Uddhab Bharali

Uddhab Bharali, (born 7 April 1962) is an Indian inventor from the Lakhimpur district of Assam. Bharali is credited with about 118 innovations, starting from the late 1980s.

 

Life

Early life

Bharali was born on 7 April 1962 in the Lakhimpur district of Assam. His father was a businessman.

Student life

He studied in the Government Higher Secondary School of North Lakhimpur. He was often punished to stand outside the classroom because he often asked difficult questions to his mathematics teacher. He was awarded, and double promoted twice, first from Class I to III, and then again from Class VI to VIII. While he was studying in Class VIII, he was able to solve some of the toughest sums of Class XI and XII. He then went on to study Mechanical Engineering in Jorhat Engineering CollegeInstitute of Engineers Madras Chapter in Chennai. However, he was only able to complete AMIE sec 1, due to the prevalent financial burden on his family.

Career

In 1988, when his family was in debt, he decided to start a polythene cover making business catering to Tea Estates in Assam. Instead of spending about ₹570,000 (US$8,000) on buying a machine, he designed his own machine for about ₹67,000 (US$940). Bharali was then determined to continue building machines, rather than buying them.

Bharali’s family was under heavy-debts and Uddhab was always under pressure from Banks for repayment. His brother died in 1995, after which he was the sole earning member in his family, and he started earning money by his innovations, focused to solve issues around Lakhimpur district with Agriculture and small-scale industries being his targets. Focusing on agricultural output, Bharali went on to build a variety of peeler machines to peel betel nutcassavagarlicjatropha, coconut and safed musli, and also re-designed Assamese paddy grinder, that could be operated by only turning a wheel. He also invented bamboo processing machine to cut-polish-surface finish long bamboos, cutters for and green tea leaves, etc. The best part of all these are being they were indigenous, low-cost, and could be operated by a single person. He gathers the raw materials for his inventions from scraps. His last facet is expected to be a life-saver in the coming years for disabled people around Lakhimpur.

Helping differently-skilled people

With his machines being used around the locality, Bharali was approached by needy, if he could help them. Bharali started offering support both in the form of monthly-monetary support and calipers and others to better their lot. Machines to feed the disabled, slippers for knees, cleaners, and de-weeders for amputees, the list of his inventions kept growing. Bharali makes it a point to avoid publicity and shuns the marketing budget to sell his wares.

Commercial establishment

Under his own firm, U.K.B Agrotech at Lakhimpur, Bharali works on assignments he receives from various establishments.

Recognition

Facilitated by National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF), Bharali was offered fiscal support under the Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP) Scheme at the Department of Scientific and Industrial ResearchGovernment of India. Bharali started getting covered in Assamese Press for his variety of machines. Discovery Channel and other global media. On 5 July 2012, Bharali was entered into an online voting competition for the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal for his design of a bench-top pomegranate de-seeder.

He is a recipient of the National Innovation Foundation- India’s National Grassroots Innovation Award, 2009. In 2007, he got ‘SRISTI Samman’. He is also the recipient of ‘Rashtriya Ekta Samman, in 2013. He was one of the speakers in TEDx at ISM Dhanbad held in October 2014. In 2019, Government of India conferred on him Padmashree, the 4th highest civilian award of the country.

Awards

Uddhab Bharali was awarded a honorary Doctorate from Assam Agricultural University (AAU) in 2014 and a honorary PhD from Kaziranga University . He has also received

  • Meritorious Invention Award 2010, NRDC,
  • Certificate of Merit, NRDC, 2010, from the government of India,
  • Prayukty Ratna Title in 2010 from Asom Sahitya Seva,
  • Shilpa Ratna Title in 2012 by Asom Satra Mahasava,
  • Rashtriya Ekta Samman, in 2013,
  • NICT Perfect 10 Award, ABP Media Group, and The Telegraph,
  • Chief MinisterBest Awardee award in 2013, from the Government of Assam,
  • ERDF excellence award in 2014,
  • Pratidin Time Media achiever award in 2015,
  • Kamala Kanta Saikia National award in 2016,
  • Asom Gourav award in 2016,
  • Romoni Gabhoru award in 2016, from Atasu Assam,
  • Swayamsiddh Shri Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman in 2017, by JSPL,
  • Winner Of Engineering Design, in a contest organised by NASA, Tech Briefs Media called “Create The Future Design Contest 2012” for a bench-top pomegranate de-seeder – which was placed 2nd in the Top Ten Most Popular Inventions category,
  • Winner NASAtech brief “Create the Future Design contest 2013”, for the invention of a detention chair for a mentally challenged person,
  • Qualified for NASA tech brief “Create the Future Design contest 2014” for the invention of a feeding device for people without hands,
  • Qualifier – World Tech Award in 2012, for the invention of a mini tea plant,
  • Pioneer Award, in 2017,
  • Excellence Award in 2018 from the Mahatma Gandhi Universityin Meghalaya,
  • and the Padma ShriAward in 2019.