Supriyo Das

Biography

Suprio Das Let’s meet an unsung revolutionary. He is inventing revolutionary devices for poor and downtrodden people of Society. Quite less reported scientist- Mr. Suprio Das. He works selflessly; having ditched so many flowery, cushy job offers to what he loves most- putting in research to invent/develop low-cost, affordable devices for masses.

After working for more than 20 years as an electrical engineer with different business houses, Suprio realized that life could be more meaningful and interesting than this scramble up the corporate ladder. He gave up his job and started his own business while volunteering with an NGO in villages around Kolkata. On regularly visiting the villages, it occurred to him that social work and engineering could be combined together to develop devices that could help the poor.

The various enterprises that he had started – ranging from being a tourist guide, a professional driver, running a courier company – all fortunately failed for some reason or the other, allowing him more time to work on low cost technologies for the under-served communities. The simple devices that he started designing brought him in touch with D-Lab at MIT and in addition to being invited 4 consecutive times to the International Development Design Summit (organized by MIT) at Boston, Ghana and Colorado. He was also invited as Designer-in-Residence at MIT to work with and mentor students of D-Lab on development design.

His latest project Zimba the automatic chlorine doser, was selected by researchers of Stanford University and icddr-b for trials in the slums of Dhaka. These dosers are in operation since February 2012 and are currently serving around 50 families. A single device is also under pilot trial with Spring Health (a Paul Polak initiative) in Orissa.

Inspired by Thomas Edison and James Watt, Suprio Das wants to make good use of his engineering knowledge to help fellow rural countrymen. In his own words on his D-Lab page, “I also realized that I would not make myself rich overnight, but the personal satisfaction of working in this field far outweighs the limitations that come with it.”