Name : Navajit Bharali
District & State : Dhemaji, Assam
Category : Engineering
Award : National
Award Function : 9th National Grassroots Innovation Awards
Award Year : 2017
Navajit Bharali (23) is a young innovator from Assam who has come up with two useful innovations namely a spinning cum reeling machine and an electronic chair bike for the specially abled. Troubled by the tedious process of reeling and spinning, Navajit developed an automatic machine which is time efficient and can process different types of silk. Affected by the plight of differently abled, Navajit also developed a hands free electronic chair bike, which works on the simple principle of body pressure.
Being the youngest of three sons, Navajit’s had a pampered childhood. He recalls having a radio as their pride possession then. The radio was the new big thing in the village and it brought the community together on countless events. Navajit’s father was particularly fond of their radio. He would take it everywhere and after a tiring day in the field, he could be found relaxing in the courtyard while listening to the radio. Navajit recalls that when he was quite young, once his elder brother had switched off the radio when their father was humming along with a song being played on it. This had angered hum much and in a fit of rage he had broken the radio. His brother who had a knack for tinkering with things somehow managed to fix the radio but the broken side panel could not be completely repaired.
Every time someone visited Navajit’s they would always notice the broken radio and inquire about it. Soon, many in the village started consulting Navajit’s brother to fix their radios whenever a problem arose. The village did not have electricity then and a radio, being an object for entertainment and also listening to the news, mattered a lot. His brother soon mastered the art of fixing the radio and while he worked on the radios, Navajit keenly watched his brother from a distance as he was not allowed to touch anything. Later his brother left home to join his duty in CRPF but not before warning Navajit not to meddle around in his workshop. However, the first thing that Navajit did was to enter the workshop and dismantle everything in his eyesight. Curious by nature, he would open electronic parts and try to configure different mechanisms. Playing around in the workshop soon turned out to be his hobby and he started mastering the art of fixing things just like his older brother.
The villagers being unaware of his brother’s job would still bring broken radios to their house. Many returned disappointed, however Navajit’s first customer trusted him. Navajit fondly recalls the first radio he ever fixed and when asked the fee he took five rupees and bought a big packet of snacks for himself. Soon Navajit became the new radio mechanic in the village. Initially he made mistakes, which he corrected eventually as his experience grew. Through numerous trials and errors, Navajit with time excelled in fixing TVs, Tape recorders, Inverters etc.
The Social Innovator: Navajit Bharali, who has been quite innovative since a very young age, is currently pursuing his postgraduate studies in philosophy (his submission to NIF was received when he was in his first year of bachelors in arts). He mentions that when it comes to machinery, he can capture the functioning with a photographic memory. Always inquisitive, he cannot rest until he finds out solutions of any problem. Navajit considers his family to be the biggest support. He owes everything to his mother who has always supported him emotionally and financially through her small savings. She realized his passion at a very young age and no matter what always encouraged his creativity.
Modest by nature, Navajit believes that everyone should have a decent standard of living. According to him, people in the peripheries of the society need to be uplifted and everyone should progress equally. He is a compassionate human being, who thinks in depth and tries to perceive any situation from another’s point of view. He cannot tolerate other’s misery and wants to find ways through his creativity to help the economically weaker section.