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Amazing Innovations from Rural India

Shashikant S Kulkarni
India's rural innovators have proved that
ordinary people are indeed capable of
extraordinary inventions. Despite many
constraints -- lack of education and severe
cash crunch -- most of them have succeeded
in using technology cost-effectively to build
ingenious products.
Bhagwan Singh Dangi

(Reaper windrower machine)

Madhya Pradesh
Many times, in a standing crop, soybean pods shatter due to non-availability of
labourers for harvesting the crop in time, leading to reduced yield and loss. To
solve this problem Bhagwan Singh decided to develop a reaper windrower
This device has three different units namely, cutting unit, which consists of
cutter bar, reel unit for pushing the standing crop towards the cutter bar and
gathering unit to windrow the crop at centre of the machine thus making it easy
to handle/transport to the threshing floor.
It reduces manpower requirement and the drudgery involved in the harvesting
process. The machine has 7 ft width of operation and can cover 0.4 hectares per
hour. While operating this machine, fuel consumption of tractor is 2.5-3 litres
per hour.
N Sakthimainthan

(Hand operated water lifting pump)

Tamil Nadu
Sakthimainthan built his hand operated water pump in
response to a dearth of available pumps that could be
afforded by small farmers.
He built five prototypes over a period of fifteen years before finally
perfecting his design.
The resulting water-lifting device is operated by the continuously
rotating a handle. It is simple in design and has a high discharge at low
cost compared to the motorized pumps and conventional hand pumps.
The pump has discharge of 20,000 lph at 0.75 m head. The unit has also
been tested by TNAU, Coimbatore and improved by CMERI Durgapur. It
is useful device for drainage as well.
Radhey Shyam Sharma
(Bullock operated sprayer)
Madhya Pradesh
Bhanjibhai Mathukia
The bullock operated sprayer is pulled by a pair of bullocks and
gets the drive from the ground through a gear box and belt pulley
When the operator shifts the lever to a higher gear, the frequency
of strokes of the pump increases as a result of which more
pressure develops in the container. The spray fluid, thus, atomizes
into fine droplets with a wider swath.
This sprayer considerably reduces time requirement as compared
to manual spraying and also the drudgery and health hazards
involved in manual spraying.
It has 18 nozzles, spaced at a distance of 35 cm and can cover
3.5 acre/h
M. Nagarajan (Lemon cutter)
Tamil Nadu
A small workshop owner from
Uslampathy village in
M Nagarajan has developed an
innovative technology for
cutting lime into small pieces in
bulk quantity.
This technology offers a great
value proposition for the pickle
manufacturing companies. The
pickle industry suffers with a big
problem of inefficiency in its
operations due to low degree of
automisation e.g. cutting of
fruits is done manually
It is a novel machine in
terms of its cost
effectiveness, efficiency,
drudgery reduction for
women, safety
considerations and
transmission system
P K Ravi (Pepper thresher)
As compared to other conventional
threshers, Ravi's thresher can be
operated both automatically and
manually with higher output and
minimal damage.
The Spices Board (Ministry of
Commerce and Industry, Govt. of
India) has recognised his innovation
and included it in the Board's subsidy
About 100 kg pepper can be threshed
in a one HP machine in ten minutes
(60 kg in a HP version). It consumes
3/4 electric units per hour, has
threshing efficiency 90 per cent and
the damage is about 2-3%.
Gopal Bhise
(Bicycle Weeder) Maharashtra
Bhise has fixed a rod with a blade
at the end, to an assembly
consisting of only the front wheel
and the handle of a bicycle.

He has named the assembly as
'Krishiraja', and claims it to be
extremely efficient in removing
weeds from hard land.

