Innovations AP / - Ekalavya Rambabu

a tribal boy who build a plane while flying…

Innovator: Rambabau
Innovation: so many..  his innovative life







Rambabu is the son of a tribal farmer. He studied in the Tanda upto second standard and for third he walked 2 kms everyday. His elder brother was working as an auto mechanic in the nearby town Kothagudem. As he found no possibility and prospects in continuing the studies, abandoned them and went to work with his brother in the same shop for no remuneration. For Rambabu, his brother was the role model. He wanted to become an auto mechanic like his brother. He worked for two years in the garage along with his brother with no remuneration and went through rough times sometimes even not getting two square meals. At the age of twelve, he set out to Hyderabad and joined a Maruti Garage and worked there for two years for pittance. Frustrated, he returned home with skills to repair engines and started to repair the oil engines of the Tanda and neighbouring villages. Since he was not a qualified mechanic and had no brand, people paid him much less than the market rates though he worked harder and provided same quality as that of others and that too with minimum resources. Finding that the hard labour is not rewarded suitably, Rambabu one day closed the engine repair shop and opened a TV repair shop in Bommanpalli. It was amazing to know that he had no knowledge of the TV repair or any familiarity with Electronics. He actually built the plane while flying it. He learnt as he started repairing the TV sets. Slowly the business picked up and the last three years he stabilized in repair of all electronic devices. Rambabu told us how he learnt the names of Resistors, Motherboard, relays etc. He used to find a defective component and take it to the electronic store in Khammam the district Headquarters. The shopkeeper would name it as resistor or capacitor. Rambabu thus understood the names of components used in TVs. This is nothing short of the epic character EKALAVYA of Mahabharata. In fact Ekalavya accepted Dronacharya as notional guru but Rambabu did not have one such guru. Amazing story.

During his stay in the village he found that oil engines were replaced by electric motors gradually and villagers were scared to start them on the plea that they would be subjected to shock. Seeing the fear and apprehension of the villagers, Rambabu developed a remote switching device using the remote switch of car doors. Later he found that most of the time only two out of three phases were supplied resulting in burning of many motors. The gullible villagers were not aware of these technicalities. Again, Rambabu came to their rescue and developed a safety device, which was fitted to the starting device of the motor. He also developed a centralized switchboard for the entire house and provided time setting for all the switches. It would operate the switches at the preset time on its own and save the efforts of an operator. Now he is developing a Cell phone operated motor switching device from remote location such as home or any other place.

We insisted to visit his home in Tanda. He guided us to the village and to his hut which is 6 meters in diameter and locates his kitchen, bedroom and living room, all in one. Outside the hut, a Dish antenna is located which looks out of place among the huts. Rambabu explained that he provides almost 25 houses in the Tanda 4 channel cable TV @ cost of Rs 25/- per month per connection. The system to monitor the TV transmission through cable is placed on a wooden plank inside the hut at head level. These devices were all open and the PCBs are seen clearly. Rambabu with no formal English and engineering education was managing an electronic based system in an inhospitable environment was an unbelievable fete.

The story of Rambabu is amazing. The grit to find solutions to others’ problems, indomitable innovative spirit, ability to handle the resource crunch with a smile and always find a path to progress were some of the very significant traits of Rambabu which are highly praiseworthy, considering his family background, educational qualification, age and experience.

Nominated for the Award by Palle Srujana
President: Brig (Retd.) P Ganesham, VSM,, +919866001678


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