In a small village called Surera in Sikar District, almost 85 kilometres away from Jaipur, lives a simple farmer who found his calling in mechanical inventions.
A class 10 pass out, this 44-year-old has no degree in science or technology, and yet he went ahead to invent remarkable machines that have aided more than 100 farmers across the state and beyond.
Motivated by problems and bolstered by will-power for the urge to learn, Shrawan Kumar Bajya, is now a guiding light for several agriculturists. Employing his expertise in machines and the knowledge of farming passed down over generations, he has designed six successful working devices that make farming more efficient and less stressful for farmers.
Speaking to The Better India, he says, “Growing up, I saw my father tilling the land and struggling under the scorching heat that drained the life out of him. I wanted to help but didn’t know-how. I was helpless. So instead, I began to explore other avenues. For some time, I tried my hand at digging wells, and when that didn’t work out, I shifted to fixing bikes.”
As a child, Shrawan had always been fascinated by machines. “I remember how I used to wait for the mechanic to come whenever the engine of the tractor would malfunction. As he worked on it, I would bend down to observe him. It fascinated me, and when I began working with bikes, I realised that this job was for me.” he adds.
Slowly, he began to branch out and experiment with spare parts. All this while, at the back of his head, he nurtured the idea of helping his father in some possible way.
“I began to experiment with several spare parts to create something that can help till the land while acting as a weeder. After many failures, taunts from friends and doubts of family, I succeeded at last. It took two whole years of struggle to finally make my first machine, the weeder,” said Shrawan.
Priced between Rs 55,000-65,000, the weeder, he claims, is more efficient and comparatively cheaper than many of its counterparts available in the market at an average of Rs 1.5 lakh. He is currently working to update the device for multipurpose use.
Like the weeder, his other machines are also designed keeping in mind the finances of Indian farmers. Another widely-appreciated product is a motorcycle-operated salt-turning device. “In the process of making salt, women labourers have to step into saline water to break open sedimented layers of salt in hard water. It is not just physically straining, but is also very harmful for their health. This device, which can be easily fixed on a motorcycle, works perfectly to turn the layers with minimal human contact with water,” he adds.
Now a recipient of several accolades including the President’s Award in 2017, he dreams to see his son continue his legacy and push it to newer heights. “I could never manage a degree, but I want to help my son become an engineer so that he can give back to the farming community in a better way than I did,” says Shrawan
A true hero, here’s a video that captures his remarkable journey:
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)