It is very useful device for
ploughing/inter culture operation in
very small farm plots, gardens and
kitchen gardens. One can cover
0.08 hectare in one hour.
Aerator &
leaf pruner)
Decomposed bio-waste has better fertility values. Decomposition can be fastened if the
biomass is aerated, humidified and properly mixed.
Dhonshi's machine is a tractor PTO driven machine, which can thoroughly mix the bio-
wastes and add moisture as well thereby reducing the time of decomposition.
The machine can cover a row of wastes disbursed by 100 trailers of size 11 ft x 6.5 ft x
2.5 ft (i.e total 400 ton) in one hour. Tractor consumes 3.5-4.0 liter diesel per hour. The
compost has better fertility value as compared to FYM and vermin compost.
Total time for converting the biomass into manure while processed by this machine is
25-40 days, which is otherwise 3-4 months by the conventional methods.
Swayambhoo Sharma, Madanlal
Kumawat, Chandan Agarwal
(Modified hand pump with tap and
attachment for filling animal trough)
Lack of surface water sources and falling water table has made availability of clean
drinking water a major problem in Rajasthan.
For human beings, the need gets addressed to some extent but for animals this need is
much less appreciated.
Swayambhoo Sharma came up with an interesting solution to address the drinking water
needs of animals.
He developed an arrangement such that every time people pump water for their use, 20
per cent of pumped water will directly go to fill animal water trough. Since most people feel
lazy in filling drinking water trough for stray animals, this innovations solves this problem
by a kind of tax at source.
Another problem faced in hand pumps is that a single person finds it very difficult to pump
and at the same drink water (without a vessel with him/her).
Chandan, then a first year student at IIMA came out with an idea of storing water in the
body of the hand pump so that having pumped, one could use a tap and drink water like
any other tap.
Yusuf Khan and Madan Lal Kumawat, two other innovators combined the idea of Chandan
and Swayambhoo Sharma and developed a hybrid model.
Raghav Gowda
(Milking machine)
Finding skilled labour for milking a
small herd of cows is a problem faced
by many farmers.
But using machines for milking is a
luxury which only a large farm or a
dairy house can afford. Raghava
decided to develop some method of
milking, which would be affordable for
all farmers.
The result: an easy to operate and low
cost milking machine that can milk 1.5-
2 litre of milk per minute.
The machine can be used to remove
all the milk from the udder. The cow
feels as if it is being suckled and does
not experience any pain.
K Nicholson
(Shock proof converter)
Nicholson has developed an innovative device which converts all electrical lines into
shock-free power lines. This is a very useful device for every household/ commercial
The device can be installed just after the energy meter so that each and every
connection in the building establishment gets connected to the device and becomes
The innovator makes different variants based on application and user's requirements.
CA Vincent (Floating soap)
Jina Khumujam
(Herbal Soap)
This is a soap
made using milk,
honey, oil, caustic
soda, and soap-
nut. Local
having high
medicinal value
and health
benefits are also
been added
Vincent observed many people taking bath in rivers and ponds loosing their soaps,
which often sink in the water.
He conducted experiments in his soap manufacturing unit for about 14 years to
develop this unique process of manufacturing soap that floats in water.
The soap has a density of 0.878, TFM (Total Fatty Matter) as 73 per cent, foaming
stability as 0.1 cm and foaming power as 0.2 cm.
Imli Toshi
(Bamboo lathe
Bamboo needs to be stripped off its outer covering for developing smooth
surface to make interior decoration items and utility articles like cups, pen
stands, etc. Doing the job manually is time consuming and laborious.
The machine developed by Toshi can do all the operations like removing the
outer knots, smoothening the surface, internal/external carving and finishing.
The machine has soft touch joystick controlled operating system, which
facilitates precision in operation.
The finished bamboo can be used to make bamboo pet bottles. This bottle
has the potential to replace the plastics and tin bottles and cans. The bamboo
pet bottles can be made with a capacity of 1 lit, lit, 200 ml etc.
Biren Singh
(Improved Mechanized Loom)
P L Bhanumurti
(Automatic saree border weft
Tamil Nadu
Traditional Korvai or 'contrast' weaving involves
intricate work where the design and the colour of
the borders are often different from those of the
main body of the sari.
Three shuttles are needed: the weaver operates
two, and an assistant operates the third.
Bhanumurti's automated system is derived from
the "Catch Cord Technique drawing device for
looms" so that no assistant is needed and the
productivity is increased
Ngangom Nabakumar Singh
(Double Shuttle Loom)
The innovative 'Double Shuttle Loom'
works on the same principle as that of any
other standard manual shuttle looms
however, this new machine is broader in
width and has provision for two sets of
warp rolls.
This innovative mechanized shuttle looms simulates the
working principles of traditional Manipuri shuttle loom,
except that the new machine runs fully automatic with
the help of a half-horse power motor.
The output of the machine is 25-50 times more than the
traditional shuttle loom, and almost any other power
loom. The innovative machine can weave 3-4 fabric per
hour whereas the traditional could hardly make 1-2
fabric in a day. Except for the change of bobbin, the
machine doesn't require any manpower
Mangi Singh
(Kouna mat making machine)
Kouna is synonymous with the exotic craft tradition
of Manipur. This manual machine, which can even
be operated by a low skilled worker or a physically
challenged person, can weave two mats per day.
The quality of the mats produced is better than
those produced by traditional methods.
The productivity increases three to four times. A
skilled traditional mat weaver can make only one
mat in four days, including frill tying. The present
machine can weave one mat per day, including frill
Deepak Bharali
(Extra- Weft Insertion for Handloom
Conventionally, the task of the insertion of weft threads needed
to make a variety of designs is done manually by tying knots,
which is cumbersome and time consuming.
The thread is also wasted in connecting one motif to another.
Deepak's innovative device makes designs in one third of the
time required by the traditional way of making designs.
The device consists of three components; base frame, magnet
bearing shaft and a specially designed bobbin. These
components can be fitted to any handloom Jacquard machine.
The attachment facilitates the Jacquard loom to perform
automatic selection and lifting of warp threads for design
CV Raju
(Vegetable dyes for wooden toys)
Andhra Pradesh
The toys of Etikoppaka imparted with
vegetable dyes come in various shapes
and forms ranging from toys to candle
stands to vermilion boxes and bangles
Using the walnut washer of Tawseef, the
time required to wash, which otherwise is
done manually using hands, has been
reduced by over 60 per cent.
The machine can process approx 80 kg
of walnuts/h. The present version has
cracking efficiency about 85 per cent, the
peeler has capacity of 70 kg of green
walnuts/ h. The washer has capacity of
washing 90 kg walnuts/h.
Mushtaq Ahmad Dar and Tauseef Ahmad
(Walnut Cracker, Peeler & Washer)
Jammu & Kashmir
Manual cracking of walnuts involves a lot
of time and drudgery. Mushtaq has come
up with a walnut cracking machine which
can process dry walnuts of various sizes,
shapes and thickness to crack them
open without damaging the fruit inside
Peeling walnuts is a very labour
intensive task involving a lot of
drudgery. The sap of walnut skin
burns hands and stains clothes
as well.
Sakrabhai Prajapati
(Exercising chair- Maruti Jhoola)
Modern life with its fast pace and
sedentary lifestyle has created the
need for solutions incorporating
relaxation and invigoration.

