Rajavva is a labourer in the paddy centre in Hanumajipet village, Telangana. Her job is to fill gunny bags with grains and she doesn’t work alone. It takes at least three people hours together to fill the gunny bags with the day’s quota of grains. It is tedious work but workers like Rajavva do not have any other option but to persevere. Marripelli Abhishek, Rajavva’s son, grew up watching his mother struggle at the centre. Six months ago his father migrated to Dubai to look for employment.
When the opportunity to participate in the National Level Inspire Science Exhibition (NLISE) held at IIT-Delhi arose, Abhishek, a class 8 student at the Zilla Parishad School, decided to participate with a machine that he had conceived to help ease his mother’s struggles.
He had a basic idea of what could help hamalis (labourers) like his mother fill gunny bags faster and with minimal effort. Though the idea had already germinated in the 13-year-old’s head, he needed guidance to build a working model. That’s where Venkatesham, a teacher at the ZP school stepped in to aid and abet the young innovator.
After a few trials and errors, Abhishek designed a paddy-filling device that reduced manual labour, thereby easing the work of the labourer.
Two wheels, an iron-sheet, iron pipe rods and a weighing machine go into creating the machine that costs between Rs 5000- 7000.
IPS officer, Akun Sabharwal, who is encouraging Abhishek to polish his design told The Better India, “The paddy-filling machine, primarily made of metal, has an opening on one side. An inlet area attached to a lever allows the paddy to be collected in it. The lever is then tilted completely to allow the grains to slide to the other side. A gunny bag is attached here to be filled.”
One gunny bag usually contains about 42 kg of paddy and one can imagine the labour that goes into filling it. Sabharwal further explained that Abhishek’s simple yet brilliant innovation completes the work faster and requires less number of people.
Abhishek won the third place at the NLISE and received a cash prize of Rs 10,000 as well as a laptop. But that was not all.
The little innovator is set to roll out his machine in the 4000 paddy purchasing centres across Telangana with Sabharwal’s aid!
Sabharwal, Commissioner of Civil Supplies with the Telangana government met Abhishek after the science exhibition. The young student’s machine so impressed the IPS officer that he decided to take it further.
Sabharwal told TBI, “It is a very useful innovation and people are willing to use it. In the forthcoming rabi season, which starts in the first week of April, we will be testing this model on a bigger scale. Abhishek’s model is fit for a person of his size. We need a machine which can be operated by a person who is between 5ft 5 inches to 6 feet tall.”
And so, the IPS officer has asked Abhishek to polish the design further and has gifted him with Rs 10,000 with a robot doll as encouragement. With the current model one has to collect the grains about six times to fill the bag whereas Sabharwal is hoping that the updated model will reduce the attempts to 2-3 times.
The Commissioner has also asked officials concerned to begin the process of obtaining a patent on Abhishek’s behalf. He has suggested the name Vari Abhishekam for the device.
IPS officer Sabharwal is planning to test the model in a few paddy purchasing centres in April. If the experiment spells success then the state will purchase the machine and use it the 4000 centres across Telangana.
Telangana is state where agriculture supports its economy. Therefore, even seemingly simple innovations come as a blessing to hamalis. Rice and maize are major crops of the state and whether it is farmers working in fields or labourers working in the tertiary sector, innovations like Vari Abhishekam can improve labour productivity.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)
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