Independent India: Farmer Generates His Own Electricity!
Every year many of us face the problems of power cut due to electricity saving strategies of the electricity board. The urban folks are still better off, but many in villages & rural areas experience blackouts for days together. Unfortunately, some people do not even have an electric connection & still depend largely on conventional lighting sources such as the kerosene lamps, wood fire or oil lanterns.
Clean energy sources such as solar power are yet to become available extensively to masses in India. We all largely depend on thermal power plants which are not only polluting the environment but also depleting the sources of energy. Clean energy sources are thus a welcome alternative in this scenario.
We expect such clean energy alternatives to come from urban technology extensive industries & researchers. Isn’t it surprising then that an illiterate farmer from an inconspicuous village in Karnataka has actually come up with a water mill to provide for the generation of electricity?
Mr Siddappa has not only designed the water mill but also constructed it & sourced all its materials by himself. While his state Karnataka grapples in power crisis, this drought hit villager is completely independent & self-sufficient in his requirements for electricity.
Siddappas water mill is simply constructed with water tubs around a giant wheel like structure. A dynamo attached to the mill gets charged & generates DC current when the mill rotates by the motion of filling & emptying of water in the 8 tubs. This DC current generated is converted to AC to power Siddappa’s residential CFL bulbs, TV, mixer & more.
This innovator also has been successful in setting up windmills in his farms, achieving mobile phone charging via tractor battery, & playing radio via dynamo fitted on his bicycle. Thwarted 10 years ago by HESCOM, when his home was denied electricity, this farmer did not despair, but went ahead & created his own clean energy source of electricity despite the lack of formal education.
By using limited resources, Siddappa has shown his fellow villagers that any individual can generate his own clean energy in less than Rs 5000 to appease the basic power needs. The canal which flows near his home has been made use of to provide for the required water to generate electricity. Other villagers too can use his methods to generate electricity. This is actually a great source of decentralization of power generation apt for the needs of rural India.
Siddappa’s achievements are a classic case of the saying that chance favours those who put in the hard-work to achieve the desired results. Also, no barriers such as lack of formal education can stop us if we truly believe in our cause.
Like all experimenters, Siddappa also failed during the first few years of his development of the watermills. But constant improvements in the design & functionality made him successful after 2 years of brainstorming. Currently, he is working on increasing the height of the windmills he has installed on his farm to improve the efficiency & power output.
Siddappa has been advocating & using alternative clean energy sources for the past 10 years successfully despite being located 115 km from the nearest inhabited village. He & his brother’s house have been powered by the clean energy even when the surrounding villages are affected by constant power cuts due to droughts.
Like Siddappa, we too can provide for solutions where our government fails to provide for sufficient resources. We too can donate our sweat to create alternatives to overcome the problems we & our society faces. If an uneducated farmer can fight against the odds, we too can volunteer to create a better India with cleaner energy options.