Maruti Jhoola is a unique health chair
with multiple capabilities, functions and
settings for various postures and
seating dynamics.

It is ergonomically designed and
serves the purpose of seating as well
as exercising for a person weighing up
to 120 kg. It can double up as a
hammock or a jhoola.
The health chair is useful for people
suffering from arthritis and joint
Conventionally, stencils are
prepared by punching on paper
using needles, which is a very
cumbersome and tedious task.
Nazim has developed small
innovative punching device to
apply design on butter paper to
facilitate designing on the cloth
Brahmam, Ajmeri
(gas-operated iron)
Brahmam and Ajmeri have
developed the gas-operated iron,
which is simple in design and have
low operating cost.
This eliminates the problems
associated with irregular supply of
electricity and availability of coal.
This device makes
use of the smell
from the septic
tank to attract the
which get trapped
in the device.
Heat builds up
inside the device
as a result of
direct sunlight
exposure. The
mosquitoes, thus,
get killed due to
the accumulated
Ashok Thakur
(Portable smokeless stove)
This stove uses paddy husk, which is
cheaply available, as fuel and gives a
smokeless flame.
The stove and the fuel, both being cost
effective, are easily affordable for
common man.
It weighs 4 kg. It needs about one kg
husk per hour.
V Jayprakash
(Efficient wood stove)
Jayprakash has incorporated a secondary burning chamber in the stove to
allow maximum combustion of the hydrocarbons, released as a result of
the burning of biomass. He has also developed many variants of the
The stove has higher combustion efficiency in the range of 37.67% when
wood is fueled and 29.48% when coconut shell is used as fuel.
C Senthil
(Efficient wood
Tamil Nadu
The walls of this stove have been insulated using brick made from special
clay, which reduce heat loss and hence increase efficiency.
Different variants of the same for household and commercial use have been
developed by Senthil Kumar. The innovator has sold over 15000 units of
different versions of these stoves.
Abhishek Bhagat
(Automatic Food Making
This is a tested gadget with boxes in it to hold different
ingredients and a display screen from which one can select
options to cook different items.
Then, the screen displays the required quantity of each
ingredient. Once the items are fed into the machine, it cooks
the dishes.
Profiles and photographs, courtesy:
National Innovation Foundation

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