25 Mar 2019
Five examples of 'Jugaad' engineering which happens only in India
India is the land of jugaad, a Hindi word which means an economical makeshift solution in situations where resources are scarce.
Jugaad is a way of life; Indians have low-cost, practical solutions to almost every problem.
Like 'Jugaad Innovation' author, Professor Jaideep Prabhu, says jugaad is "frugal, flexible, and inclusive approach to problem-solving and innovation."
Here are five examples of jugaad engineering in India.
Thermocol shoes that can be used for walking on water
In India, waterlogged roads and floods are common, especially in rural areas, during the rainy season, and movement of people gets restricted.
To help people walk on water during floods, Dwarka Prasad Chaurasia, now in his 80s, invented "Water Walking Shoes" in the 1980s.
The shoes, comprising two thermocol floats attached to rexine, are so useful that people use them during floods even today.
The innovative washing cum exercise machine
Washing machines are a luxury not everyone can afford, especially in India. However, washing clothes manually can be a lot of work and tiresome too.
Remya Jose, a teenager from Kerala's Malappuram, who was tired of washing clothes manually decided to come up with an economical solution.
She created a washing-cum-exercise machine with a cycle that washes clothes only after 3-4 minutes of pedaling.
A low-cost, no-fuel plow created from an old bicycle
In 2016, Ram Prasad, a farmer in Uttar Pradesh's Banda, converted an old cycle into a low-cost, no-fuel plow.
He came up with the idea when he had to sell his bullock during a drought year; he had no money to maintain tractors and equipment for plowing.
After experimenting for years, he finally built the no-fuel plow with a single-wheel, front/rear handles, and diggers.
#3: The jugaad cycle that can generate electricity
In rural India, irregular supply of electricity is a major problem. However, to come up with a low-cost solution, two people in Haryana's Sirsa made a jugaad cycle that can generate electricity. It can charge an inverter, giving 6-hour backup after two hours of pedaling.
#5: Making multi-purpose ropes from old sarees
Making multi-purpose ropes from old sarees is one of the most common jugaads. Some people have even built simple rope-makers to braid and twine saree (cloth) strips to make long ropes. These ropes are quite strong and can be used for various purposes.