Mansukh Prajapati, of Wankaner, made a refrigerator from a special clay. The village fridge has three chambers, one of which is for cooling water, and it requires no electricity to run. His innovation has now found a place on a programme of Discovery Channel.
Though Prajapati’s Miticool had been recognised by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) some time back, the grassroot innovator’s efforts will now reach the global audience through the programme. The Channel has made short documentary films on 18 different grassroot innovations from all across the country and five of them are from Gujarat.
The success stories of these rural innovators will be broadcast by the Channel on its programme ‘Beyond Tomorrow’. The Channel made a presentation on the films before the media in the city on Thursday.
‘‘I want to market this product because it is very useful in rural areas. The fridge costs Rs 2,000, and the clay filter between Rs 200 and Rs 400. I have sold many pieces and it is still in demand. One can also store food in miticool for some time,’’ said Prajapati, who was there at the presentation programme.
Like Prajapati, four other innovators from Gujarat were also present. One of them was Dhanjibhai Kerai, a physically-challenged man from Kutch, who has modified his LML scooter and made it suitable for a person with similar disabilities.
‘‘The first scooter I modified I sold in a neighbouring village. Then I modified another new scooter,’’ Kerai said, adding that ‘‘I am willing to sell this design.’’
Dinesh Asodiya’s windmill-operated generator can deliver up to 100 watts of power. ‘‘The generator has unique speed governing system which greatly reduces its starting torque. The generator can start operating at lower wind speeds. It can be useful for farm lighting and rural lighting in coastal areas,’’ Asodiya says.
Arvindbhai Patel’s natural water cooler and Bhanjibhai’s 10 HP mini tractor are two other innovations that have found place on ‘Beyond Tomorrow’. While the natural water cooler cools water to about 26 degrees Celsius using natural evaporation, the three-wheeled mini tractor is useful for farming needs of small farmers in sandy soil areas.
The Channel’s programme will highlight other Indian innovations, including the amphibious bicycle made by Mohammad Saidullah from Bihar. The Channel has identified the 18 Indian grassroot innovations with NIF’s help.
NIF has documented 12,000 innovations and has got a database of traditional knowledge shared by people from across 450 districts of the country. ‘‘An US entrepreneur approached us for the tree-climber developed by Appachan from Kerala. We sent him a sample and now he believes he can market it in a big way,’’ said Anil Gupta, executive vice chairperson of NIF.
Eminent scientist Prof Yashpal, who was present during the presentation, said that social and technological innovations should be brought together. ‘‘It is very important in a country like ours,’’ he said. IIM-A Director Prof Bakul Dholakia said it was important to increase the self-belief and confidence of a grassroot innovator. ‘‘This can be done by identifying the market for these innovators,’’ he said.
Ahmedabad News Line