Imagine you are a Product Manager, and you have been tasked to develop a product that could change the lives of millions of people, but has to be cheap, easy to use, should be durable, should be strong enough to be used by at least a 1000 people everyday, for 11 continuous hours
A device that should not break down and it should be mass produced, easily, with materials and talent available in India.

And all of this should be done, at 1/10th the cost of the existing competition.

Some PMs would quit, most would tell you have gone mad
That was the enormity of the task that was being faced by Govt Officials, in 1977, who wanted to do something about the fact that only 6% of India, had access to safe water.

For the layperson, the answer is, why don't they just get pumps?
Unfortunately, most of the pumps then were too expensive, not mass producible, too varied and so fragile, that 75% of the pumps, were inoperable at any given point in time. And women found it difficult to use, which was bad, because 80% of the water collection was done by them.
Enter Swedish engineer, Oscar Carlsson and UNICEF.

He took existing pump designs, added uniformed jigs & fixtures, mounted it on concrete and ensured water quality. He even took inspiration from oil rigs which drilled in rocks.

Result was the India Mk 2 water pump.
This ubiquitous water pump, revolutionized India. By 1995, more than 2.5 million pumps were installed, ensuring a pump for every 150 Indians. More than 500 million people got access to safe water. Water borne diseases like Cholera reduced.
Water, the vital ingredient of life, was no longer inaccessible.

Not only that, the pump was so sturdy, that it might have been made out of adamantium. Because of this, we started exporting them to African countries, to solve their water woes. And it was a success there too.
Many countries imposed heavy duties on all the pumps apart from the Indian Mk 2 pump.

The India Mk2 pump was a transformative development, which changed generations. It also was a symbol of Indian innovation and proof that if we wanted to so something, we could.
The India Mk2 pump changed lives. And ensured one Swedish dude named Oscar Carlsson, who most of us, have no clue about, will forever be in our histroy books, as a guy who changed India.

There is a nice paper written about the Mk2 pump and its story.…

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More from @thekaipullai

19 Nov
#TIL There's an IAS officer in Uttarakhand who has a YouTube channel that has 2.9.million subscribers.

He uploads videos of doing his job, that he is paid to do, with scant regard for privacy of others, and probably makes more money than his salary

Why does the Govt allow this?
I am sure, in his interview, he would have said crap like, I want to serve the country. I want to ensure India progresses. I want to make a difference to people's lives

And then you open a YouTube Channel

How do you go from upright citizen, to an equivalent of Carryminati?
I work in the private sector, and we have rules against this sort of thing.

I am surprised, if the Govt of India, doesn't have one.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
This is one example of Govt apathy and ridiculousness. The road behind my house is already so narrow, that if a bus or a truck comes, the road is blocked.

Suddenly, Some Govt officer decides to build a divider, on that road, for no reason, Which narrows the already narrow road. Image
Given that nobody can question you on how you waste our money, you do whatever you want. At least build it quickly.

You have been building it for the last six months. Four of which, no vehicles plied on that road, this giving you a free reign. But you didn't.
On top of that, rusting iron rods, protrude dangerously out of it.

On a road with no headlights, and vehicles jostling for space, it is only a matter of time before some car or a bike gets ripped by them.

And when someone dies, who is held responsible? Who Will pay the penalty?
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
While the Maharashtra govt has been busy prosecuting normal people, they still haven't announced the admission procedure and commencement for Std XI.

The High Court stayed the implementation of the Maratha Quota and in return the Govt has stayed the admission process.
Six months of the year are already over.

Either the students have to complete an entire year's syllabus in six months, or in 2020, all students directly go to Std XII.

Jai Maharashtra...
Imagine the uselessness of a govt, that sits on an important decision like admissions, which determines everyone's future, for six months, but moves with warp speed, on some guy, who teased the son of the CM.

Imagine the uncertainty and doubt in the minds of lakhs of students
Read 4 tweets
15 Nov
Indian small industry is remarkably resilient. They adapt to changes far more than anyone else.

Take the Kirana shops for example. Obituaries have been written since 2001, when Reliance entered retail. They have not only survived, but thrived.

Or the old ubiquitous STD booths.
One more example is, Milk booths, which have pivoted to snack centres. Examples are countless.

What they can't go against is Govt uncertainty. The govt flip flops. One day something is valid. The other day something is banned.

Only to be unbanned again.

Come on.
If you want to ban Crackers. Ban it fully.

You can't wake up just before a festival, and kill the dreams and sustainance of people, who have taken loans at 20% interest per month to earn that little bit of extra cash in already tough times.
Read 4 tweets
9 Nov
In 1990, in Panchkula, there was a 14 year old, promising Tennis player named Ruchika Girhotra and an IG, SPS Rathore.

Given that he was a police officer, and NOT a tennis player, he was somehow found to be suitable to be the president of Haryana Lawn Tennis Association.
As SPS Rathore thought himself to be a God, he had illegally encroached Government land, and built a tennis court in his house. What powerful govt servant are you, if you don't bend a few rules?

On 11th Aug 1990, Rathore told Ruchika's father, she needs special training.
The next day, thinking about a bright future, she went to the Tennis court with her friend. Rathore called them both to his office and then sent her friend out.

This is where the tragedy, begins.

Rathore, a 50 year old man, grabbed the 14 year old, and started molesting her.
Read 21 tweets
6 Nov
More than 5 million govt servants, worked day and night, to operate 1.1 million polling booths so that an Indian does not have to cross more than 3 square kms to vote, but our Gora Sahab still thinks American system is better.

For them, anything Indian, is bad.
Americans mail their ballots to people so that they can vote.

Indians take the polling Booth to them. Even if it is one voter in the remote hills of Arunachal Pradesh.

But USA is better and India is sad.
As a part of NSS, I had the privilege to be involved in election duty. I have seen democracy in action, in one of the most politically volatile states in India.

The process' are so good, that it is extremely difficult to tamper with them.

Get out sometimes, you will know.
Read 4 tweets

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