Ashok always had a knack for creating new things from scrap material lying around the house. Born into a farming family in Suryapet District, Telangana, he would often see his parents work extremely long hours in the field, especially during the paddy harvest.
So, in a bid to make their tedious job easier, last year, 16-year-old Ashok came up with a solution to reap, collect, and handle the paddy. He started off by collecting scrap from his surroundings for his invention and then designed a trolley-like tool on paper that he was going to put together with the help of a welder.
“I would often miss school to go on long scrap-picking trips. When my father found out, he reprimanded me. Even my school teachers came home with complaints, ‘When is your son going to study if he keeps on collecting trash all day?’ My neighbours would insult me as well.”
Getting discouraging taunts and comments was routine for Ashok; they’d demotivate him, but his passion for his craft and his father’s daily struggles kept him going. “I’d use all my pocket money to buy scrap, so I’d often skip lunch to save more,” Ashok recollects
Using iron rods, an old cycle wheel, and bolts, he created a tool that could be used to reap the paddy, collect the grains, separate the paddy for drying before it is bundled, and it could be used for weeding chilli and cotton crops.
After finally fitting it together, he handed the completed tool to his mother. “She had tears in her eyes, she couldn’t believe I could turn a pile of waste into something so useful. When my father tried using it on the field, he was so proud of me! He called all our relatives and told them about my invention!”
The word about Ashok’s tool soon spread to other farmers living nearby. His tool has helped more than 20 farmers in his community. Today, Ashok continues to make farming tools from scrap at an affordable price. During the lockdown following the Covid-19 pandemic, he has invented 6 more multipurpose devices for small farming practices.
Mahindra salutes the challenger spirit of people like Ashok who remind us that with grit and determination, we can change the world and help the people around us #Rise.