Bijal Brambhatt and her team at Ahmedabad-based Mahila Housing Sewa Trust (MHT) have been working to make life a little more comfortable for slum women — by advocating better living conditions and access to affordable housing. Amng their innovative interventions are cooler roofs in slum houses to bring down the indoor temperature in the summers.
When MHT learnt about the urban innovation challenge in Delhi, the cool roof idea seemed ideal. “Our focus is to make the lives of the urban poor better,” says Brambhatt. “This intervention can be useful in Delhi’s severe heat. It can also help make the community resilient to climate change.”
MHT’s roof projects in Ahmedabad and Bhopal have demonstrated how modular roofs can bring down temperature by 5-6 degrees Celsius. “To build these roofs, we have tied up with a company that uses recyclable materials like copra or other agricultural wastes. Simply painting the roofs white and making it reflective can bring down temperature by up to 2 degrees,” says Brambhatt.