What is a Jugaad ?

One may call it as, ‘Indian style of ingenuity’, other may say it’s just an ‘unrelenting innovation’, but Jugaad is undeniably an Indian approach of exploring novel, ground-breaking ideas, which needs one to have an insight, out of the box. Frugal innovation is a burning topic today as post-downturn business-oriented start-ups and companies seek for ways to produce more while keeping a check on affordable inputs. This requires practicing the gutsy but enterprising art of Jugaad. The term finds its dialects in Hindi and other Indian languages, and roughly translates as “overcoming inconsiderate constraints by devising an efficient solution using limited resources”. Innovative, inventive, and ingenious, a Jugaad is probably has a key to all locks. All and the sundry people in India yearn to find a Jugaad as the best of the options. One can even have a broader perspective, like we do, and call it as ‘an art of creative improvisation constrained in a framework of profound knowledge and experience.

Seems quite interesting ! Right ?

Why Jugaad is a promising alternative ?

The spirit of Jugaad is incarnated in the aptitude to work with limited available resources, nevertheless, also building something germane and valuable. It also personifies a spirit of clever impudence that commemorates workarounds, quite often at the expense of established and well-settled structures. When Napster came by the side of the viral populace, they over lied “peer-to-peer” sharing on top of customary digital infrastructure as well as thumbed their noses on the big music labels. Western corporations are lacerating multi-billion dollar R & D budgets, crowd sourcing research projects globally, and tasking teams to turn up with innovations quicker. They are being skilled to apply Jugaad ideologies, which may be anticipated as a kind of bottom-up approach which involves just about rebuilding the product for the target-market. A live example running on streets around you is the $ 3,000 Nano car made by Tata Motors in India, which was developed from the bottom-up to put together an inexpensive car for an average middle-class Indian. The whole structure revolves around various Jugaad innovations from the Indian streets themselves. Hence, Jugaad is perhaps, a promising alternative when it comes to cost-effective solutions, primarily focused in bringing up an inexpensive, eco-friendly (at times) and profitable product.

Here are a few ideas which have turned out to be an eco-friendly Jugaad :

1.    Idea – Eco-Friendly Fishing


Fishing is among the most prominent occupations in India, and a major populace survives on it. When you talk about East India, you cannot refute the fishing culture deluging there. All and the sundry have a major connection with it. Arunachal Pradesh is a major fishery hub. The Galo, a major tribe of Arunachal Pradesh are adepts in fishing in not one, but many ways. The technique is wholly eco-friendly in nature. Not just this, The tool is designed in an eco-friendly manner. It is entirely developed using locally available materials.

This common fishing tool is used by Galos and is termed as “Edir” It is commonly used after draining the river to catch running fish. After entering a fish cannot come out. Edir is an adroitly designed fishing trap in the form of basket. It is conical in shape. This trap is commonly used during the lean season or drying of the river.

The method is entirely harmless to aquatic life, since it puts a ban on use of chemicals. The basket put into the river or flowing streams blocks the other available points so that the fishes cannot escape. The people of the tribe have also been using this for their earning bucks, and have been running it succesfully as a commercial business. It also gives the opportunity to the uneducated, deprived or unemployed people to earn something for their bread and butter.

2.     Idea : Engine Operated Sprayer

Observing the former, tractor operated boom sprayer, it was abstracted that an extended pipe attached to the pump makes it multipurpose and that even a small diesel engine can sprint the pump and enable us to use the tractor free for several other farm operations. In view of that, a 750 liter plastic tank was preset on a frame having tires attached on the two sides and a hook for dragging with tractor. To go into technical intricacy, An ASPEE-HTP triplex plunger-pump was made into use, It was operated with 5.6 hp, 3600 rpm Greaves’ diesel engine.

The idea isn’t just a cost-effective Jugaad, but also a commercial manifesto in itself. The innovation behind the jugaad makes it pliable to be brought out as a commercial product for sale across the markets. The earlier used operator, tractor-operated boom sprayer was having a comparatively low application efficiency of the pesticides along with undue requirement of labor. The engine operated sprayer has got an auto tank filling option and a manual winding reel for effectively managing the spray pipe. As a consequence, filling of the tank and winding of the pipe on the reel amplify the overall efficiency of the machine. The machine is very useful for insecticides/pesticides spraying purpose in orchards and saves lot of labor and time. It has already been approved by ICAR, New Delhi. The innovation is sought be put in action very soon and is expected to be approached by various multi-nationals.

