12th grade student innovates E-rickshaw into garbage collection vehicle

Seventeen-year old, Trishla Gupta, a resident of Delhi and a Grade 12 IB student of  the The Shri Ram School, Moulsari, Gurgram, has converted an E-rickshaw into a garbage collection cum transportation vehicle in her colony and has also applied for a patent for mechanical compression innovation for an Electric Rikshaw.

Her school has conferred upon her the Innovator Award of this year and she is loving every bit of attention she is getting both in her neighborhood and school due to this green initiative. Talking about the idea of this special vehicle, Trishla credits it to her cycling hobby. “Just before the Covid lockdown, when I was cycling in our residential colony, I’d always catch the sight of this rusty, tuta-foota (broken) old diesel load carrier talking garbage and spilling it over besides releases noxious smoke fumes. So, whenever, I encountered it, I wished I could do something about it. And then, the idea of electric vehicle struck my mind,” she says.

Initially she thought that there will be e-rickshaws that would be manufactured for this kind of work as well but when she started enquiring, there weren’t. She  wrote to several manufactures, but all said, there is no such design. “Several rejections later, I was delighted to receive an email from Hero Electric—they agreed to donate a disassembled passenger-rickshaw prototype for my project. And even though it came with lead-acid batteries instead of the fast-charging lithium-ion ones, I couldn’t have been happier!”

Once the prototype was assembled, the next step was to design a load body and a compression mechanism that would prevent the dry leaves from blowing off. The design went through multiple AutoCAD iterations, which she did herself. Finally she settled on the final design, using a linear screw instead of the initial horizontal rod that was more susceptible to leaf-clogging. “As soon as the design was ready, I shipped the raw materials to a local workshop, where we built and welded the load body and compression mechanism on top of the passenger-rickshaw prototype,” she adds while acknowledging that the experts from the neighboring workshop were very helpful and lent technical assistance to her. All this work took place during lockdown period.

“Having finished building the e-rickshaw last month, I am now working closely with the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) of my residential enclave to ensure smooth implementation of this initiative and hope one day, these type of vehicles become part of our municipal waste management system,” she says. Obviously, after she wrote and shared with her school, the project outcome, the school lost no time in recognizing her as the Innovator 2020. A STEM enthusiast, she hopes to contribute more towards safe environment as she grows up and moves in life.   

Autar Nehru