When the first Covid-19 patient was diagnosed in Maharashtra, 62-year-old Rajendra Jadhav from Nashik district was a worried man, like most others. However, while the majority of people waited for the State and the Centre to act, Jadhav looked at what he could do to contain the spread of the disease.

“As the number of cases multiplied in urban areas, I knew that it might reach my village and other rural parts of the State. As an innovator in the fabrication sector, I was thinking of developing a sprinkling machine. Earlier, I had developed a sprinkler to sprinkle pesticides in the field. I felt that the same formula could be used to make a sanitiser sprinkler,” Jadhav told BusinessLine .

It took about 25 days for Jadhav to develop a sprinkling machine. He named the machine Yashwant , which means “the successful one”. “The thought was simple. We have to fight Covid-19 with all possible tools and we have to innovate on our own,” he said, adding that any battle has to be fought on one’s own strength.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had praised Jadhav in his Mann ki Baat address on Sunday. And since then, Jadhav has been busy attending phone calls and meeting visitors.

What the machine does

Jadhav’s machine has two aluminium blades fixed on opposite sides, which rotate 180 degrees to absorb air and spray the disinfectants through a nozzle using force. A 15-HP tractor is used to operate the machine, which can clean up to 15-feet high walls, compounds, housing society premises, etc. The machine has a 600-litre tank and can be used to disinfect even small lanes. It needs minimum human intervention, said Jadhav.

“It cost me ₹1.75 lakh to develop this machine. The cost went up because it was difficult to procure the required material due to the lockdown. This is our fourth generation in the fabrication business, and we focus on producing small and big machines required for farming. Innovators and manufacturers have to take the lead to fight the current crisis,” said Jadhav, who has sent the design to the National Innovation Foundation and applied for a patent.

Jadhav’s sprinkler is being currently used in Satana town. “PM Modi’s praise has attracted attention towards this machine. I am happy that I could contribute my share in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

Jadhav has studied up to class X. He couldn’t study further due to the economic condition of his family. His father used to make small farming tools, and Jadhav picked up the skill from him.