March 20, 2003 

Inspiration for the day

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Bhaskaran, Kumaranelloor, Vadakkanchery, Thrissur

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Controlling rutting elephants is an elephantine problem for the mahouts.  Bhaskaran, Kumaranelloor, Vadakkanchery has come up with an ‘elephant brake’ to ease the life of these drivers.

The heart of the device is the 27-inch long brake piston concealed in a 2-inch diameter metallic pipe tied to the front knee of the pachyderm.  The brake lever will be held by the mahout sitting atop the elephant.  Any insubordination on the part of the elephant and the mahout can pull the lever.  The naughty elephant will not be able to move either forward or backward and will come to stand still.

The working of the brake has been tested on the elephant Puthur Hari Narayanan in the presence of Avanapparambu Maheswaran Namboodiri, an expert on elephants.

Bhaskaran’s brake is the result of 6 years of research.  The device is now being commercially produced.

He said that more than financial considerations he had meant it as a service.  The first device that he fabricated will be offered to the Guruvayoor temple free, he added.

An elephant with the brake tied to its front knee

Courtesy: Rajasekharan, Kerala Kaumudi, February 26, 2003

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