Naturally, it got us thinking about other useful inventions made that changed the lives of people in rural India. Here’s a list of 9 we uncovered.
1. The Solar Mosquito Destroyer
Inventor: Mathews K. Mathew
Developed in Kerala, this one-of-a-kind device could be a roaring success in the city as well. Using a septic tank smell as an attracting device for mosquitoes, heat builds up inside it due to direct exposure to sunlight. Once the mosquitoes are trapped inside, they eventually die due to the accumulated heat. This device is a one-time investment, as it requires nothing but the sun’s rays for it to work. One drawback is that it is ineffective at night, but the device has seen enough success to prompt Matthews into making a house-fly version of it too.
2. Water Walking Shoes
Inventor: Dwarka Prasad Chaurasia
What do you do when your village gets flooded, or when the only bridge to the other side of the river breaks down? Chaurasia simply solved the problem by inventing the water shoes. Developed over three decades ago in Uttar Pradesh, the shoes are made of Thermocol, which is bonded with a Rexine sheet.
Using metal straps for back support, one can easily “walk” or skate over a lake while also using a pair of oars for maintaining your balance. The shoes are so effective that they are widely used in flood-hit areas for the purpose of rescue operations, even today.
3. The Cotton Harvester
Inventor: Nattubhai Vader
Anyone with even the smallest bit of knowledge about farming would know that cotton-picking is the toughest, most gruesome form of harvesting there is. To counter that, Vader came up with an innovative design. A massive apparatus of spinning rubber hoses and a vacuum is attached to the tractor, which is then used to pick the cotton. The device is so effective that it picks as much cotton in an hour as 10 people would over a period of two days. You can imagine the kind of impact this has had on people’s lives.
4. The Cotton De-seeder
Inventor: Abdul Rahim Khan
Once you pick the cotton, it is followed by another problem – de-seeding it. Most cotton de-seeding machines are very expensive but not if you use this one. One of Khan’s many inventions, this device is just as effective as any other de-seeding machine but made with different materials (mostly wood). Costing just Rs. 220, or $3US to make, it saves as much as 10 times the amount, making it an incredibly effective solution to the poorest of farmers out there.
5. The Milking Machine
Inventor: Raghav Gowda
Milking is a tiring task. Dairy owners have to wake up at five in the morning, and start milking the cows, one by one, so that they can provide fresh milk to their customers. Apart from that, finding personnel to do the job for you is no easy task either. Using machines is an option, but is very expensiv — something only large, successful dairies can afford. So Gowda came up with a simple solution – his very own milking machine. Affordable and effective, the machine uses suction caps that can milk as much as 1.5 litres of milk per minute – much more than a person can manage. Furthermore, the cow does not feel any discomfort, making it a win-win situation overall.
6. The Well Pulley with a Brake
Inventor: Amrit Agrawal
Drawing water from a well is an essential part of a person’s life in Indian villages. Although it seems easy, it can be a rather tedious task, especially for the women, who have other jobs to do throughout the day as well. So Agrawat came up with three different types of pulleys – each of which can be used according to the type of well in question. This allows the women to rest more during the laborious task, and the “stopper” helps make the task much easier.
7. Tractor Water Tyres
Inventor: The Farmers of Madhya Pradesh
Ploughing fields is difficult if your tractor is small and lightweight. It’s even more difficult if your tractor salesmen sells you expensive “weights” so that your tractor becomes heavier. So what do you do? You get together and brainstorm, and that’s exactly what the farmers of Madhya Pradesh did. The result was something so beautiful and simple that you can only marvel and applaud. They decided to fill their tyres with water. Yes; plain, good old water. This meant that the tractors got heavier, at absolutely no more cost, making ploughing much easier. The idea has been a huge hit since, and has benefited millions of farmers across the country.
8. The Multipurpose Herb Processor
Inventor: Daramveer Kamboj
Crazy about herbs since childhood, Kamboj developed the obsession from his mother, who was a herbalist. What peeved Kamboj most is that there were no cost-effective machines available to make the process of converting herbs into gel easier. After years of unsuccessful prototypes, he finally came up with the processor, which can easily pulverize and extract oil or gel from any kind of herb. The machine, Kamboj’s childhood dream, can cheaply produce gel from leaves and twigs as well which has proved to be highly beneficial to many living in the rural areas as well as for both production purposes as well as self-medication in many cases.
9. The Tree Climbing Machine
Inventor: M.J. Joseph
An innovative farmer, many of Joseph’s inventions failed to impress – till he came up with the Tree Climbing Machine. The machine consists of two loops and pedals for each foot, which one can easily use to climb a tree. Primarily used for coconut trees, it can be adjusted and used for various other trees as well. Safe, cheap and convenient, the machine has been a roaring success, and the National Innovation Foundation has gone on to facilitate its sale to various other countries like the USA, Maldives, Australia, Mexico and Brazil. So the next time you enjoy a refreshing glass of coconut water, make sure you thank Mr. Joseph.