Engine Operated Sprayer

Engine Operated Sprayer

Wait, Did we say two of these together : Insecticides & Pesticides & Eco-friendly ?

Yes, we did. But words don’t actually hover the way you imagine. Mention rosemary, clove, thyme, and mint and majority think of a delicious meal. Think bigger…not a few yards, but acres bigger. Most of these famous spices are nowadays becoming organic agriculture’s key armaments against insect pests as the industry commerce tries to assure demands for fruits and vegetables in the midst of the growing section of consumers who want raw food produced in supplementary natural ways. Pesticides are not always “deadly-chemicals” which people often anticipate. In fact, this is a myth. In agro ecology, pesticides are assessed for minimal unfavorable environmental effects. Famous Biocides include germicides, antibiotics, antibacterial, antiprotozoals, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasites.

Thus, one can even use this engine operated sprayer with eco-friendly pesticides, agro oils.

3.    Idea : Marigold Oil – Mine for Money !

Marrygold Field

Marrygold Field


Once Shri Bhadhauriya, a High-School dropout farmer from a village in Kanpur, plucked the marigold flowers from his field and processed the entire marigold plant for its oil extraction during the month of November. He was able to obtain 600 gm oil out of 10 q of marigold plant he processed. Amazed by the results, he consulted agricultural experts for testing and verifying the extracted oil for its purity. He wasn’t certain that he has found a mine of money before he had actually seen the reports. After the examination, the oil was found pure. Inspired and excited by this, he established two more processing units, each of one tonne capacity.Idea 3 (2) During the first season itself, he extracted 25 kg oil. Further, he was able to extract oil from the marigold plant @ 50 kg per year with some additional yield of flowers. The oil is now being sold @ Rs 2500 per kg. He is easily earning a net profit of Rs 1.25 lacs per year from the oil he extracts with a supplementary gain of flowers worth Rs 2 lakh from just 1 ha of area.

In this process, once the flowers of plants are plucked, the marigold plant is sent for processing for the oil extraction. The residual, processed material is utilized as Havan Samagri, organic manures, mushroom production, and mulching material to the other crops for maintaining eco-friendly environment. The oil extraction technique involves shafts and input procedure for extracting oil from marigold’s stems and leaves which are generally thrown away as waste and thus the extraction leads to extra income. This is what makes it stand apart from the obsolete production units. More than 125 mini plants have been established in the district. For more information, one can contact Kanpur Agro-cultural authorities for the complete setup.

4.     Idea : DIY Super Stove !


DIY Super Stove

DIY Super Stove


You might have seen several folks cooking their meals over a chulah or a stove. Most of the villagers in India use wood as a fuel. However, the stoves and obsolete Chulas barely stand as an efficient source of energy. A revolutionary change, an intuitive innovation, or merely a justified jugaad, this super stove is an efficient cooking stove which uses small diameter wood fuel. The wood is burned in a simple high-temperature combustion chamber which comprises of an insulated vertical chimney that ensures complete combustion previous to the flames reaching the cooking surface.

The stoves were innovated by some inhabitants of suburbs in Tamil Nadu.  The exact origin is still unknown. However, many companies have started employing this, owing to high benefits. You can test its efficiency  here. The stove can be made in a very efficient way using a tin canister and an earthen pot. Interest in super stoves has led to the improvement of super mass heaters and other pertinent innovations. Several companies have already started approaching the villagers and locales about the technique they’ve invented. The innovation has even won Ashden awards and has brought into highlight by several departments. A super stove achieves a comparatively better and efficient combustion of the fuel at a high temperature by ensuring that good air drafts into the fire, complete combustion of volatiles, efficient use of the resultant heat and ensures that the fuel supplied is ample and sufficient. It has been used for cooking purposes in many poor locales as well as for space and water heating.

5.     Halodu – “A blessing in the hilly bowels.”


When the farmers in plains are all set to harvest their crops, the farmers in the hilly areas like Himachal are still in a tizzy, thinking and planning about how they can weed or sow seeds in their fields economically. The slopes of the mountains and the sporadic land patterns don’t allow farmers to use tractors to sow or weed on a large scale. Adding to their worries, the climate of Himalayan ranges worst hits and changes in a gust. Shri Raj Kumar was just another victim of these natural fatalities, prior to the day when that craving for a lush sowed field exhorted him to innovate a novel means that not only pacified the longing of all the farmers, but also gave an inspiring idea for preserving the lush green ecosystem of Himachal Pradesh.




