An automobile mechanic in Assam is reported to have designed and fabricated a working model of a helicopter using SUV engines, metal sheets and car seats, investing a little over Rs15 lakh.
The mechanic, Chandra Siwakoti Sharma, a school dropout, says his 'jugaad' helicopter can fly 30-50 ft above the ground and is capable of carrying two people.
Sharma said his innovation was necessitated by the tiresome journey to reach his native Shyamjuli, a village which is 450 km away capital Guwahati. There is a felt need for faster mode of transportation to lift the state out of its backwardness,he said.
Shyamjuli is in Dhemaji district, Assam's remotest and is almost always flood-affected, making travel difficult anytime.
''My helicopter can fly, though not as fast as the ones in operation for civil or military duty. It can easily move at 50kmph,'' Sharma says.
He has named his jugaad `Pawan Putra', and is awaiting clearance from authorities concerned to find out if his aircraft really works.
Sharma said local officials and officers from an army camp nearby have promised to witness the trial of his helicopter once he gets permission.
''I did run the engines once. The rotor was forcing the helicopter up, but I stopped the engines in order to not violate any rules,'' Sharma was quoted as saying.
Sharma, who could not study beyond class 3 because of poverty, has invested all his savings and even sold his land to follow his and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of `make in India.'
The local administration is reported to be trying to help Sharma who has overcome all barriers and adversities to make a flying machine.
''We are exploring the possibility of at least facilitating a trial for the chopper that Sharma has built,'' reports quoted Victor Carpenter, the district's deputy commissioner, as saying.
Sharma's local supporters have already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pointing out that the helicopter was one of the best examples of Modi's ambitious ''Make in India'' initiative.