Much before the honorable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi pitched the idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Dhani Ram Saggu, a 40 year old carpenter from Zirapkpur laid down a fine example for his fellow countrymen by creating a cycle from wood in the days of social isolation and countrywide lockdown.
Saggu was among the people who were rendered jobless after imposition of the lockdown in March. But instead of succumbing to depression and lethargy, he utilized the downtime to work on and develop his idea of wooden bicycles.
Saggu says that he had to invent out of necessity. He always wanted a new bicycle but his finances did not permit him to buy one. So he decided to make a cycle for himself. Between July 27 to August 30, he sold eight of his handmade wooden bicycles and there are 5 more bicycles in the works. Saggu’s bicycles have created a stir, he has received orders for new bicycles from South Africa, Canada, Delhi as well as Jalandhar.
After he received an encouraging call from Hero Cycles Managing Director Pankaj Munjal, who encouraged him, Saggu says that hard work always pays off and has the capacity to change the fortunes of anybody.
To start off, Saggu took the measurements of a regular bicycle. After preparing drawings, he used plywood to create a bicycle, but it was too heavy, the wheels being made of plywood too. Cycling enthusiast Rakesh Singh shared some feedback with Saggu, after which there were some improvisations that he did to the prototype.
This improvised cycle had normal, regular tyres, a mud guard, retrofitted handlebars, as well as a basket in the front. The second cycle was made from kail wood, which he sourced from a neighbor. Saggu says that kail wood is both light as well as inexpensive, besides being as strong as teak. He also said that at present the cycle is not a finished product as improvisations are being made.
His cycles have turned out to be so popular that Saggu has rented a workspace, and is struggling to keep up with the flush in orders. He is consulting suppliers from Ludhiana for the best quality saddles and brakes. The cycles weigh 22-25kg each and Saggu is working to make them lighter still. He use disc brakes in place of rim brakes and is contemplating putting in gears. His cycles can cover 25km in a day. Besides, Saggu is also designing smaller cycles for use by children.
Saggu sells the cycles under the name ‘Noora Interiors’ which is the same name under which he does woodwork for large houses, where he makes doors, windows and cupboards.
Image Source: The Logical Indian