Punjab carpenter’s wooden cycles create a buzz
Even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the clarion call for Atmanirbhar Bharat, 40-year-old Zirapkpur-based carpenter Dhani Ram Saggu set an example for his peers by designing and building a wooden cycle amid the lockdown.
Saggu was among those rendered jobless after the lockdown was imposed in March. However, he says rather than give in to depression he used the time to work on his idea and innovate.
For Saggu necessity was the mother of invention, he says, “I always wanted a cycle but our finances were such that we could not afford one. Therefore, I decided to make one for myself.” He sold eight cycles between July 27 to August 30 and five more are in the works.
Saggu’s wooden cycles have created a buzz and he has received orders from as far as South Africa, Canada, Jalandhar and Delhi.
“Hard work always pays and changes one’s fortune,” say Saggu, who was stoked to receive a call from Hero Cycles managing director Pankaj Munjal congratulating him.
A company from Chennai has also gotten in touch with him and he is, at present, preparing samples to show them.
TRIAL AND ERROR
Saggu started off by measuring a regular cycle. He prepared drawings and then carved one cycle using plywood but the cycle was heavy as its wheels, too, were made of plywood.
He then sought feedback from cycling enthusiast Rakesh Singh, an administrative officer at PGIMER, who became one of his first customers, and improvised the cycle.
The improvised cycle had regular tyres, a mud guard, re-designed handlebar and a basket in front. He made his second cycle with the help of kail wood from Canada , which he got from a neighbour. “The wood is light and inexpensive but strong like teak. However, I am still improvising the cycle,” says Saggu, who has now rented a workspace over a showroom with orders steadily pouring in. He is also in talks with suppliers from Ludhiana for better brakes, saddles.
“The cycle weighs between 20-22kgs but I am working on making it lighter. I now use disc brakes rather than rim and am working towards putting in gears as well. I am also designing a cycle for children,” said Saggu.
“The cycle can cover up to 25km a day but people are mostly buying it for its uniqueness,” added Dhani Ram.
These customised cycles are being sold under the name ‘Noora Interiors,’ the same name under which Saggu picks up woodwork for palatial houses and takes orders for doors, windows and cupboards.