Having a house is everyone’s dream, executing that come real is Perala Manasa’s dream. The 23-year-old civil engineer declared the set up of OPods or micro-homes in pipes holding one bedroom with a built-up area of 120 sq ft and built out of a concrete sewerage pipe of 2000 mm width.
Hailing from a poor family in Bommakal village in Telangana’s Karimnagar district, Manasa attributes her single mother for motivation and the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society for the knowledge that permitted her to dream. After doing B. Tech (civil engineering) from Lovely Professional University in May 2020, Manasa spent another six months examining the ideas widespread in Japan, Hong Kong, and other areas to satisfy the local requirements and weather circumstances before enrolling a company in January 2021. The work on the initial design started in March 2021.
Though principally intended for the impoverished, Manasa has 12 distinctive patterns of innovative mobile housing that may befit different sectors. The OPod comes with a bedroom, kitchen, hall, washroom, and shelves, and is implemented with electricity, water, and drainage. With a balcony-like area over the tube, the OPod is best suitable for one or two persons. “This is a first-of-its-kind model in India. In 40 to 120 sq ft, we can have a customized movable all-weather home with a life span of 100 years. The cost may come around Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 5.5 lakh,” said Manasa, combining that designs for two or three-bedroom homes are also ready.“I have seen how people live under thatched roofs in urban slums. And when it rains, they lose everything. The best part of OPod is that it is as good as a regular house and can be translocated.”
The container homes are ready in related sections now, Manasa says her OPods are cooler inside and have a greater life. Aside from low-cost homes for the poor, she has ideas that could be applied by resorts, restaurants, mobile homes, mobile clinics, guest houses, guardrooms, etc. Senior IPS officer and Secretary, Telangana Social Welfare and Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society, Dr. RS Praveen Kumar remembers Manasa as a very enthusiastic student. “She wanted to chart her course and pursue higher education which is rare in small villages. I found her idea (of affordable housing) radical. It’s just the beginning for her,” he told.
Manasa belonged to the initial group of ‘voice for girls’ and was a skilled ‘Sakhi’ (leader among the voice for girls campus). She described the social welfare schools in UNICEF meetings in Bengaluru, Kumar said. The OPod is fixed up at one of her relatives’ homes at Chengicherla in Hyderabad and Kumar started off the enterprise on Wednesday.“I received no support from anyone when I wanted to take up this venture. No one was ready to fund my project, and instead pushed me back because I am a girl,” Manasa said.
“My father expired when I was in 3rd grade and since then my mother has worked very hard to bring up two girls. Without my mother, a small farmer who gave away all her earnings, my dream would not have come true.” Manasa’s younger sister Chaithanya is now proceeding a degree program at the Armed Forces Preparatory Degree College for women, run by the TSWREIS.“Though no one backed my daughter’s plan initially, I am very happy to witness so many people yielding our happiness now. We are very happy. I want her to build affordable homes for the poor,” said Ramadevi, a very proud mother.
To examine whether the house was habitable, she convinced a migrant worker who was serving as part of the construction organization to stay there for seven days.“We provided him with electricity, a water supply, and even food. He enjoyed his stay but had some feedback for us regarding placement of the bathroom, adding more ventilation with windows and more which will be incorporated into the future projects,” says Manasa.
On the same day as the establishment of the OPod house, Manasa started her business, Samnavi Constructions, with Naveen Reddy, a business management student from LPU. Manasa is also working on designs of 2,3 and 4BHK O-pod houses. So far, she has earned over 200 orders from different states including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha to build the OPod houses. Owing to the lockdown and COVID-19 limitations, she is yet to begin work on these.