Raj and his family have farming as their primary occupation, and have lived in a remote village named “Dalchera” of district Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, from years. Raj made an incredible innovation from his old bicycle wreck. He invented a strange-looking but very ingenious idea for weeding and sowing his fields. At that time, he didn’t know, he had made a tool that would change lives of many such farmers of hilly areas. Soon from that day, he started sowing the seeds, and also used it for weeding. It was perhaps a year later, when other farmers of the area, got inspired too, and started using his inexpensive tool to weed and sow their fields. They named it Halodu, as the local language suggests. Farmers of the area used draft power for inter-cultural operations in maize. Due to deteriorating practice of bullock rearing by the most farmers, there was a necessity of some low cost technology as the use of tractors are costly and less effective in hilly areas. For that reason, he developed the machine using the second hand wheel and “chimta” from a wreck of a bicycle.

Halodu is not just an innovation that helps farmers, and reduces costs for them, but it also helps in preserving the natural landscapes and scenic lush greenery of Himachal by avoiding use of tractors which emit harmful green house gases, and also bans the use of petrol and electric machinery. Halodu is not a tool which you need to go at the market and buy, but you can easily make it at your home. The principle and outlining procedure is so plainly depicted in the photo itself. Halodu is not only useful for weeding operation in maize crop but also for line sowing of maize as well as crops like spinach, sarson and coriander sown in kitchen gardens. Line sowing of maize with Halodu takes only 3-4 hours per kanal area which is just one fourth compared to same operation with Kuddali or other manual implement. Halodu is also suitable for furrow opening in which fertilizer and seed can be put in lines manually.


Full view of Halodu

Full view of Halodu


The tool poses great benefits to farmers of hilly areas like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, but it may seem a waste of time to the farmers in the plains. The farmers in the plains have easy access to the resources like tractors which may make them pliable with the less expenses and more efficiency of them. Although, from the ecological point of view, one may surely find Halodu as a better bet for a promising future of our environment.


6.     “Johad”-The weapon of the Rajasthan’s Water Warrior!





The wells in Alwar District, Rajasthan had desiccated up, shoving the people of Alwar into utter and apparently inexorable poverty. Rajasthan gets a inadequate 16 inches of rainfall yearly. Most of it falls all through the monsoon months which run in full swing from June to September, which plunges the soil to scorch the rest of the year. Devising upon centuries of knowledge, people built structures to grab hold of the monsoon rains and to store the water from them for the arid season to come. The leading structure was the “johad”, a crescent-shaped dam made of crust and rocks, constructed to capture rainfall overspill. This dominating structure served two functions. On top of the surface, it apprehended water for cattle. But similar to an iceberg, nearly all chief parts were underneath the surface. By gripping water in position, it permitted the liquid to permeate down throughout the soil. It invigorated the aquifer below, as much as a kilometer. Accumulated underground, the water could not be gone astray due to evaporation. In the middle of the dry season, devoid of pipes or channels to transport water, villagers could for ever and a day rely on the water from their wells, and hosed down fields fertile with wheat, mustard and beans.

The water revolution swell by Johads in the Alwar district has extended everywhere. At the present there are roughly 5,000 johads all over Rajasthan furthermore, this has significantly facilitated in dropping water shortage and perking up water quality. These are trouble-free mud and debris barriers built athwart the outline of a slope to seize rainwater. These mud-made check dams are intended to grab and preserve rainwater, leading to enhanced percolation and groundwater revitalization. They are constructed across a slope with an elevated embankment lying on the three sides at the same time as the fourth side is left open for the rainwater to come in. They are very much widespread in the Thar desert of Rajasthan.

Abhinandan is a part-time media and journalism professional and a passionate victim of wanderlust. Despite all his attempts to conquer the eclectic tastes of diverse cuisines, scenic views of deep valleys and panoramic mountains, he is still uncertain about his interests. He is a food lover, compulsive traveler, an enthusiastic writer, aspiring entrepreneur, ingenious web developer, and a mathematics-savvy guy. To make up for the credence of eternal optimism, he is skilfully blessed with boundless energy and an inborn penchant for new experiences.