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Elementary school dropout uses ‘jugaad’ to develop low-cost tractor-like machine from scrap

Ranchi: Thirty-three-year-old Mahesh Karmali, a resident of Uncha Ghana village in Vishnughar, Hazaribagh, has proved that indeed necessity is the mother of innovation.

Karmali has designed a low-cost machine from scooter scraps to plough his field. However, Karmali is neither an engineer nor hold any technical degree. On the contrary, he s class VI dropout and used to work in a Bajaj Auto Showroom in Pune, Maharashtra, till January, this year. However, a sudden confrontation with some financial crisis made him use the engine and scraps of an old scooter to design a tractor to plough his field (watch the video).

“When I returned home, I was informed by my brother that he had sold our oxen, and was taking help from our family members to plough the farm. The news shocked me as I had bought both the oxen, but my brother had not informed me before selling them,” Karmali told eNewsroom.

Karmali owns 12-kattah land on which paddy farming is done every monsoon season.

“With no oxen to plough our farm, I have decided to build a machine which could help me do farming. I bought the scraps of Bajaj Chetak scooter for Rs 4251. Following which I toiled for three consecutive days and night, without adequate sleeping to design this machine, which I have named Power Tiller,” he informed.

Watch the video of Power Tiller made by Mahesh Karmali:


He added excitedly, “It cost me around Rs 12000, but now I can plough my 12 kattah of land using 2.5 litres of petrol.”

According to Karmali, the regular tractor used by farmers to plough fields consumes more petrol than the machine designed by him.

On being asked if the engine of any two-wheeler could be used to make Power Tiller?  He replied, “No, only those engines, which have a fan can be used for it. Most bikes do not have a fan. But yes, if a fan can be added to it, then Power Tiller can be made from such bike engines too.”

mahesh karmali power tiller farming
Mahesh Karmali

Karmali also claimed that he can develop a bigger and better Power Tiller by which can be used to plough a bigger area easily. “As of now I have made a machine which helps me in my farming work, and now I do not need an ox for farming. However, given the dynamics of the present design, one has to walk along with the machine when the farm is being ploughed. But I can develop a system where one can sit on the vehicle while the farm is being ploughed. Just like in tractors. The same design with some innovation can also be used for harvesting crops and suppressing grass,” he pointed out.

Karmali has three school-going children. His entire effort to come up with this innovation was to save money so that his kids didn’t have to discontinue their education. The cost for a pair of Ox was way higher than the amount invested by Karmali to design his jugaad tractor.

Understanding the need for such tractors for poor farmers who can invest in bulls and oxen, the mechanic cum farmer is looking investment to mainstream his innovation.

“So far people from neighbouring areas have visited and praised it a lot, but no financial support has been promised to me so that I can further develop it for the betterment of other farmers,” he added.

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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