Sustainable Amphibian Ambulances for Rural People in Specific Context

By Dipanka Boruah and Amarendra Kumar Das.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Designing for the underprivileged section of the society is one of the basic requirements for inclusive design in a developing country like India. With a spurt in development in the country, the gap between the haves and the haves not are increasing and this disparity is creating social unrest in the country. Designing in this context is being propagated in design schools but may not be always attractive for the young designers to inculcate this value since the remuneration for this type of design is not very attractive. A case in hand is rural health service in rural areas of India; the government has launched National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to make health services available to the rural population. But many places in North Eastern India are totally inaccessible by road. Thus the issue remained in spite of expanding rural road networks under Pradhan Mantir Gram Swarak Yojana (Prime Minister’ Rural Road Plan). This problem is specifically prominent in Assam, where the remote rural areas have not been linked with convenient transportation for road communication. Despite rapid urbanization vast portions of the population of Assam inhabit the remote rural areas, and out of this population, 2.5 million people live in the riverine island (popularly known as char- chapari areas in the local language). These riverine islands and many other areas are affected by the floods in monsoons created by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries. As a result, the health services of the people living in these areas are badly affected. Although the government has introduced a boat clinic, people cannot reach these in emergencies, since patients cannot be carried by road to these. The most common practice is that a patient is wrapped up with clothes. The practice followed is wrapping up a patient particularly from the remote rural and in given to be carried by a strong person to the health centres. On several occasions, they are transported in a hand cart. Even in this case, where there are small bodies of water, without a bridge it becomes impossible to cross these and hence patients, in many cases, never reach the health centers in time. In light of this, the present study has been carried out. The scope of the research work is to provide the emergency medical transportation services to marginalized people of the society in rural areas. It is an attempt towards developing the current practice for meeting the local transportation needs of the poor population of a remote area. The solution of this type of problem can lead to a better health care system for the rural area and can stop migration of the rural population to urban and semi urban areas, in search of livelihood and better opportunities.

Keywords: Rural Ambulance, Sustainable Development, Medical, Transportation Device

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.7-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 834.897KB).

Dipanka Boruah

Research Scholar, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam, India

I received a degree in Architecture from MIET Gondia, Maharashtra in 2008 and my Masters in Design from the Department of Design, at IIT Guwahati in 2011. I am now a research scholar and teaching assistant in the Department of Design, at IIT Guwahati. My PhD research topic is Concept to Market of Innovator’s Product: Contextual Design Transfer through Appropriate Technology. I am interested in turning innovations into marketable products.

Dr. Amarendra Kumar Das

Professor, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam, India

He is currently working as a Professor in the Department of Design, IIT Guwahati. During his teaching and professional life, he produced designers, engineers and entrepreneurs. ‘Dipbahan’ is an indigenous tricycle rickshaw designed and developed by him for low-income groups. It is undergoing mass production and marketing in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Germany as well. Cow dung gas energy, a handloom-weaving machine, and an energy-efficient fish production tank are innovations created by professor A. K. Das. He is interested in appropriating design and technology through contextual design to Small, Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). Industrial Design, Rapid Prototyping and Tooling, Space Design, Facility Design, Environmental Graphics, and Design for Disabled.