New Delhi: Twenty-seven years ago a rickshaw puller operating in the walled city would often visit Raisina Hills area to have a look at British-era buildings including Rashtrapati Bhavan without little knowing that one day he would be one of the guests at the Presidential palace.
This is the story of 51-year-old Dharamveer Kamboj, a resident of Haryana, who is staying as a guest of President Pranab Mukherjee in Rashtrapati Bhavan, an honour bestowed on him for his innovation of a multi-purpose food processing machine which can extract juices or essence from herbs quickly.
The story of Kamboj seems to be leaf pulled out of a Bollywood movie with the hero becoming victorious in the end.
After a verbal duel with his father in 1986, the then 23-year-old Kamboj left his native village in Yamuna Nagar in Haryana for Delhi where he ended up as a rickshaw puller ferrying traders in Khari Baoli area of old Delhi.
Recalling his earlier days in Delhi, Kamboj, sitting in the guest wing of Rashtrapati Bhavan, told PTI "Whenever I used to pass by Rashtrapati Bhavan, I always used to wonder what lies inside. I still cannot believe I am staying at Raisina Hill as the President's guest."
His stay in the national capital ended abruptly after he met with an accident in 1987 and was forced to return to his native village where he remained bed-ridden for many months.
"During my years in Delhi, I had observed that the fruits and vegetables we grow in villages do not earn that much profit to the farmers there as much as they do when processed and packaged. So, I decided to develop a processing machine which is not only multi-purpose but is also time saving.
Kamboj, who is one of the five innovators selected as guest of the President, said he developed the food processing machine which could extract pulp of over 200 kg tomatoes per hour. The portable machine is capable of extracting juices and essence from aloe vera, amla, jamun and other herbs and processes them for making various products.
It offers a condensation mechanism which helps in extraction of essence, extracts, gel from flowers and medicinal plants for herbal applications.
"It took me 11 months to develop this machine. In 2008, officials from National Innovation Foundation visited me at my village Damla to see a demo of my machine. And then I got the idea of taking it to the masses," Kamboj, who is spending 20 days from July one in the President's House, said.