Indian-American billionaire philanthropist Manoj Bhargava, recently unveiled his stationary bicycles that can generate electricity and help rural households meet their energy needs.
The US-based Indian-American billionaire has come up with an initiative off distributing around 10,000 stationary bikes in India for powering individual homes. By 2016, he also plans to run a pilot project testing the first 50 bikes in at least 20 small villages in the Uttarakhand state.
Bhargava informed that the bikes can power lights and other basic appliances for a day by pedaling it for an hour. "The stationary bicycle generates power. The pedaling turns a flywheel, which spins a generator that charges the attached battery," Bhargava said while unveiling the product. He further said the cycle is estimated to be priced between Rs 12,000-15,000 and will be available by March next year. Bhargava also informed about his discussion about the product with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "I had a discussion with Modiji about a year ago," he said. He was very enthusiastic about collaborating with the government departments. "If I go to a government department...they are not bad people but efficiency is zero. Besides, it will take six months to decide which department of the government should help me out," he said.
However, Mr. Bhargava believes that the main challenge is expected to be the distribution of these stationary bikes, and to counter it he would prefer incentivizing this distributors with profits, thus expediting the distribution process.
Manoj Bhargava, whose net worth is estimated at USD 4 billion, has pledged 99 percent of his fortune to finding solutions that can help people across the world. He also supports The Hans Foundation, one of the largest charitable organisations in India. He is also known to the international world as the creator of the famous 5-hour Energy drink. He is based in Michigan and his family moved to the US over 50 years ago.