Rajendra Lohar from Pachvara village in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra has made a low-cost mini tiller and five more farming equipment which are proving to be a boon for the farmers.
You will be surprised to know that Rajendra has not taken any formal degree in mechanical nor did he go through any training. He does not even have a farming background, which would help him to design these machines.
He first developed a car with an auto-rickshaw engine and was praised by the entire district. After this, one day in 2014 his farmer friend, Motilal Patil visited him and suggested him to make some low-cost machines which will be helpful for the farmers.
“I had no idea about farming, but my friend explained to me how a tiller works and so under his guidance, I made a small power tiller with a scooter’s engine,” says Rajendra while speaking to The Better India.
While the market rate of a tiller costs more than a lakh and a half, Rajendra’s mini tiller, made with a scooter engine and waste material from his garage – costs just Rs. 18000.
A farmer can even sit on it and use it like a mini tractor. The gears of the tiller can be changed both by hands or feet. The tiller requires 1.5 litre petrol to run over 1 acre of land and thus the cost is much lower than the labour cost required to till this much land.
News spread about Rajendra’s invention and more and more farmers started visiting him. Marginal farmers started giving him suggestions for more machines and he followed their instructions.
“Those boys had been like my own sons, they have worked hard for the garage and so I handed over the garage to them. Being a village I get very few vehicles to repair here in Pachvara, compared to Jalgaon, but that’s okay. I needed to be near the farmers to understand their problems and to keep testing my inventions. After all, I am just an uneducated mechanic. I can develop my machines only by trial and error method unlike engineers who know the proper technique and calculations to do so,” he says.
So far Rajendra has invented five low-cost machines useful for the marginal farmers. In the past 2-3 years, he has spent almost Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh to invent these machines. But he feels overwhelmed when farmers come and help him financially to carry on with his experiments.
“The farmers trust me now. People come from far away villages too. This is such an honour and satisfaction that money cannot buy. Though I earn less money here, I have earned much more respect. See! You are calling me from so far. This makes me feel worthy even if I can’t get educated or get a good position in my life,” says this 56-year-old inventor.