Necessity is the mother of invention. This is true for every small innovative technique that has helped us live a better life. From a cycle that crosses flooded rivers to a low-cost ‘Bed AC’, The Better India has compiled all of these unique inventions and their creators.
Here’s a list of some offbeat inventions by Indians who have made lives easier and safer.
1. Sewage Pipe Home
Perala Manasa Reddy witnessed the issue of access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities for the poor when she was a civil engineering student. This prompted her to study more about low-cost housing options when she came across Pod-style homes built from sewage pipes. She developed an Indian version of OPod which is a low-cost homemade from old sewage pipes that have bathrooms, a kitchen, and bedrooms attached. This solves housing problems among the poor.
Deepak Reddy is a mechanical engineer from Telangana who built a multi-harvester machine to help the farmers of his village start cultivation on land left barren for years. The land had large amounts of stone debris which is difficult to remove and requires huge expense. He also came to know there are acres of such land all over South India. Cost-effective equipment to do this task was necessary and he was successful in developing it. It can also be used to harvest crops.
3. Tupik Bed AC
Ever thought about why do we have to cool the entire bedroom using an air conditioner to just sleep comfortably? Ravi Patel innovated an energy-saving AC which cools only the bed. This 13 kg weighing small AC consumes 400-watt of electricity which is equal to using only three light bulbs. It can also be self-installed without the help of a technician just like a table fan.
4. Amphibious Bicycle
Desperation to meet his love made Bihar-native Muhammed Saidullah an inventor. So, he made an amphibious bicycle that can run on both land and water to reduce the waiting time to meet his wife. He rode his cycle in the Ganga to travel from Pahelaghat to Mahendrughat and even named the bicycle after his wife – Noor.
5. Mitti Cool
A traditional clay craftsman and inventor Mansukhbhai Prajapati is fond of making new things using clay. The ‘coolest’ of his inventions is a fridge made of clay which needs no electricity to preserve food items for many days. This Rajkot-native’s invention has been featured at a conference organised by the Centre for India and Global Business, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, the UK in May 2009.
6. Jaipur Foot
Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) is a Jaipur-based non-profit organisation founded by Devendra Raj Mehta which has given free artificial limbs to lakhs of needy people. Mehta, a former IAS officer, met with an accident in 1969 at Pokhran which almost took his life. Even though he didn’t lose his limb, Mehta realised its expense which eventually led to the formation of the organisation. More than 18 lakh individuals have benefited from it to date.
7. Voice Box
Dr Vishal Rao came up with a device that costs just Rs 50 which can give throat cancer patients their voice back. This Bangalore-based oncologist’s voice prosthesis is extremely cheap compared to other ones available in the market. ‘Aum’ is now available after receiving approvals from scientific and ethical committees. This is a life-saver for such patients and helps them eat and speak well.
8. Bullet Santi
A three-wheeled ploughing machine built from a bike is now a common sight in Gujarat. It was developed by Mansukh Jagani, a farmer. He was forced to sell his bullocks due to poverty but wanted to continue farming. Since animals are difficult to handle and expensive, he came up with such an idea which was welcomed by other farmers as well. Now ploughing is as easy as going for a ride.
In 2016, Rajat Jain lost his dear friend to a cardiac arrest. Since then, he was in a hurry to develop a machine that could detect heart problems. This Dehradun-native soon innovated ‘Spandan’ – a matchbox-sized portable ECG device that can detect heart abnormalities at an early stage. It can be connected to one’s phone after fixing electrodes at three points on the patient’s chest. The reading will be displayed on the phone with the help of an app. It is fast, effective and can save lives.
10. Solar Rickshaw Home
Tamil Nadu based architect Arun Prabhu was concerned about the illegal encroachments in metro cities and wanted to find a solution to the problem. The 23-year-old built a house on top of an autorickshaw which consists of a toilet, foyer, terrace, living room space, kitchen and other such essential spaces. The set-up is portable and is designed to be attached to any vehicle. Labourers, travellers, artists and vendors consider this as an amazing idea and the house can even be utilised during natural disasters.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)