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Innovation

Apr 07, 2003
220 volt cow power

Thanks to reader Robin Abraham, GoodNewsIndia brings you the news of an exciting development.  Two bullocks go round and round in a large circle, driving a 2 kva alternator through a step up gear box.

The simple prototype built by Gaushala Sewa Sangh [GSS] in Kanpur has very wide implications. One, it will make the farmer esteem his bullocks because of this new stream of income. And two, the newly arrived tractors in rural India will drive fewer male calves to the butcher’s block.

Robin who is in fact a medical doctor in Delhi with an interest in rural development, saw a presentation of the idea in Nagpur and hastened to meet Mr. Toshniwal of GSS and to see the prototype for himself. He took some photos and sent those and a report to GNI. [As an aside note this as an example of the way many levels of Indians connect, the interest they take in developmental issues and the time they spend in weaving across the land in excitement. All the while, the main media is barely roused.]

The bullock generator has excited IITs in Kanpur and Delhi who want to soundly redesign the concept. They believe optimisation can increase delivered power. There is some way to go before there is a marketable product. Robin writes: “I presume that the village values its cattle wealth and a strong culture of using organic manure is present. So if 50 households maintain 3 pairs of bullock between them they can be used in rotation. Mr Toshniwal claimed that one machine could provide two bulb lighting for 50 houses. Mr Toshniwal also said that one pair will rotate for 4 hours. The cow dung from bullocks can be used to encourage kitchen gardening. I just did a short course of nutrition at NIN, Hyderabad and it was claimed that kitchen gardening by itself can solve the vitamin A deficiency in India. Vitamin A deficiency alone is responsible for more than 70 % infant mortality and Under-5 mortality in India.”

GSS wants to mount the generator on wheels which the bulls can pull to where power is wanted. One can imagine many uses: shallow water pumping, remote powering farm equipment that can become diesel free, power services at fairs and celebrations , replacing grid power for small rural industries etc.

Mr Toshniwal is a successful industrialist who nine years ago at 60, turned away from business to steward GSS.  At GSS 1200 dry cows and aged bulls are sheltered. It is in fact a 115 year old institution which owns 150 acres. It produces a range of products from dung, urine and bought in milk. Pesticides, nutrients, fertiliser, medicines, mosquito repellent coil, phenyle based on urine, wall distemper coats etc are some of them. Plus, amazingly bathing soap made of milk, curd and cattle urine! Mr Toshniwal says, a 100 gm cake sells for Rs. 10 and they can’t make enough. It has a total fatted material of [TFM] of 82.21%, lathers well and is said to care for the skin wonderfully.

World Bank and Khadi Village Industries Corporation are likely to fund formal animal care research at GSS. The idea is to make an unbeatable combination of cash and compassion.
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