TEZPUR, June 11 � Uddhab Bharali, Assam�s innovator, whose name is his identity, has done it again by innovating a feeding machine, meant as a gift for the physically handicapped. The techie who already has 39 universal patents to his credit and was a winner of the World Technology Award, 2012 given by the World Technology Network, for a mini CTC tea plant that aims to help smalltime tea pluckers and farmers and the NASA Technology Award 2012 for his desktop pomegranate de-seeding machine, has innovated a feeding machine which will be used by one Juri Baruah of Dhakuakhana who became physically handicapped after a dreaded road-accident in which she lost both her hands. This 107th innovation has already been presented to Juri by Bharali.
It is to be mentioned that Bharali, an inhabitant of Lakhimpur district, is a mechanical engineer, and has a whopping 39 patents, and 98 innovations to his name, in 24 years. His first innovation was a polythene-making machine in 1988. The pomegranate deseeding machine, invented in 2006 by Bharali, was one of the 26 qualifiers for the NASA award, out of which 10 finalists was chosen by online voting. More importantly the de-seeder, already being exported to the US and Turkey, separates the outer cover and thin inner membrane without damaging the seeds. It has a capacity of deseeding 50-55 kg of pomegranate fruits per hour.
Bharali who is a visiting director of engineering and technology, simultaneously in Tezpur and Dibrugarh Universities, in an exclusive interview told this reporter that among his numerous innovations are an areca nut peeler which has found customers in Indonesia and Ethiopia, cassava peeler which has been bought in Kenya, garlic-peeling machine, tobacco-leaf cutter, paddy thresher, cane-stripping machine, brass utensil polishing machine, safed musli-peeling machine, jatropha de-seeder, mechanised weeding machine, passion fruit juice extractor, trench digger and a chopper for cattle and fisheries feed. He also designed a stevia pulveriser, multipurpose herbal dyer which retains the colours of objects put in them like tea, king chilli powder, turmeric or ginger and passion fruit gel extractor. The serial innovator has been developing machinery that benefits the poorer sections of the society. Though it seems that most of his popular innovations are agriculture- based machinery, but each one is such which makes life easier for those in need.
Uddhab himself comes from very difficult circumstances. He used to skip meals and sleep on an empty stomach at times or borrow food to eat. When he was recognised for his first innovation, he couldn't even afford a hotel and had to sleep on a railway platform. Other than these recent international nominations, Bharali is also the winner of various national prestigious awards including the �President�s award for innovation in 2009� , �ShristiSamman - master innovator award� by the NIF-India in 2007 and is also the recipient of the �Meritorious Invention award 2010�, from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The National Innovation Foundation has been helping him out to innovate, facilitating licensing, and providing other technical support. Not only innovating and designing, Uddhab Bharali also manufactures some of the machines, usually built at UKB Agro-tech machine designing research centre. �Depending on the specifics, some of the machine parts may be outsourced, but only to people in his home district. These parts are then sent to UKB Agrotech where the parts are assembled to build the final product. UKB Agrotech has trained staff under me who work exclusively for UKB Agrotech. I am associated with the IIT RUTAG (Rural Technological Action Group), Guwahati and I have developed two machines, a cocoon opener and a cotton lap cutting device for use by common people. A third machine, a manual areca nut bisector is under the works. Other than this, I am associated with various government and non-governmental organisations,� Bharali said adding he is a resource scholar to many schools and colleges and takes entrepreneurial classes at the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati.
Describing his latest innovation, Uddhab Bharali said that he was thinking of inventing a machine by which a physically handicapped person can feed himself. �Motivated by the request of Juli Baruah, I innovated this machine and presented it to her,� he said with pride and stated that the machine is facilitated with all required facilities, by which one can have food including liquids. At first though the machine is to be used with the help of one�s legs, it will be developed into a �pocket-sized machine�. On the other hand, while contacted, Juli Baruah overwhelmed with the feeding machine said, �Pleasure of self-eating is really different, I have regained my lost pleasure.�
It needs mention that Juli Baruah, daughter of Khirendra Baruah of Dhakuakhana Duliagaon (Lakhimpur) had lost both her hands in a pathetic road accident in Laluk (Lakhimpur) on May 13, 2006. �Nowadays, many orders of machine-design are placed from across the globe and I am thinking to innovate a three wheeler which can be used by the handicapped like Juli Baruah,� Bharali said.