The Proposed design
engineer has designed a cycle-rickshaw that uses passenger load to
push the vehicle and reduces the puller's drudgery by using bumps
on the road for propulsion.
Pratik Kumar Ghosh's wonder vehicle, which promises to improve the
lives of thousands of rickshaw pullers, is easy to make and is
"The rickshaw resembles conventional rickshaws and can be
assembled with the same parts which are currently in use," Ghosh,
55, told IANS about his design that won a union government
The innovator, who works as an assistant general manager with
Shriram EPC Ltd, said his design would make bumps and unevenness
of the road favourable to the rickshaw puller -- converting the
shock and vibration to a propulsive force.
"No parts need to be redesigned. The design of the rickshaw is
very simple and its manufacture will be equally easy. The cost of
production will be close to the existing ones," he said.
Ghosh's idea won the National Innovation Council's Innovation
Challenge to Reduce Worker Drudgery, along with six other ideas,
"The rickshaws in vogue were designed to carry load without
keeping in mind ways to enhance puller's ease. In the long
history, the vehicle only underwent cosmetic design changes," he
In conventional rickshaws, the chassis is horizontal and the load
acts as dead load without any forward component, he said.
"In the proposed rickshaw, the chassis is at an angle of 10
degrees to the ground leaning to the front. Any load on the
chassis will have a forward component to assist propulsion. These
two forward forces will concur and make the muscle power
requirement of the puller minimum when the vehicle will start to
move," he said.
Also, the chassis currently is fixed at all three points with the
triangular frame, and requires more power to propel.
"But in this design, the chassis is hinged at the pedal hub and
the two other points are fixed with the frame. Since the hinged
point acts as pivot, the shock generated by the road is
transmitted as a force to the frame and makes the hostile road
favourable to the puller," he said.
Also, the passenger weight in current rickshaws falls directly on
the axle, he said.
"But here, the seat frame will be tubular and the rear two legs
will not swing and remain pressed to the bearing box horizontally,
converting the downward passenger load to horizontal forward
propulsive force," he said.
"More the passenger weight more will be the push."
Ghosh's design is different from the soleckshaws (Solar-Electric
Rickshaws) designed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial
Research (CSIR), which require new parts and major structural
"I'm an innovator, not entrepreneur. I can't manufacture the
rickshaws when more than eight million existing rickshaws are to
be replaced. Since the production requirement is huge, I wish big
cycle and rickshaw manufacturers come forward and manufacture the
rickshaw," Ghosh told IANS.
"Since the rickshaw pullers will be able to travel long distances
with high speed effortlessly, it is presumed that these rickshaws
will be able to replace autos to some extent and reduce dependence
on fuel-based vehicles," he said.
Ghosh, who is hoping that manufacturers and state governments
looking to help rickshaw pullers will pick up his design, said the
drawings could be taken from the National Innovation Council.
The other winners of the council's contest, from the 468
proposals, are a human powered motor by professors and students of
IIT Madras; a vessel desk for construction workers by Maharashtra
student Raghunath P. Lohar; a display unit for street vendors by
IIT Guwahati student Manjunath Butta; a low cost cycle for
physically challenged by working professionals from Chennai Ajith
T. Alex, Aanand Ganesh and Mahesh P.V; and a picking grab for
sanitation workers by retired Kolkata engineer Jitendra Nath Das.
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