Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet two users of water wheel: a life changing product for them

I was on my second field trip to Yavatmal.  On my first day of pricing experiment, I met Boni Bai. As soon as my car reached in her village, she took a water wheel and initiated demo of the water wheel to villagers. I felt that she was already aware of the product. Further discussion with Boni Bai realized me that, she was looking for waterwheel since last six months. I was very delighted to experience this kind of opinion among water wheel users. Let me share some of these experiences:

Let me introduce Boni Bai: 

Fig-1: Boni Bai : a water wheel user
Boni bai, a housewife and daily wage earner, lives with her husband in Marutipur village. She collects water for her domestic usage and cattle. She collects water for her family and spends ~ 2 hrs on water collection. She is 57 years old and experiencing problem in her back and neck. Waterwheel is most-desirable product for her life. So, she decides to participate in pricing experiment.

On my next trip, I visit her village to gauge willingness to pay. Unfortunately, she was not available. Her husband participates in the game and price the product at a much lower price. So, I decide to take it back (As per the experiment rule).  On the next day, she meets me again in the field and says- “I am purchasing waterwheel at the price decided in experiment.” I told her about her husband’s opinion. She says that her husband can’t understand the value of the product as he doesn’t collect water. She also argues with her husband for cash payment and says to her – “If he doesn't purchase WW, she will not collect water from next day.” Finally, she purchases waterwheel and shares her reduced pain and reduced water collection time with her village members.
Now, Let me introduce another water wheel user  Manohar Gawre: 
Fig-2: Manohar Gawre: a water wheel user

Meet Manohar Gawre - a dedicated school teacher and the unofficial community leader from Kundi, Maharashtra. His quaint village is hidden amongst endless fields with winding-stone pathways, narrow lanes, smiling children, and colourful homes. It is also a village where the nearest well is over 1.5 kilometers away. He spends ~ 2.5 hrs per day to collect water. 

One day when visiting a neighbouring village, Manohar came across a strange tool being rolled across the terrain, the Water Wheel. He felt it immediately: this is the product for the people of Kundi. He decided to present what he had seen to the entire village at the next panchayat (community) meeting - during which he also compiled a list of 58 families who have no other means to transport water other than head loading and interested in the Water Wheel.

A few days later, word spread that a Wello representative was visiting Bhimnara, a neighbouring village 8 kilometers away. Upon hearing this, Manohar knew that this was his chance to get Kundi noticed. So, that afternoon, without regard to the distance or the 49oC heat, he picked up his list and walked across the rough terrain to speak with Wello. His reason: “I had to tell them to give us WaterWheels.” 

Seeing such enthusiasm, We decided to deploy two water wheels in kundi so that villagers can experience benefits of water wheels. I am closing my field notes with these positive message from users. 

Next time, I'll discuss my experience in Mumbai office of Wello. 

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