Prem Thakur zooms Navi Mumbai’s suburban streets in a swank looking buggy car. As he pulls over to the petrol pump, the attendants all pull out their mobile phones to take its picture and Prem, the 19-year-old commerce student beams as a proud father. “I have built this buggy from scratch, using an old sedan’s engine,” he tells Amol Lalzare, the correspondent from Video Volunteers who first reported this story.
With limited monetary resources and no background knowledge of engineering, Prem, a commerce student, learnt how to make a buggy car with the help of tutorials from YouTube. Taking lessons from the Youtube Do-It-Yourself (DIY) videos, Prem has put together the entire car from scratch. “In four months time, I wielded the car from the chassis up and painted it all by myself,” he proudly tells us. The Buggy even has a few fancy features, from cool side-blinkers to a music system with USB port.
Prem’s story is unique because of his family’s support in his ambition. A resident of Kharghar, a suburb in the planned township of Mumbai Navi Mumbai (New Mumbai), Prem comes from a humble background. Even though his father , a rickshaw driver, earns a meagre daily income of Rs. 500-600 ($ 7 – $9), his father was determined to have an educated future for Prem. “My father got me a computer when I was 12. Since then I have used the internet to learn all sorts of things, including a Buggy Car,” tells Prem. A car enthusiast since childhood, when Prem expressed his desire to make a car by himself, his parents could have easily cited monetary difficulties. But instead, the family and his grandmother came together and helped him monetarily. Putting the buggy together cost the Thakurs almost Rs. 2.5 lakh ($ 3800 approx.) “Had it not been my family and the internet connection, I couldn’t possibly have built this car,” Prem tells us.
While the family has spent a significant amount of their household earnings, on Prem’s dream, the machine;s roar and speed prove that their investment in his dreams is not futile. Prem wants to test his car on a race track one day and someday become an automobile engineer.
Originally published on videovolunteers