Often we talk about innovations in terms of cars, energy, medicines, technology etc. There is another side of those innovations that is often ignored – the one that a normal person does in his daily life. He improvise, uses resources in the best manner possible and saves money and wastage. Those “small” innovations can mark a big change in many people’s life.
To take an example, there are various people who would fit a motor in their cycles to make them faster and more sustainable – you don’t need any license, no fees charged, no tax paid – what you get is a sweet ride for yourself, for small cost !
Another interesting one is found in some roadside eateries of Punjab (India), they make a famous buttermilk drink – normally in a mixer, in the most bewildering way: washing machines. Yes, you would not believe it, but it’s true. They do so because of the enormous demand and fast service required for such drinks + its cheaper to make it in washing machines. These people found their own ways of using the product made for clothes for their own purpose. Whatever you think, its innovative !
Let’s consider one more example, in many houses of the desert Rajasthan (India) the villagers would read daily newspapers and instead of throwing them away, they would use it to line their walls – so that the heat can absorbed and keep the house cooler. This small innovation is a big relief for them in those extreme summers.
There are many more examples such as using one pipe to water 3 gardens, using the car’s hot engine to dry clothes etc.
They may not be as big as the innovations of scientists, economists etc, but these small innovations (or Jugaad in Hindi) arising due to low resources, high costs etc have changed the lives of many people. They too deserve mention in the modern world of today.