After the visit to submersible pump repair shop, the team was taken to the household of Kamla behen. She has set up a mattress and pillows selling shop in her backyard. She has a machine setup to clean and fluff the raw cotton which is later used to stuff the mattress and pillows. She brings the raw cotton from Ahmedabad and purchase the sticking cloth from local market.
After reaching her home, this is what she had to say about her work load, difficulties and much more.
Sristi Member (SM) : Ma’am can you explain the entire process of making a mattress.
Kamla Behen (KB) : I get the raw cotton, then this machine is used (shown in below figure) to clean and fluff the air.
SM: Sorry to interpret but why do we need to fluff the air?
KB: Beta, finally the mattress should be comfortable to sit on, so the cotton should be compressible. The cotton will be flat and can not be directly used to fill the mattress. So the flat bed of the machine is used to put the raw cotton, then the roller machine will do the job. The processed cotton will be collected on the other end which as you can see is covered by a curtain.
SM: Why have you covered it? To prevent it from getting dirty?
KB: Not just that the output cotton also have small particles which stay afloat which can cause dirt in the house.
SM: Does it also not cause respiratory problems?
KB: No Beta, we have been doing this for years. No one has ever been effected in the family.
SM: What about the mattress? Once the cotton is processed, what next?
KB: Then we use the dimensions provided by the customers to cut the cloth and stick it using the sewing machine. If there is no electricity then we have to use the manual mode.
SM: What about any other complication or any difficulty that you face while working? Can we provide any technical help?
KB: Sometimes, if the large amount of cotton is put on the machine it falls from the side and is wasted. Also we have to push it from hand for allow the rollers to work. There is a risk for hand injury.
SM: How much does the raw items cost and what price do you sell your products at?
KB: A mattress cost around Rs 100 to make and I sell it at Rs 150. A pillow touch coast around Rs 30 and I sell it at Rs 50.
SM: Ma’am can you demonstrate the rolling process?
KB: Sure Beta.
Kamla Behen took a small amount of cotton and inserted it into the machine. Then she started the machine and showed the team the entire process.
SM: Thanks Ma’am for all your time and patience.
KM: Would like some cold water?
SM: Thanks for asking ma’am but we are carrying water with us.
After departing from the household, the team discussed possible problems that can be addressed. The following problems were chosen
• reduce the cotton wastage
• reduce floating cotton particles
• eliminate the possibility of hand injury
Again after a brainstorming solutions were posed and the infeasible were shot down and eventually the following modifications were finalised to solve the shortlisted problems
The input flatbed to be replaced by a slanting duct - the duct will ensure that there is no spilling over of raw cotton and preventing any wastage.
The duct also ensures that there is minimal cotton particles entering the air from the input side. On the output side the curtain is replaced by a sliding door to minimise any wastage and prevent any cotton particles that were es
caping the slits and openings in the curtain.
The accumulation of raw cotton on the input side can now be dispersed by using broom action in the duct. This will prevent hand injury for the machine operator.
After return from the field trip the team presented the solutions and the modifications were praised and were asked to present them to Kamla behen as well.
we returned to Pratapnagar with possible solution.When we approached Kamla behen, with the solution we had, she was surprised.She saw our solution and said that it looks good but she doesn't need it.She has a grandson who was quite curious and excited to see our proposed solution.he told her to atleast try it.This was the moment of breakthrough for us as she not only accepted our solution but also told us how one of her son had damaged his hand in the machine while pushing cotton inside. She shared her life stories and other problems like how much she would like to have a fan besides her on her sewing machine and how she her ancestral inhabitant is in Rajasthan. On return,we were more resolved to solve her problem.