Pomegranate de-seeder arecanut peeler bamboo splitting machine and others
Name : Uddhab Bharali
District & State : Lakhimpur, Assam
Category : Agricultural (General)
Award : National
Award Function : 5th National Grassroots Innovation Awards
Award Year : 2009
Uddhab Bharali (45) is a serial innovator who has designed and prototyped an entire range of mechanical innovations since his first innovation in 1987. He has innovated around eighty-five engineering devices for different purposes. Out of these thirteen have found commercial applications, albeit most being individual custom orders from different parts of the country. As of today, he has set up a research workshop in his idyllic hometown of North Lakhimpur. It is a small town, on the banks of the Brahmaputra river and in the foothills of the Himalayas, surrounded by lush tea gardens on gentle slopes. He has set up a workshop to help local communities and industries solve their technological needs.
Born in a middle class family in North Lakhimpur District of Assam, Uddhab completed his schooling from Lakhimpur. After that his interest in making machines prompted him to take admission in the Jorhat Engineering College. Unfortunately he had to leave the course after three months because of the recurrent problems due to Assam Agitation. He then thought of doing the same course via correspondence and took admission in the Institute of Engineers-India Madras chapter, in Chennai. Unfortunately, this time also he could not complete the course and only had time to complete the AMIE Sec-a due to the sudden death of his father. He was called back as his family was neck-deep in debts. However, he used his flair for developing machines to repay his father’s debts by starting a polythene film making industry in 1988 to cater to the demand from the surrounding tea estates. Instead of buying the “Polythene Making Machine”, which then costed around four Lakh rupees, he designed and developed the same machine at a cost of only sixty seven thousand rupees. The success of this machine gave Bharali the confidence to develop more machines. After repaying his father’s debts, in 1995, Uddhab Bharali got a contract for looking after the machineries used in a hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh at a place near the China Border, where people usually didn’t prefer to work. After three years he had to come back to his hometown due to the death of his elder brother due to liver sclerosis.
At present, Bharali’s extended family comprises his wife and a five year-old son, his widowed mother, widowed sister-in-law, three young sisters and a younger brother. Bharali, a positive thinking person, also plans to get his widowed sister-in-law married as, according to him, everyone has the right to live his or her life to the full content of his/her heart. Besides innovating new machines, Bharali likes to read books on medicine and also has an informal degree in Homeopathy.
Since he first developed the Polythene making machine in 1988, Bharali has developed a number of machines, which he considers as his main assets that have and will always help in his time of need. Some of these machines are:
Pomegranate De-seeder: It 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. The machine has been exported to Turkey and USA.
Arecanut Peeler: Annoyed by the injuries caused while peeling the areca nuts manually, he developed an areca nut peeling machine with a capacity of peeling 100-120 nuts per minute.
Cassava peeler: It is a portable electric machine that can process up to five kg of cassava per minute. NIF facilitated the technology licensing on non-exclusive basis to a Guwahati based entrepreneur. One unit has even been sold to a customer based in Kenya.
Bamboo processing machines: Bamboo processing by hand is a time consuming and difficult process. Bharali has developed an assembly of machines that can perform operations like splitting long lengths of bamboo, sizing, surface finishing, polishing etc. These units have been installed with the help of NIF in a CFC (Common Facility Centre) of the NERCRMP (North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project) at North Cachar hills.
Product application and dispersion
52/KOL/2004, 239/KOL/2004, 719/KOL/2005