They say necessity is the mother of invention, and 54-year-old Kanubhai Karkar, a resident of Junagadj in Gujarat, encapsulates this perfectly. Many of his fantastical innovations aim to introduce a little bit of luxury in the average middle class individual’s life in a manner that is pocket-friendly.
Kanubhai says he always aims to do smart work rather than hard work. In fact, this is one factor that drove him towards conjuring new ideas.
“I was born and brought up in a poor family, so I tried to find a solution for every problem that came our way. Initially, all my inventions were meant to alter or rectify damage in our house. As things progressed and my innovations developed, I now try to help others through these ideas well,” Kanubhai tells The Better India.
He says his work involves “less cost and more brain”. He trusts the trial and error method and attempts to use available resources in order to create something new. This also helps him lead a sustainable life. His house, thus, is a hub of unseen utilities that makes several laborious tasks simple. He says this saves money, effort and time.
Inventions for the common man
Among his favourite innovations, he says, is the ‘three-in-one-bed’.
He notes that this is a lifesaver for middle-class houses with less space, as well as for hostels, flats and paying guest rooms. He believes this is a true invention for a common man, which can be utilised as an alternative for expensive beds.
The innovation is a sofa-cum-bed built in the form of a cot. Three cots have been placed inside one other, and can be opened or closed as per requirement. The bed can be turned into a king-size one, or a single cot. Wheels have been attached to the bottom of the bed’s feet so that movement is easier. A stand for a mosquito net has also been attached. The cost of this bed is Rs 3,500.
While Kanubhai has designed the bed to be like a cot, he says wooden framing can be done on it. “However, it is said that sleeping on a cot is good for your waist and health in general,” he adds.
Kanubhai says he thinks about making new discoveries day and night. “All these inventions are the result of me exercising my mind. I try to help others by inventing such things so that everyday work becomes easier,” he said.
Apart from the bed, Kanubhai has also made an exercise machine costing Rs 30,000, which 25 to 30 people can use to exercise simultaneously. He says the Gujarat Governor also paid a visit to his place to take a look at this machine and appreciated him for his skills. His house was also awarded the state government’s Sreshta Ghar Puraskar for being home to such innovative ideas.
Most of Kanubhai’s innovations have been born out of necessity, he says. Narrating one such incident, he said, “In the year 1986, there was a severe storm in Saurashtra. The roof of every house in our village had blown away in the wind. I made holes on the roof of all the tile houses and tied them with bamboo. This prevented the tiles from flying.”
A grade one officer in the Forest Department of Gujarat, Kanubhai is set to retire from the service next year. He hopes to come up with 52 new inventions in the remaining 52 weeks of his service. To complete this list, he has already built 15 innovations so far.
To know more about Kanubhai’s inventions, you can watch his YouTube channel.
Read this story in Hindi here.
Edited by Divya Sethu