Indian users of technology-based devices cannot rely on formal networks of distribution, support and maintenance: these are often incomplete, unimaginative or unrealistically priced. They therefore turn to the temporary fixes or â€˜jugaadsâ€™ carried out by Indian street technicians. An army of pavement-based engineers and fixers keeps engines, television tubes, compressors – and a thousand other devices â€“ working long after their prime. Right outside the Doors 8 office here in Delhi, for example, hundreds of tiny workshops, plus sole traders sitting on on the street, sell (and fix) the countless hardware peripherals that keep office life running. Everything from toner cartridges to USB sticks is available, and gloomy but bustling basements contain amazing arrays of ancient monitors, terminals and motherboards awaiting repair. Mind you, a jugaad for my rapidly diminishing connectivity has stymied even this army: my webmail has now gone on strike in solidarity with my cable connection at home – so I now believe myself to be orchestrating this global event using sms. Seems to work fine.
Jugaad and its limits
John Thackara2005-03-19T07:34:03+00:00March 19th, 2005|urban-rural|
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