The real heroes live among us, but they often go unnoticed till their efforts are finally recognized. They don’t make a fuss about how difficult life is, rather they find solutions to those same problems that are driving everybody crazy. They don’t look for excuses behind a failiure, rather they work extra hard to make sure they overcome the challenges. Santosh Kaveri from Belgaum (Karnataka) is one such hero. He would walk 10 kms every day to attend school. The weak economical condition of the family did not stop him from dreaming big and making a difference. He started working at the farm at a very young age but made sure that his studies weren’t affected. He would get up early to work at the farm before attending the classes and managed to get himself into college. Santosh Kaveri Always wanting to be an entrepreneur, Kaveri enrolled himself for LEAD programme at Deshpande Foundation to bring his ideas to shape. “I always believe that problems give me an opportunity to innovate and help others,” says Kaveri. He had an agricultural background and always noticed various problems which the farmers faced from the grassroot level, thinking of ways to help them through his innovations. Brake System For Bullock Cart Even today, many farmers use Bullock cart to transport goods from one place to another. Most of these carts do not have a proper braking system and are mostly stopped manually, which is painful for both the ox and the laborer. Previously, the carts were controlled by using a rope which was inserted in the nose of the bull and it was very painful to the animal. Kaveri came up with a simple innovation to control the cart without harming the bulls. The brake liner is attached to the thread which is controlled by the driver. The brakes are in driver’s hands and work in a similar fashion to those on a bike. The driver can control the brakes even by sitting at a height of 5 feet. This system comes in handy at the time of loading, riding on steep slopes, going uphill and turning at a short radius. Carrot Cleaning Machine Ever since he was a child, Kaveri saw the struggles the farmers had to face to clean the carrots and make them look appealing to the customers. Cleaning one quintal of carrots required the efforts of 12 people. “I started thinking about the problem and then we noticed a washing machine and thought that the same concept can be applied to develop a carrot cleaning machine too,” Kaveri says. Kaveri had no experience in engineering but had a strong determination to innovate the machine. After 11 failed attempts, he finally managed to develop a Carrot Cleaning machine which could clean one quintal of carrots in just 15 minutes with the help of only two people, which is far less effort required than the manual cleaning process. The carrot cleaning machine that is based on the concept of a washing machine The machine runs without electricity and requires very less water. The cost of the machine depends on the capacity. One quintal capacity machine costs around Rs.6,000-Rs.7,000. The machine is now helping hundreds of farmers across 10 villages. “This innovation has changed my life. Earlier I was just Santosh, now many people know me,” he says. Hot water without geyser Another of Kaveri’s inventions helps us save the amount of gas we consume for our everyday needs. The Eco Hot Water Coil, is a stovetop which performs two functions at a time. It boils water for cooking and simultaneously collects it for bathing. The device is already functional in various hostels in and around Belgaum, and they claim that this machine saves them around Rs.1,000 per month. “I want to adapt this technology to domestic use,” Kaveri says. He was awarded “Best LEADer” by Ratan Tata in 2013. “I have learnt a lot in this journey, the confidence that I have gained is precious. I would like to take this to the next level and develop more such machines to help people at grassroot level,” he says. While most of us just wait for a college degree and work experience, this guy has proved himself without such luxuries. Kaveri’s story clearly teaches us a lesson. A lesson of dedication, hard work and self-belief. More such changemakers, and we will see a totally different, undiscovered side of India!