Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dharamveer Kamboj: From a Rickshaw Puller To A Guest at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Dharamveer Kamboj
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This is a fascinating story of a man from Haryana, Dharamveer Kamboj. Currently, this 51 year old man is residing as a guest of the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He has been given this honor to live for 20 days as a gesture for his unique innovation to quick extraction of the juices from herbs through a multi-purpose food processing unit.

The life of Dharamveer Kamboj in Delhi started as a rickshaw puller 27 years ago. He was a frequent visitor to the area around Raisina Hills, where today he is staying as a guest of honor. His life can truly inspire a Bollywood movie.

Dharamveer came to Delhi at the age of 23 from Yamuna Nagar, Haryana (his native village) when he had a verbal argument with his father. He started his life as a rickshaw puller then in old Delhi at Khari Baoli. Life was a struggle for him at that time and every time he passed by Rashtrapati Bhavan, he wondered about the life inside. Today, he still cannot believe that he is staying inside that same Rashtrapati Bhavan in reality.

In, 1987 he had to leave Delhi as life turned out to be more tragic for Dharamveer after he met an accident. He returned to his native place and remained completely bed ridden for several months. However, this state gave him time to think and he recalled his observation in Delhi that the packaged and processed vegetables give much more profit to the farmers compared to the unprocessed ones. This made him think of developing a multipurpose and time saving food processing machine.

His dream came true when he successfully developed a processing machine having the capacity to extract more than 200 Kg of tomato pulps or 100 Kg Aloe Vera or 1.25 Kg of Aloe Vera leaves per hour. Moreover, the machine is portable and is multipurpose. Thus, it can also handle other herbs such as amla, aloe vera, jamun etc. and extract their juices that can be used to prepare different profitable products. The machine also has a condensation mechanism that allows it to extract the essence and important ingredients from flowers or medicinal plants that can be used in herbal medicine. The machine has a unit as well for sterilization. Overall the unit contains a boiler for boiling, an autoclave for sterilizing, an extractor to extract juices or gels (from flowers or herbs) and a unit to supply power to the instrument. There is an oil jacket covering the entire main chamber to prevent direct heating of the herbs thereby retaining their heat sensitive medical extracts.

This innovative machine made Dharamveer one of the five chosen innovators to be staying as guests in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Dharamveer made this unique innovation back in 2008. It took him around 11 months to complete its development and he gave a demo to the officials from the National Innovation Foundation, who visited his village. The success made him realize its importance of taking it to the masses.

Dharamveer always had a love of herbs and farming from his childhood days when he saw his mother making herbal Colors of Holi (using Butea monosperma flowers or Kesu in local language). After recovering from the accident, he started interacting with the local farmers and conducted organic farming experiments. He had become the first person in his region to make hybrid tomatoes that gave him a record production.

When he was a student of Class VII, his passion for innovation was evident as he used to develop small heaters from spare coils and tin cans to sell them @₹20. He further developed other innovative instruments such as using tape recorder motors to build battery operated spraying machines as well as trapping devices for insects. He also tried hybrid farming through simultaneous cultivation of sugar cane, coriander and bottle gourd.

At times Dharamveer used to visit various trade fairs to get ideas and promote his innovation. However, during his stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan, he will meet various officials from the Ministry for starting the mass production of his unique machine.

Here is another example of an Indian being innovative without much formal education. We often heard that there is no innovative idea coming from India. Is it true or often they are overlooked as the ideas are meant to make life easier for mass population of India and not their foreign counterparts. Small ideas that may not be world breaking should also get their due respect as they have direct impact on millions of people in developing countries.

This article was first published in KenFolios - Only interesting stories.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Rupam... You can visit KenFolios for many such inspiring stories.....

  2. Very impressive, great deal of motivation. I guess if you are committed enough, one can do anything :)

  3. Great read. Frugal happens only in India.


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