Avinash Krishnamurthy of S3IDF spoke to us about the work that he, and his organization, are doing in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh.
Avinash and S3IDF are evaluating an activated alumina fluoride filter that can be used to remove excess fluoride from drinking water. However, for Avinash, this is more than a mere project to blindly implement. He has spent considerable time and effort in understanding what solutions are out there, how people are coping, etc. before deciding that the filter is a good option.
Avinash passionately believes that testing for fluoride is much more than a simple exercise in determining fluoride levels. Testing can be a very useful tool to educate people about fluoride, its harmful effects, and how to mitigate it.
The video below shows Avinash employing just such an approach.
This is the first of a series of posts, where I will recount our story. Hopefully, this will help set some context for our endeavor.
The Water Hackathon of October 22-23 2011, in India was held at IIIT, Bangalore. This was jointly organized by IIHS, India Water Portal and WSP. We took part as team Jugaad Sensors.
Our team comprised a bunch of artists, designers and a couple of programmers, including some students fro Srishti. The project we chose was slightly unusual – build low cost, home made water quality tests that were better or cheaper than existing methods. Over the course of the hackathon, we developed and demonstrated a simple kit that cost very little, and is potentially more reliable than commonly used chemical testing methods. We created an Android app that would read from the kit via bluetooth, and post these values with location data onto a central database and mapped.
We used Arduino boards, and commodity, off-the-shelf electronics for the testing kit. I will make available more details and code available as we go on, because Caddisfly will be an open source project, which is a story for another time.
Update: The next part Beginnings II: The Decision to start a Business is now available.