Floating Rickshaw

August 11, 2007 at 2:27 am 11 comments

The recent article on CNN IBN inspired me to write this post.


This old man, Mr.Mohamad Saidullah, who is just a Rickshaw puller, helped several people in the flood hit Bihar with his wonderful invention (innovation) of floating Rickshaw. The best part is when all the cars and sophisticated vehicles were off the road and the authorities were struggling to help the stranded, this man helped ferry several people to safety.

It is indeed so heartening to see such wonderful things being done by these people who are at the low end of the economic strata. This is just one of the several such grassroots innovations done.Thanks to Prof Anil Gupta, prof at IIMA, many of these innovations have come to light. His “Honey Bee” network, takes a walk across the breath and width of the country, mostly to the rural areas and villages to identify all these innovations. Based on the walk for the last several years, they have built a huge database of such innovations and inventions across a wide variety of areas. I had the opportunity of meeting Prof Anil Gupta last year and that’s when I got to know about this organisation.

It was very interesting to see some of the innovations. There is a pedal operated washing machine which can also be used for exercise.This innovation is by a very young girl. How nice.. We can not only get the clothes washed but also keep ourselves fit. Instead of dumping all the clothes in the washing machine and sitting in front of the idiot box and watching the mega serials, if each of the family member keeps pedaling for 10 minutes, the clothes gets washed and the whole family is going to be healthy..!!!! How nice isn’t it.. :).

There is a battery operated motorcycle. Then there is a camel bus which can transport about 80 school children at a time. How nice it will be if we can get rid of the “autos” transporting children to school. They simply stuff the children in and are a safety hazard on road….!!!!!

There are several such innovations and some of them are listed here.

I felt so good looking at the rickshaw puller and wanted to dedicate this post to all those wonderful grassroots innovators…!!!!


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

ooo..la.la.la Roobaroo

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ashwin  |  August 11, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    nice post! and thanks for introducing me to a high quality NGO website πŸ™‚

  • 2. Siva  |  August 12, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Glad that you liked it Ashwin..the real success of these innovations will come only when they are productized..and wish it happens in large scale.. I do interact with a lot of NGO’s and can pass on some details to you.. πŸ™‚

  • 3. sangs  |  August 13, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I liked the sensor stick for the blind.Very thoughtful innovation πŸ™‚

  • 4. Siva  |  August 13, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Sangs: Yes indeed a great one…
    I was really impressed with every one of them because they came from “aam aadmi” … πŸ™‚

  • 5. sami  |  August 13, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    such a good activities needs to be encouraged well and good innovations they are.

  • 6. Siva  |  August 13, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    You said it Sami…very true…

  • 7. arvind  |  August 14, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    now ,is that what we call innovative post πŸ˜›
    nice post man..

  • 8. Siva  |  August 14, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Arvind: welcome here.. this is no way an innovative post.. an inspired post may be.. πŸ˜‰ thanks for your comments.. keep coming.. cheers. πŸ™‚

  • 9. Nandini  |  August 15, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Its very encouraging to hear such success/innovative stories.Esp. when it is all coming from people of lower economic strata.
    Innovations come from the most unexpected end, but how it is harnessed is what matters.
    In developed countries, the government provides way to commercialise it and even patent the invention.
    Our nation lacks the resources/funds to commericialise the grass root invention. If giant industrialist firms can contribute ( as a social responsibility) to fund these innovations, it would be a great economical advantage.

  • 10. nitin  |  August 15, 2007 at 11:23 pm


    I saw one episode on NDTV..(dont remember the name)..they were also portraying our simple inventions from small towns…I was so surprised and i really appreciated the work of all those unheard inventions..helping the poor and needy..in small towns….

    good post….

  • 11. Siva  |  August 17, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Nandini : You are right.. the NIF is helping them get these patented.. also there are agencies which are helping the innovators themselves get some microfinancing so that they can productize the innovations.. as well as there are organisations helping incubate them in the process.. but the point you have made is very valid.. large organisations should come forward to fund these innovations..

    Nitin: Thanks…. i dint get to see the NDTV program.. but it is indeed heartening to see these come from small towns and villages..

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