Scout: Entry forwarded by President House
Kyu kehte ho asman mein suraakh ho nahi sakta
ik pathhar to tabiyat se uchhalo yaaron
(Why do you say there cannot be a hole in the sky, try throwing a stone with all your might)
Sandeep Kumar (24), physically challenged himself, has made a folding cycle. He walks with
a support but does not need sympathy. He also does not have to wait for public vehicles, for
he carries his bicycle in his bag.
The challenges since childhood
Sandeep Kumar was on 25th January 1985, in Ramnagar village of West Champaran district,
to Barister Ray and Kusum Devi. His father earns a meager living by bringing spare
electronic parts from Delhi and assembling them at his shop at Naya Bazar in Ramnagar. His
mother, though a housewife also helps in the assembling work at times.
Sandeep has two sisters and one brother. In his childhood, he suffered from a polio attack in
the left leg and since then he has always needed a support to walk. His father was unable to
provide him a proper education owing to his limited means in the small village. Hence, to
enable him get better education, he was sent to Muzaffarpur when his elder sister Sima was
married. Initially, there were problems but slowly, he picked up well later with his sister‟s
help. He completed his graduation in science in 2006 from Muzaffarpur. It was during his
graduation that his entry was forwarded by the President‟s Secretariat to NIF.
Later in 2007 he obtained a job in the postal department and is presently based at Bareilly.
Since his childhood, he had harbored a dream of doing something new. Talking about her
brother, Sima says “Sandeep is a very innovative person. There is only an idea need to come
in his mind, he does it. When any device becomes out of order in my home then Sandeep
mends it. I provided only moral and financial support to him and rest is taken care by him”.
Necessity once again the mother of invention
It was 1997 when the idea, to make folding bicycle, came in his mind. He was studying in
class nine and had to commute to his school and other places. Being physically challenged,
he faced many problems on road. Bus frequency was irregular and most times, one had to
fight his way in, which was not possible for Sandeep. He decided to develop a bicycle, which
he could use when needed or could be put into a bag and carried when he had to walk. He
asked every one for help but no body helped him and instead tried to dissuade him. But this
discouragement did not frustrate him. When he told about his idea to his sister, she replied “if
you believe that you can make it, then do it. You will get success surely. Nobody can deter
you. You concentrate on your work only. I will help you.” These words inspired him a lot.
He started his work in RA engineering workshop, which is situated in the Aghoria bazar
chowk in Muzaffarpur. Devoting time only on Sundays and holidays, it took fourteen months
for him to develop the first prototype in 1998. He made this bicycle by modifying an old
bicycle picked from a trash. He customized its frame and other parts to suit his need. He
spent around Rs1800 to make first prototype.
When he made first prototype then his effort was immediately noticed by local people and he
got a lot of appreciation as well. But no body came up with good proposal. He then came in
contact with NIF through the president House.
The foldable bicycle
The innovator has made a bicycle, which can be folded and unfolded in a matter of minutes.
It can then also be transported easily from one place to other place in a 24 inch long bag.
There are a number of lockable hinges or joints that permit it to be folded into a compact
size. He has modified his cycle three times till date. In 2006 he developed a new model when
he got financial support and technical inputs from NIF. Though a little bigger in size, the new
version takes very less time as compared to older version. It can be folded and put into the
bag in just 30 second and can be put on road after just another 30 seconds without the
assistance of a mechanic and any tools.
In this bicycle handle portion is folded into parts followed by frame folding. The bicycle has
24 inch long main frame made of iron. Its tyre size is 20” Х 1.75”. It is easy to ride and runs
very fast and smooth. The height can be adjusted. The weight of this bicycle is only 13 kg.
Sandeep has not provided any provision for carrying goods but he says that a carrier can be
used on the bicycle. The cost of the prototype model is Rs. 3000. Sandeep estimates that the
cost can be reduced upto Rs 2000- 2200 if it produced in bulk. He has named it
„SANDSIMA‟ on the name of his sister (Sima) and himself (Sandeep).
The weight of the bicycle may be reduced further if lighter material is available. His bicycle
can be a boon for people living in rural as well as semi-urban areas who work at far away
places and for whom direct connectivity of public transport is not available. Point to point
they can travel by public transport and thereafter, unzip their bags and assemble their bicycle
for a ride to work.
The concept of foldable bicycle is not new and they are available in prior art i. However the
design of Sandeep‟s bicycle differs than most. It is simplistic, affordable and convenient. He
has filed patent and it is under consideration. He is interested in marketing the bicycle
through a company.
Though he has not received any awards, his innovation „folding bicycle‟ has been covered by
media like Times of India, Hindustan, Dainik Jagaran in 1998 and 2006, CNN, IBN, Sahara,
Times Now, ETV Bihar, NDTV in 2007 and Voice of India in 2009. Sandeep was felicitated
during the 22nd Shodh Yatra in Bihar in January 2009. Beside the folding bicycle, he had
made a watch in which the owner‟s name revolves along with the second hand of watch. He
aspires to make a power house where one can produce electricity in his home.
The concept of folding bicycle is available in art. Prior art search (US Patent 4182522) discloses the folding bicycle in which the rear wheel
is mounted in a rear frame which is hinged to the main frame of bicycle so that the rear frame can be folded beneath the bicycle. US patent
4111447 discloses the folding bicycle comprises a foldable frame structure including a front support assembly having handlebars and
arranged to be rearward foldable. US patent 20060097476 discloses a folding bicycle in which a handle support and a wheel support frames
are engaged with each other through a folding mechanism which allows the user to turn the handle support and wheel support around a
turning axis extending along the lateral direction. US patent 20050263979 discloses a folding bicycle having folded sizes of 12×25×6 inches
and 5 kilogram weight.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Folding_bicycle&printable=yes, http://www.foldabikes.com/ and
http://www.brompton.co.uk/page.asp?p=3072 and disclosed Brompton folding bicycle. Its key feature is the compactness and practicality of
its fold. With a little practice, this is achieved without any difficulty in 10 - 20 seconds. The dimensions of the folded bike are: 565mm high
x 545mm long x 270mm wide (22.2" x 21.5" x 10.6").http://www.dahon.com/us/musl.htm, http://www.foldingbike.com/ disclosed a folding
bicycle‟ Dahon folding bicycle‟. http://www.montagueco.com/ disclosed fold Montague bikes, which can be fold simply by removing the
front wheel, unlocking the frame quick release, and folding the bike for easy storage or transportation. No tools are necessary in order to
fold the bikes.(Demo at http://www.montagueco.com/technology/folding-demo.html,http://www.avoncycles.com/boys-bicycle-
display.asp?id=182 disclosed a folding bicycle „Carry Me‟. It has Folding frame TIG welded, Folding handle with quick release and can be
folded easily in the left hand side by pulling and turning a latch that is provided near the chain wheel. http://www.avoncycles.com/boys-
bicycle-display.asp?id=278 disclosed a folding bicycle, CARRY ME suspension. It has folding frame with suspension folding handle with
quick release and can be folded easily in the left hand side by pulling and turning a latch.