CARE Knows How to Make Motorcycles into Phone Chargers

CARE Knows How to Charge Phones with Motorcycles

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“I heard that need is the mother of invention and with this image - I saw it,” says Dilip Sarwate, a project manager who has worked for CARE India for 14 years. While helping with CARE’s emergency response to Cyclone Phailin, Dilip noticed that some young boys had become engineers in the face of a crisis.

The cyclone hit the eastern coast of India on October 13, 2013, affecting Odisha and Andhra Pradesh states the most, an area that is home to more than 10 million people. Millions of lives were saved by early evacuation - but the cyclone destroyed homes and crops, wiping out the livelihoods of thousands of people.

To make matters worse, more than 1,000 villages and towns were left without power, as water levels from flooding continued to rise. Not only were people left in the dark - but they were cut off from communications in a dangerous time. 

That’s when a group of young boys in cyclone-affected Muthamukundpur, Ganjam engineered a solution. After weeks without electricity, they built a mobile phone charger that plugs into a gas-powered motorcycle engine. This allowed people to charge their mobile phones after the cyclone - giving them the ability to communicate and call for emergency services. 

We are glad that Dilip was nearby to capture this innovation on camera - a CARE Hack that may help people communicate safely during emergencies in the future!

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Young boys engineered a motorcycle to charge mobile phones. Photo: Dilip Sarwate/CARE