“Necessity is Mother of Invention,” says an adage. Meet Mr. Dharamveer Kamboj from Damla Village of Yamunanagar district in Haryana who was born in a low-income rural family. He played different roles of life based on the changing circumstances like Rickshaw Puller in the city of Delhi, keeping the flame for learning intricacies of herbal farming alive from his childhood days and finally becoming an innovator, not to obtain any university laurels but to support his fellow farmers to fetch better profits by processing the fruits and herbal crops grown by them. He was also a celebrity who earned prestigious recognition to be the guest of Honourable President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan for his innovation. Dharamveer’s life can be visualized in four distinct phases:
Childhood Days Learning Phase
Dharamveer Kamboj was born on May 15th, 1963 in a remote village called Damla in Yamunanagar district of Haryana state. His parents are Mr. Ramswaroop Kamboj and Mrs. Savitri Devi. His father Ramswaroop had a jaggery mill and mother Savitri Devi was a keen on collecting Herbal flowers to extract natural colors used during the festival of Holi. Dharamveer as a boy had developed the inquisitive mindset and was inclined to learn about herbs grown in his surroundings. His mother was his first ‘Guru’ on Herbal plants. Even at school he was interested in developing science models and had drawn teachers’ attention through an ‘emergency light.’
Once Dharamveer had an impromptu session with a saint, who had in-depth knowledge about uses of Herbal Plants, Dharamveer learned it is profitable to do Herbal Farming from this saint and started growing herbs in his two-acre land.
As Market Researcher for Herbs
Dharamveer with his brothers was happy maintaining herbal plantations until the year 1986. In The year 1986, he got married to Shyamudevi. The demands of the family to earn more became evident. After the birth of his daughter, he moved to Delhi leaving behind his family in native place in search of a better job. He started operating as a Rickshaw puller in Khari Bawli area of Old Delhi. In this locality the passengers he used to ferry used to pay a hefty sum of money for Herbs in the market. This phase of his life as rickshaw puller helped him to understand the market demand for herbs, fruits, and their extracts. But he continued his profession as a rickshaw driver until he met with an accident in the year 1987 which got him bed ridden and had to return to his native village.
As an Organic Farming Scientist
This was the turning point in his life, and he took this serene period of his life to undergo training through village development society in organic farming. He started interacting with various farmers and also got an opportunity to interact with from Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Damla and Nauni University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh. He started experiments in organic farming, and by 1989 his work in mushroom farming, vermicompost, and other farming methods won him awards. His novelty in farming strawberries and other fruits in the surrounding areas gave him further recognitions. His half acre land transformed as an organic farming laboratory.
In his pursuit for organic farming in the year 2004, he got an opportunity to visit Rajasthan through the Horticultural Department of Haryana. During this visit, he interacted with farmers to learn about Aloe Vera crop and its extracts for obtaining medicinal value products. Thus his journey as Herbal Healer had a beginning too.
As an Innovator/Fabricator of Multipurpose Processing Machine
By now Dharamveer had understood that raw materials fetch peanuts in comparison to processed products. He was looking forward to market Aloe Vera gel and other finished products as a lucrative venture. In the year 2002, he came across a Bank Manager who educated him about machinery for processing food products. But he quoted Five Lakh Rupees. Obviously, the pricing was exorbitant for farmers. This prompted Dharamveer to think in the direction of fabricating his Processing machine. His inquisitive nature of school days came to his help, and after an effort of six to eight months, the first prototype of Multipurpose Processing Machine was ready in the year 2003. Though the performance was acceptable, Dharamveer bent upon improvising the model and with the help of a fabrication workshop owner by name Mr. Vijay Dhiman he could develop a market-ready product.
The Multipurpose Food Processing Machine is a portable machine that can extract oil from various fruits and herbs. Currently, it has been employed to produce various cosmetic and health care products. Since it is portable and lightweight, farmers can use it directly in farms and thus avoid the need to transport raw materials to a processing unit. According to Dharamveer the product has gained demand in the international market and has been exported to Kenya and other African countries. He also filed a patent for the product and approximately it costs one lakh twenty thousand rupees.
The Journey & Family Support
Dharamveer is happy today living in outskirts of his village farming in his two acres of land and educating his daughter as MBA graduate and son as a computer engineer. Though Dharamveer is educated only up to 10th class, his creativity has brought him inside prestigious Rashtrapathi Bhavan as a guest. His children recall the hardship their mother went through in bringing them up and also recalls how villagers made a mockery of their father as an insane person. His children are determined to fetch all the credit their father’s work deserves and are playing a pivotal role in extending him the technology and market needs. Dharamveer doesn’t forget to thank his mother who imbibed the curiosity about herbs in him as a child who has brought him as a renowned persona in the international arena. Kalam Fan Club salutes this natural Innovator and organic farming scientist, who doesn’t possess any qualification Suffix or prefix to his name.