Wheels of CHANGE

The idea behind his invention-the stationary bicycle was born out of the acute need that farmers faced in his hometown.

Published: July 24, 2012 1:09:19 am

The idea behind his invention-the stationary bicycle was born out of the acute need that farmers faced in his hometown. Hailing from the village of Khor in Daund Taluka,fourth year mechanical engineering student from VIT,Sameer Dombe has perfected the design for a cycle,which he claims will be of utmost use to farmers. Dombe says that it is mainly useful to spray water,herbicides and pesticides in the fields.

“A major problem that a lot of villages in rural Maharashtra face is that of electricity. The problem of load-shedding is severe and has been so for the last 12-14 years. Hence I wanted to do something to help them out. The bicycle has a driver pulley and a piston pump attached to it. As a person pedals it generates power,which is converted to energy used for spraying,” he says.

Lack of rain has also been an inspiration for him. Dombe mentions,“There is an acute problem of the same. Using the cycle one can water up to one acre of fields at a time. Pipes upto 300 feet in length can be attached and used.” In his final year at VIT,Dombe mentions that there was a lot of support from the staff at his college. “My professors and friends helped a lot with the design,calculations and final product. They helped me with the prototype testing and working of the same,” he adds.

Since the need for electricity is completely eliminated,he says that farmers can also cut down on their electricity bills,something that is very important for people living in the rural areas,where lack of money is one of the major problems. Balancing college as well as the project simultaneously,Dombe did not let his invention affect his examinations. “Managing exams and the project was quite a task as both were equally important. This was my personal project and not assigned by the college. The bicycle took me 15 days of constant work altogether. I worked for two to three hours every day,” says Dombe. When asked about the benefits of the bicycle,Dombe mentions,“The machine is made in such a way that it makes it user friendly for the farmers or others using it,two people can work on one machine making work much easier.”

While Dombe makes no secret of his modest backgrounds,he does mention that it was not easy for him to fund the project. He says,“I spent around Rs 6000 in making the cycle. It wasn’t very easy for me but I managed to achieve the end goal,which was important.” Having successfully tested the cycle he plans to commercialise the project. “Think of all the people who can avail its benefits,” he says,adding,“I will be selling it at a price tag of Rs 6000. Because I also understand that farmers will have to be able to afford it. The basic plus point about the cycle is that it can be used for a very long time and will be an apt investment for farmers,” he says.

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