Mark-II pumpFew inventions ever have changed the lives of people.And even fewer inventions made a difference to millions of people in water starved areas.And the Mark II  is one of those rarities.Well,its nothing but the ubiquitous hand pump.

It happened in 1960.India was reeling under severe drought and water was scarce.The people needed a hand pump that can be used easily and durable.The cast iron pumps that were used earlier were more suitable for use in homes,to be used only a few times a day.

At a workshop conducted by UNICEF together with Govt. of India at Bangalore,the search for the perfect pump has started.They were looking for a pump that could be manufactured in an unsophisticated workshop,that wouldn’t cost more than $200 and most importantly,should be durable.

The search ended in a mechanic’s workshop in Sholapur, Maharashtra.The design found universal acceptance and was an instant hit.Slight improvisations in the form of polypropylene washers and galvanised steel parts to prevent rusting.They were exported to 52 countries across the world,including the water-starved regions in Africa and Latin America.More than 30 lakh units were used in India itself!

Over the years, the pump has become more sophisticated with increasing use of stronger, lightweight metal, and has spawned the new avatar of the best known hand-pump in the world: India Mark III.

Parts of the article have been taken from an article on the same in India Today

Picture Source: http://www.aovinternational.com/