Ace innovator Uddhab Bharali, who became famous for his path breaking invention of pomegranate de-seeder, has gifted his 161st innovation to 15-year-old Uday Shankar Baruah. The Padma Shri awardee innovator gave the young boy, who cannot move his limbs or speak since birth, a device that he has named as 'moving lifter'. According to Bharali, the device is aimed to ease the hardship of Uday and many like him for whom life is contantly an uphill journey.
"For many disabled people across the country, I am the one point solution. I keep getting phone calls on requirements which can make their life a bit easy. I have been working on this 'moving lifter' since early 2019 and have made many changes to the original one. One should understand that it’s not only the person with disability or on the wheel chair who suffers, it has been observed that people who need to lift the disabled person every day too suffer from shoulder bone dislocation or back bone aliments. The 'moving lifter' is a device meant to ease these difficulties," said Bharali.
The 'moving lifter' is a lift with wheels which works on hydraulics. A harness in the lift helps the disabled person confined to the wheelchair to be lifted and transported to the bed, toilet or bathroom. The framed machine which can lift up to 1.5 ton of weight facilitates the movement of the disabled person with the help of a single person. It also makes the process of changing clothes of the disabled person much easier.
"Dedicating the 'moving lifter' to Uday on the International Day of Persons with Disability is purely coincidental. I have been visiting the boy for the last one and a half year. Once my vehicle turtled on the road while visiting him, luckily I escaped unhurt. The demand for such a machine came from the young boy and his parents, who were not rich but were in pain after having to lift him for the past 15 years. The 'mobile lifter' has a portable wheelchair which can be dismantled into several small parts. It has a detachable arm which makes fitting into the chair much easier unlike the conventional ones. It also has a toilet seat," Bharali said.
The best part of Bharali’s innovation is that it is indigenous, low-cost and can be operated by a single person. He gathers the raw materials for his inventions from scraps. Along with the 'moving lifter', Bharali also gifted Uday a special spoon attachment which enables him to eat on his own from the plate, a thing which the young boy would have never been able to try in his life.
"You should have seen the innocent smile on his face. Amazingly, he started eating with the spoon once I fitted it to his fingers. Due to the limitation in limb movement such people take longer time to perform their actions. I now have to make four more such 'moving lifters', which shall come into the aid of a couple of students from Mangaldoi and Jorhat district of Assam.
Bharali spent around Rs 15,000 in making the 'moving lifter' and the portable wheelchair but he is giving it for free. Having several patent to his name, Bharali has decided to release the technology on YouTube so that those in need can make it for themselves. He runs an old age home, an orphanage and provides a pension of 2,500 rupees to nine needy persons in the state.
Bharali was born on April 7, 1962 in the Lakhimpur district of Assam. Focusing on agricultural output, he went on to build a variety of peeler machines to peel beetle nut, cassava, garlic, jatropha 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. All his inventions are indigenous, low-cost and can be operated by a single person. The raw materials, gathered from scrap, are facilitated by the National Innovation Foundation, India (NIF).
The innovator is a recipient of the National Innovation Foundation's National Grassroots Innovation Award, 2009. In 2019, the government of India conferred on him Padmashree, the fourth highest civilian award in the country.
Speaking about his work, Bharali said, "There are 143 assignments that I am working on. The Government of Assam has asked me to look into the acute water shortage in Umananda Temple at the Peacock islands of Guwahati, the smallest river island of the country."