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Thursday, 28 August 2014

A Solar Bicycle : A boon to the differently abled

Nishad Bagwade – A young man in his twenties, just passing out from his diploma in mechanical engineering had to take up a project as a part of mandatory coursework like everyone else. He did take one too. But the journey ahead of the project for this chap isn’t like others, it is different!

He wanted his project to be used for a noble cause. For a greater good.

Nishad wanted to make a hand driven bicycle for the differently abled. A vehicle that which could run with tge solar power and which would be affordable to everyone were the basic objectives of the project. With the help of fellow engineering minds in the likes of Sooraj, Pradeep, and Mahesh, Nishad succeeded in developing such a bicycle. And this bike, running at 20kph was made by the reincarnation of an old bicycle.

But the chap didn’t just stop here. He thought that a talked about bicycle shouldn’t just remain a diploma project. Thinking that the bicycle should be in the needy hands, he gifted it to Prashant Nalawde – a young man, differently abled by birth; and set up a new example in the society.

“We got emotionally attached with the bicycle. When it started for the first time – running on solar power, I still remember the moment! It is in the hands of the needy today and I am realy happy for that” Nishad says.

With the arsenal of batteries and electric motors, this bicycle is ready for Prashant who gives private tuitions to earn his bread and butter. What Nishad needs today is willing hands who can support the noble cause of making the likes of Prashant independent.

“Nishad has had the Philosopher’s Touch. I was in tenth or twelth grade. I was in a rehab from cerebral palsy. I had just learned to drive the bicycle with hands. But it would ache like hell for longer distances. Sometimes I would have to travel as much as 30-35km per day. Ascending the steeper roads would become a huge task and that would lead to chronic backache. Same story for the past decade or so. But Nishad’s bicycle did a big deal for me.

I now want to look for a good job and help run my house. This has all been possible because of Nishad’s touchstone.”

Speaking on the occasion of getting the gift, Prashant’s crumbling voice said lot more than his words did.

Source : Supanth , 25th August 2014

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