged with the women to gain insights into their lives, their likes and dislikes and the problems that they face. An important part was also developping a step by step user manual of the technical unit that would be accessible to all people working in the factory, keeping in mind that most of them were illiterate.

Amrita is conducting humanitarian oriented research to provide cost-efficient water filtration solutions to the villages in India. One of these projects is a water desalination unit. It filtrates impurities by replicating the natural cycle, where air and natural heat are used for vapourising, dehumidifying and finally collecting water.  Continuing the work carried out previously, students manufactured the unit and started testing it., They also went to the field in flood affected areas of Kerala in August 2018 to understand the actual needs of the people.

Continuous monitoring of physiological parameters such as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, blood-oxygen saturation and many other parameters have turned out to be a common feature of critically ill patients.

Research is ongoing to see how traditional techniques can be used along with other locally available materials to propose sustainable alternatives. Amrita University Coimbatore campus students are working on rammed earth construction.

To address the issue of water quality, a water desalination system was developped by the CAE Lab (Computer Assisted Engineering) of the Mechanical Engg department was a Humidification Dehumidification system. 

To address the issue of contaminated drinking water, the continuous, real-time, in situ monitoring of the river water for pollutants is an important step. This would help in finding out the point sources for preventative action, providing real-time alerts to stakeholders for taking precautionary measures, and systematic modelling and analysis with historical data for formulating effective policies for long-term actions.

Water scarcity is a major problem in India and directly impacts the villages which rely mostly on agriculture. As water becomes scarce, using it properly is even more important. 

The AMMACHI Labs along with Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro,Rio de Janeiro, Brazil École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, conducted a campaign for sanitation awareness through water testing in the villages of Ratanpur, Bihar and Muruganpatti, Madurai District, Tamil Nadu.

The AMMACHI Labs along with École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, designed a scalable and sustainable sanitation model in the rural villages.

The School of Social Work, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, and AMMACHI Labs, along with the foreign university, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, carried forward a research in a village of Ettimadai, Coimbatore.