New Delhi: An ageing farmer from Andhra Pradesh who wanted to alleviate the time-consuming and labour intensive process of sowing seeds after a harvest has been awarded a prize for his innovation.
Farmer Tondepi Guruvaiah walked away with the second prize of Rs 3 lakh for his 'HerbiSprayer' at the 'Samsung Innovation Quotient', which was held here recently.
The winning innovation is a machine that converts a simple-utility tractor into a multi-utility to enable farmers who do not have sufficient labour power.
"The innovation is solely his. He worked tirelessly, day in and day out to bring this idea to fruition. His wife told me that he'd wake up at 3 in the morning and start thinking of solving the problems of his fellow farmers. He did seven iterations before realising that his idea has worked," says retired Brigadier, P Ganesham, who has been helping Guruwaih.
Also, a young entrepreneur from Ahmedabad bagged the top innovation prize at the occasion, which selected and awarded top three innovations from among the six shortlisted candidates from across the country.
Leo Mavely, won the grand top prize of Rs 5 lakhs for his life-saving product Axiostat, a medically-enhanced pad for stopping uncontrolled bleeding from traumatic wounds.
"I wasn't really expecting it. It came as a big surprise. But I don't think there should be any competition for innovations. All six innovations are winners for me. As they are six different innovations, six different great ideas which will transform the world fundamentally," the elated and humble winner, originally hailing from Thrissur, Kerala told PTI in an interview after the event.
"Roughly 1.5 lakh road accidents happen in India every year and 30 pc of them lead to uncontrolled bleeding. So, if we can stop that profuse bleeding, we can save many lives," says Leo who hails from Thrissur, Kerala.
He also says the challenge now lay in popularising the idea.
"Death due to road accidents in India is distressing. In many cases casualty happens not due to injury but due to profuse bleeding. MORE
I thought if one could devise a mechanism to stop that, we could save many lives," explains Leo.
A bio-engineer from MBU Rohtak, Leo started working on his idea asan independent researcher at the Nirma Labs in Ahmedabad. The project was jointly taken up at the incubation centre by the Lab as well as the Department of Science of Technology in 2007. "And, by 2008 the product was ready," he told PTI.
"We were expecting the farmer innovation team to win," said Madhur Gupta, a 4th Year Engineering student, who formed part of an IIT-Delhi team which won the innovation award last year.
Arun Shenoy from Mumbai, finished second runners-up with prize money of Rs 2 lakh for the geo-thermal air-conditioning innovation called 'GIBBS'.
Appraising and appreciating the winners Mohandas Pai, chief guest and jury member emphasised on the need for "institutionalising a mechanism" for promoting innovation to "create new leaders" that can impact the India Inc in the long run.
"We need institutionalised mechanism to recognise and find such innovations and expand its impact so as to create new leaders for the country. Innovation will come from all sectors but I believe mostly it is the small-scale entrepreneurs who will work wonders," Pai told PTI.
"Large business structures and the corporates guided by the market economics, have a self-imposed financial paradigm that reduces scope for innovation. And, so expecting a big company to innovate itself fundamentally is a pipe dream," Pai told PTI.