We have all heard this word ‘Jugaad’ at some point. This is not a part of any vocabulary and does not feature in any dictionary but Wikipedia will not disappoint you. Yes, it does exist there and explains that this word refers to a workaround or low cost innovation which the Indians have brought to the forefront. This has become an industry in its own right without any support from organized sector or the government. It has become a flourishing trade giving employment to thousands and also yielding solutions to those who can ill afford to discard their possessions acquired by shelling out a large amount of money.
Many sell their old condemned scooters and motorbikes which get a new ‘avtaar’ in form of a cart to transport goods and in some cases ply on the roads with impunity even flouting the rules of road safety . They are visible everywhere and one does neither get these registered nor need pollution certificates to ply on the roads. A brilliant solution for cash strapped people and an extremely low cost solution !
My mother in law’s mobile hand set stopped giving the ring tone and she wanted to get it repaired. After a visit to the regular repair and service center an estimate of Rs 400/- ( equivalent USD 8) was given with a lead time of two to three days. I wanted to explore some option so after a couple of days visited a local market in the vicinity that had a small shack where a guy operated a small repair shop. I handed over the mobile to him and he asked me to wait for a while he inspected the handset. He removed the battery and after a couple of tests declared that the speaker needed a change and I need to shell out Rs 80/-( less than USD 2). He removed the speaker from one of the old mobile in his workshop and lo and behold, the mobile was handed over to me in less than half an hour in fully working condition.
A similar story of a faulty grinder mixer which I had purchased many years ago in US had become unusable due non availability of similar blades. I walked up to a local repair shop and he pulled out a locally manufactured set of almost identical blades and the mixer grinder has since been working!
Many years back while serving in the Navy, at airport in Goa, one of the communication equipment installed near the runway for use by Russian aircraft went faulty and no spare was available for its repair. One of the technicians from my team opened the faulty card and procured some locally available transistors and power amplifiers repaired it and got it going!
I have become a fan of this industry no matter what one may say! Those who can afford to junk their old possessions as soon as the new models are launched I, ‘the jugaad’ does not mean anything! However, for a common man, it is a solution with merit. A huge unorganized sector in India, Srilanka and Bangladesh thrive on recycling old car engines to make the outdated cars serviceable by adding more years to their life at an unbelievable low cost!!
So next time if one of your costly possessions go faulty and you are considering junking it, give a thought to the ‘ jugaad’ solution which may bring the dead back to life!
PS: Image Kind courtesy Google