Pulley with stopper
Mr.Amrut Bhai Agrawat
Junagadh, Gujarat

1st National Grassroots Innovation - 2001

Mr. Amrutbhai Agrawat has learnt to solve problem faced by farmers, women and labourers essentially through his own life experience. Hardship in early life, created in him a desire to do something about the problems faced by common people. He pursued priesthood in the temple and also innovated as many as seven different useful farm implements such as tilting bullock cart, groundnut digger, multipurpose toolbar, wheat sowing box etc. His son, Bharat is now continuing the tradition of innovations by innovating new devices. Incidentally, Amrutbhai did not put any restriction on the dessemination of this technology. He is a member of SRISTI board. He has got Gujarat Government’s Sardar Krishi Puruskar for his innovation. Called Pulley with a stopper, it is used for drawing water. The first model, Ganga is ratchet type and the second named Yamuna is roller type. In the first, safety of the person is ensured as the rope is stopped from rolling back into the well. In the second, the person drawing water from the well can even relax midway by using the stopper. In the villages, water is drawn from the wells, primarily for domestic purpose by the women folk. The originally designed rudimentary pulley system, which is also very physically demanding, is still in use for this purpose. Highly erratic rainfall, installation of submersible pumps and borings in arid areas, has lowered the water table further. This has compounded to the problems of drawing water from wells by means of a pulley. The problem despite being very real and dangerous was never taken up due to the apathy of the officials towards the affected group namely women and children. Realizing the importance of pulley in the daily routine of average rural women, Society for Research and Initiatives in Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI) organized a workshop of artisans with proven capabilities to think scientifically and entrusted them with the responsibility to redesign the pulley to suit the women folk. The session threw up some interesting ideas, but it was Amrut Bhai Agrawat, who successfully envisaged not one but two workable models. Both the designs were presented in the subsequent sessions organized by the SRISTI at Gopaldham in Saurastra on June 1, 1996. The farmers at the workshop critically analyzed the two models and based on their feedback, Amrutbhai finalized the designs of the two models with minor modifications. They were named Ganga (Ratchet pulley) & Yamuna (Roller shaped pulley) respectively. Innovative Features of the pulley Ganga (Ratchet type): 1. The presence of the ratchet on the pulley stops the rope from rolling back into the well. This is a safety device, which will help save the lives of women and children who routinely pull water from the wells. Also it saves injuries such as rope burns and minimizes the loss of both, the bucket and the rope. 2. The wear and tear free bush bearing ensures smooth movement of the pulley thereby reducing the stress on the back of the person drawing water. Yamuna (Roller type) pulley: It consists of a hollow iron pipe of length 1.5 feet with diameter of 3 inches fixed on a bar 16-mm thick. A stopper is provided on the left side of the pipe and on the right a handle is attached to it. The handle is rotated to pull the bucket up from the well and the rope winds up on the roller pulley. The drawer, if needed, can rest midway, by using the stopper. However this system requires further improvisations in its design for it to be entirely efficient. Amrutbhai recently, developed a new model named "Saraswati".It is more flexible, free hanging and cost effective. It can be detached after use and taken home. If users want, they can install it permanently also by the chain lock mechanism. Current Status: The Ganga and Yamuna pulleys have been installed in several villages of Gujarat on an experimental basis and have received overwhelming response from individuals and NGO's. The demand for the pulleys is on the rise and GIAN has received many queries regarding them. The innovator wants this innovation to spread all over India and is willing to share the design with any entrepreneur, NGO or organization which would be willing to help in such an endeavor. Responses and Suggestions by the Villagers: Waliben , an old woman, said that the pulley helped her to rest while drawing the water from the well and that it was more easy to pull when compared to the traditional one. During power failures, women preferred to stand in long queues to pull water by this pulley instead of pulling by traditional system installed near by. This observation was made by one of the men folk in the village. A woman said that the new pulley has more advantages when compared with the old one, as it is not fixed at one place on the bar. One girl said " In this new pulley, I am able to see how deep is the bucket in the well by keeping the rope and peeping in the well." A man in the village believed that this pulley was a god's gift for aged woman. One teacher said that he would have purchased this pulley had he not had a tube well dug in his well. He felt that the pulley should be available to facilitate each well of his village. He also suggested trying to reduce the cost of pulley. Kokilaben has been drawing water from the well since the last 30 years using the traditional pulley system. She now uses this new pulley. She suggested that the size of pulley be increased since knots were getting formed in the rope while pulling. This suggestion has been incorporated in the latest version of the pulleys. One woman who lost couple of her ropes using the old pulley now uses this pulley and has become more confident while drawing water, as she has no fear of losing any more ropes. Bhavnaben says, " I can pull the water very fast and still conserve energy." Ramilaben who is engaged in household work sends her children to draw water, as she feels safe with the new pulley. Even the children find the task easier. Jaydevsingh Parmar was of the opinion that the new pulley was a major breakthrough and had definite advantages. But the rubber stopper attached to it was likely to be damaged quickly. Thus a new kind of stopper should be introduced. A new stopper has been introduced after receiving the feedback.