Uddhab Bharali - first Assamese to win NASA prize
Bharali was born on 7 April, 1962 in North Lakhimpur, a town in north-eastern Assam. He studied at Government Secondary School in Lakhimpur and later studied mechanical engineering. But because of acute poverty, he was dropped out of college in 1987. After being dropped out, he took odd jobs to support his big family. In 1995 Bharali lost his elder brother to liver sclerosis and he became the only earning member of his family. While his earning was not enough to support his family, by accident he stumbled upon the idea of innovation. He began innovating in 1988, and his first device was a polythene filmmaking unit which he sold for Rs 67,000. he continued working on his products until 2005 when his talent came to the attention of the National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad and they took him aboard as a grassroots innovator.
Bharali got world recognition through his 'pomegranate de-seeding machine' in 2006 was recognized as the first of its kind in the world. He has more than 98 inventions to his credit till 2014. Bharali ensures that his products can be used by the illiterate and the handicapped. Most of his products consume low power and are easy to operate. He has invented dozens of devices primarily to help farmers and small scale industries.
So far Bharali has been nominated for and won many prestigious awards for his inventions including the President's National Grassroots Innovation Award 2009, World Technology Award 2012, NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal 2012, Shristi Samman 2007, Meritorious Invention Award 2010 etc.
Some of his innovations are -