Once a Fruit Vendor, This 63-Year-Old Will Now Travel Across India in His Self-Designed Solar Car


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I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein.

63-year-old Syed Sajjad Ahmed is a perfect example of how passion can drive people to do things that might be difficult to achieve. At an age when many would hesitate before trying something new, this enthusiastic man has started a journey across India to spread the message of a pollution free country. And he is doing this on a solar powered car that has been designed by him.

About 15 years ago, Syed came to Bengaluru from Kolar and started working as a fruit vendor. He then opened a small shop where he used to repair televisions and radio sets. He had a passion for innovation that slowly developed and he started making television antennas on his own. He even designed a two-wheeler for people with disabilities.

In 2004, Syed decided to take his ideas to the next level, and designed a solar-powered car.

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Photo: spinningthegreenwheel.wordpress.com

Now, with his solar car, this innovator has kick-started a campaign against pollution and corruption in India. He started on a journey from Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on Nov. 1, 2015, and will cover a distance of 1,740 kilometres to reach the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. On his special car, which runs at a speed of 100 kms per hour, he will drive through Hindupur, Ananthpur, Kurnool, Mahaboobnagar, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Itarsi, Jhansi and Agra. His plan is to reach Delhi in a month and to participate in the India International Science Fair in the first week of December.

Syed says that he has dedicated this trip to Late APJ Abdul Kalam who has been his inspiration to make his dream a reality.

A school dropout, Syed spends one fourth of his earnings to design energy sufficient devices and another 25 percent on social service. Earlier, he had spent about four years and Rs. 10 lakh to develop electric two-wheelers and three- wheelers for differently-abled people, before making this solar-powered four-wheeler worth Rs. 50,000.

Back in 2012, Syed had travelled 1,000 kms in South India to spread awareness about a corruption-free India. “I want to further modify this car, refine and improvise it before I set out on my longest journey to cover more miles,” he had said at that time.

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