Farmers, not just in India, but the world over, are the most under-appreciated folk. They feed us but are poorly rewarded for this service. In India, especially, many of them are mired in a vicious circle of poverty, leading many of them to take recourse in money lenders or committing suicide. Not 50-year-old Ram Prasad, however!
This farmer from Banda, Uttar Pradesh has fashioned an old bicycle into a plough for his fields and has even shared his quick-fix idea with other farmers in his village. Due to droughts, Ram Prasad had to sell his bullocks in order to feed his family and tractors were too expensive. So he decided to experiment with different instruments and finally after seven years, hit upon the idea of using his old bicycle. This ‘jugaad’ plough cost him just Rs. 3,000 compared to Rs. 50,000 for a pair of bullocks or Rs. 500,000 for a tractor.
According to The Times of India, Prasad’s refashioned plough has a single wheel, front and rear handles, and three diggers attached to it and does not require fuel such as diesel or kerosene to operate. It is simple, economical and easy to assemble and can be used for weeding and sowing. He says,
All it requires is two men. I have also helped many farmers by converting their old bicycles into a ploughing machine.”