School desks might seem like a common commodity in the West, but many children in India have to go without, which can result in bad posture, damaged eyesight, and even poor handwriting. To help deal with the problem, New Bombay-based non-profit Aarambh created the Help Desk, a writing surface made from recycled cardboard that can also be folded up into a briefcase. While the desks only cost about 20 cents to make, they drastically improve the learning experience and health of schoolchildren across India. You might need tissues for the video after the jump.
To make the desks, the non-profit first has to collect discarded cardboard boxes from corporate housing, retail outlets and recycling facilities. After the boxes have been unfolded, an outline of the desk’s design is traced onto the sheets, before being laser cut and re-folded into the finished product. When the desk is folded up for transportation, it’s also possible to store books and other study items inside, making the design a multi-faceted solution for schoolchildren.
Aarambh distributed its product throughout schools in rural Maharashtra, a state in the western region of India, and judging from this video, it would seem that the kids lucky enough to get a Help Desk are enjoying them immensely. Of course, the organization has plans to expand their work to other parts of the country, but there is still much that needs to be addressed for Indian schoolchildren to be truly happy. Additional requirements include better sanitation facilities, improved personal hygiene, and safer study environments.
Images by Aarambh