Monday, September 1, 2008

What is "Jugaad"?

Welcome to the Indian "Jugaad" blog. Before i begin, let me first clarify the meaning of the word "Jugaad" and my reasons for starting this blog. First of all, the word itself is not my own but a colloquially used word in Northern India. This wikipedia entry suggests the following meanings :
  • As a noun, "jugaad" means a quick-easy-dirty fix or a resource that can be used as such.
  • As a verb, "jugaad" indicates the ingenuity to achieve results by out of box thinking, at times even temporary fixes.
There is a brilliant contraption by that same name that captures a very unique aspect about Indian ingenuity and which forms the inspiration for this blog. This contraption is essentially a motorized wagon completely built using cheaply available parts. It is probably the cheapest four wheeler anywhere in the world. The wagon is not built for comfort but just to serve the basic purpose of mass transportation in rural areas. The jugaad can supposedly carry upto 30-35 people (maybe more) and forms the connectivity backbone for villages. Truly amazing ! Isnt it a true "Jugaad"? Check for yourself in the photo below.

Photo Credits : Taken by Sanjay Ahlawat and it appeared in the August 24 2008 issue of The Week magazine.

This blog is exactly about this type of out-of-the-box thinking and i can safely bet that there are millions more in India. It is this very ingenuity of the common Indian that keeps this country ticking and makes it possible for the common man to survive. I have always pondered over the question of "Why India Works?" inspite of so many blatant issues in the administration and i now truly believe that the answer is summarized by this one word : Jugaad.

Purists would argue that the word Jugaad can have both a positive and a negative connotation. I do not disagree. But this blog is only above the positives. To that end, the purpose of this blog is to document the various ingenious Jugaads built by and for the common Indian. The hope is that this blog would enable the innovations to be accessible to a wider audience and hence propel further innovation.


The Shaolin said...

Wow! This is a very exciting blog, then! Invite me as an author to this, I would love to contribute jugaads I find! It indeed would be a nice documentation to quick-fixes and hacks on real life the Indians use!

Ankur said...

Interesting :)

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