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Retired doctor challenges tradition

Muhammad Faisal Jhandir displays his ‘new year’s gift to the world,’ in the form of a solar cooker. Jhandir believes that changing conventional methods is the key to solving many of the world’s problems.   - Photo by P. McLachlan
Muhammad Faisal Jhandir displays his ‘new year’s gift to the world,’ in the form of a solar cooker. Jhandir believes that changing conventional methods is the key to solving many of the world’s problems.
— image credit: Photo by P. McLachlan

By Phil McLachlan

Muhammad Faisal Jhandir has lived many lives; from growing up in the Middle East with a large family, he set out on a solo journey as a doctor, teacher, writer and inventor which led him all around the world.

Originally from Pakistan, Jhandir was influenced by his parent’s love for knowledge. His parents built a library from the ground up; at over 350,000 pieces of literature and historical documents, it is the largest of its kind in Pakistan.

Jhandir always found himself dreaming of the future. At the age of 15 he knew he wanted to pursue medicine. By 17, he was in medical school, and he became a doctor before he turned 23.

After working as a consultant in Pakistan for a couple of years, Jhandir got a job at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary as a clinical assistant professor of medicine in 2006.

Following over 20 years of work in the medical field, Jhandir found a condo in Fernie, and bought it with his wife. Separating shortly after the move, Jhandir took a retirement from his career and dedicated his life to writing and inventing.

Jhandir had been long involved in the concept of solar cooking. In 2011 while visiting his family in Pakistan, he covered an old satellite dish with CD’s, placing a cooking pot where the receiver was. In just over an hour, this method cooked food for 12 people.

“If you look at all the top ten problems the world is facing right now; global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, extinction of species, wars, poverty, malnutrition, [lack of] education – all of these could be solved by this kind of device,” said Jhandir.

Jhandir grew up witnessing women and children struggling to get food on the table. Fuel for cooking was found in the form of twigs and animal dung, which women and children spend most of the day searching for. He also saw malnutrition as a major issue, as some nutritious foods would take too long to cook, use up too much fuel, and therefore be crossed off the consumption list.

“Fuel costs so much right now in the world, and that’s why some kids don’t go to school; they just have to work.”

Several countries are concentrating more on the implementation of solar cooking. Jhandir has tried all of the different models, and he believes his is far superior in design and efficiency.

It took another year and a half to formalize the final design for the solar cooker; the end product became a Coroplast shipping box that opens up like a sunflower with reflective material inside to cook your food by the power of the sun.

“The plan is to sell it as a unit, as a full kitchen,” said Jhandir. “It’s going to have a pot, a heat resistant plastic bag and this frame, shipped in one.”

Jhandir believes that saving the forest is the key to saving the planet, but he believes that one person cannot change much, and to truly make an impact, this ideology must be accepted by society.

“The fact is, the change comes from top down. If you really want to make this a worldwide phenomenon, we as the first-world citizens need to use this, because we serve as role models for the rest of the world,” said Jhandir.

“Everybody has a desire in their heart to save this planet,” he added.

In between his time making and designing machines and devices, Jhandir loves to write. A year ago he took up the pen to scribe his opinions, in relation to the current state of the world and “where we went wrong in the past.”

Saving The World is not easy but someone has to do it! by Muhammad Faisal Jhandir can be previewed on blurb.com for free, or purchased in either soft-cover, hard-cover or digital pdf download.

Disclaimer: Any opinions portrayed in Jhandir’s writings are his own and not affiliated with The Free Press.

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