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Prajapati, a potter, invented a clay non-stick pan that costs 100 rupees (and a clay refrigerator that runs without electricity for those who can’t afford a fridge or their electricity and maintenance costs.

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Mansukhbhai Prajapati was called a ''true scientist'' by late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The title doesn''t come without merit. Every milestone in Mansukhbhai''s journey from rags to riches comes with a belief - that each one of us can rise in life if we have the heart to treat even the smallest of ideas with conviction.

Born in the village Nichimandal of Morbi, Rajkot, Mansukhbhai had always known one craft - that of traditional clay making. A cricket fan at heart, the family trade never caught his interest. However, due to unavoidable circumstances, Mansukhbhai migrated to Wankaner with his family to deal with crunching financial crises.

After working as a tea-seller, he joined Jagdamba Potteries, a rooftop tile manufacturing facility in 1985 where he earned a wage of Rs 300 per month. But with a zeal to do something different, Mansukhbhai left his job in 1988 and took a loan of Rs 30,000 to start his own earthen plate manufacturing unit.

Mitticool has to its credit a horde of achievements and awards. All thanks to one man, whose determination led him to do something different which benefited the society at large.

That is indeed one true scientist.

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NEW DELHI: With the scorching hot summer already here, chances are you''ll be carrying around a bottle of water with you everywhere you go for the next few months. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently tweeted a picture of a water bottle made out of mittior clay. "Great for summer, eco friendly too. Looks classy, light to carry. #MakeInIndia," she wrote in a caption accompanying the photo.

The bottle, made by MittiCool, is a self-cooling one made from a special mixture of clay. Think of it as a modern take on a traditional matka or clay pot.

MittiCool creator Prajapati Mansukhbhai Raghavjibhai''s story is as interesting as the products he now sells. Born to a family of potters, he is known for first creating a refrigerator that runs without electricity. His inspiration came from a tragedy - 2001''s devastating earthquake in Gujarat.

''Journalists came and photographed our broken matkas. They referred to them as the poor man''s fridge. I thought why can''t we make a real fridge with the same cooling principle?" he told NDTV in 2011.

He spent years working on various permutations and combinations and finally settled on an unusual addition of sawdust and sand, which makes the soil porous and the interiors cold. The Gujarati entrepreneur then went on to create a series of products made out of clay.

On Twitter, the water bottle is being praised as a great example of Prime Minister Narendra Modi''s ''Make in India'' initiative, which encourages companies to manufacture their products in India. According to MittiCool''s website, the bottle is handmade in India using 100% natural clay.

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In December 1983, Mansukhbhai Prajapati was living off a measly Rs 300 a month, working at a tile manufacturing unit at a small town, Wankaner, near Rajkot, Gujarat. Today, the 47-year-old is hailed as one of rural India''s most successful entrepreneurs and was even featured in Forbes'' Top 7 Rural Entrepreneurs list in August 2010. He also has several national awards to his credit, and his company, Mitti Cool Clay Creations, has won recognition across the globe.

"I failed my Class X exam .. exam and never dreamt of being an entrepreneur," says Prajapati, who was born in a clay craftsman''s family at Nichimandal village in Morbi. After the breakdown of Machhu dam in 1979, his family had to migrate to Wankaner, where Prajapati picked up odd jobs—working in a small brick factory and setting up a tea lorry off the highway. He finally found a stable job in 1985, when he joined Jagdamba Potteries as a trainee. Over the next three years, as he picked up the tricks of the trade, his knack f or innovation sparked a business idea. He decided to start an earthen plate manufacturing factory by deploying a tile press rather than the traditional potter''s wheel. The latter could only produce 100 pans/hot plates per person, per day, but a hand press could increase this figure manifold.

In 1988, he quit his job, borrowed Rs 30,000 from a moneylender and bought a small tract of land to set up a workshop at Wankaner. Soon, he modified the hand press into a machine that could produce 700 earthen pans a day. In 1990, he registered his unit as Mansukhbhai Raghavbhai Prajapati. However, the turning point came in 1995, when a Rajkot businessman, Chiragbhai Patel, came looking for a vendor who could supply clay water filters. Prajapati impressed him with an innovative terracotta filter ..

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The rural innovator is researching on low cost houses which can adjust temperature according to the climate outside. The houses will not just be for the economically poor people, but also for the richer class to encourage sustainable living.

Remember the amazing Mitticool refrigerator which runs without electricity and also preserves the original taste of the food items? The inventor of that unique refrigerator, Mansukhbhai Prajapati, has now come up with an idea of a house that requires no air conditioner or fan and yet remains cool during summers. Not only this, the house adjusts the temperature itself according to the climate.

Sounds incredible. Right? Imagine how much we can save on the huge electricity bills every year. Prajapati is working to create eco-friendly and low cost houses which will have natural lighting and cooling.

The dream houses will have no external electricity and will run on renewable energy. Made of clay, natural material and simple physics, the alternate energy will help maintain a comfortable temperature indoors.Gujarat government has given Prajapati a land in Wankaner where he will carry out research on his green homes. He is currently testing soil and doing basic research to come up with the first model which is expected to be ready in next six months.

Prajapati’s idea is to make affordable houses which are not just useful for the poor but can also be used by the richer class for sustainable living.

Related Read: When An Earthquake Hit Gujarat, He Invented “Mitticool”, A Clay Fridge That Runs Without Electricity.

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In the hot hinterland of Gujarat, cold water is a precious commodity. But a quake-hit small trader, Mansukhbhai Prajapati, hit on a unique idea, developed it painstakingly, and overcame obstacles to develop a refrigerator that runs on water.

The devastating earthquake of 2001 destroyed thousands of homes in Gujarat, but the destruction sparked an idea in the mind of Mansukhbhai Prajapati.

Prajapati had been making earthen water filters but a benign news caption about his broken water filter wrought a change in perspective.

In February 2001, a Gujarati newspaper carried a photo feature on the earthquake. Among the photographs was one of a broken water filter produced by him, with the caption: ‘the broken fridge of poor’.

"This got me thinking and I actually started working on a refrigerator that would keep food cool without needing electricity," said Prajapati about the pradigm shift in his thinking.

After a painstaking three years during which he tested all sorts of soil, clay and refrigerator designs, Prajapati finally came out with his unique "Mitticool" fridge in 2005.

Mitticool is made of a specific type of terracotta clay with numerous pores on its walls. Its function is simple: keep things cool, for which it uses the basic principles of physics.

About 10 litres of water travel through it, circulating through the pores and eventually evaporating. The evaporation lowers the temperature of the clay, and keeps things stored in the ‘frig’ fresh.

"Mitticool can keep the food fresh for five days," Prajapati explained.