Name : Mohd Rafiq Ahanger
District & State : Anantnag, Jammu & Kashmir
Category : Utility
Award : State
Award Function : 9th National Grassroots Innovation Awards
Award Year : 2017
Mohd Rafiq Ahanger (42), a blacksmith by profession, and an innovator, has developed a multipurpose tool, which can be used as an axe, hammer, chisel, blade, screw driverfor domestic or other carpentry tasks.
Born in the family of blacksmiths, Rafiq did not have an easy childhood due to financial problems. It was tough for his father to raise eight children, two sons and six daughters. He mention that though they come from lower income background, he never felt poor due to the many sacrifices his parents made for their children, in an attempt to give the best possible upbringing. Since childhood he had access to blacksmith tools, iron and steel, with which he liked to play a lot. He tried repairing old gadgets, make toys from iron, or simply make small replicas. His parents never stopped him from doing anything he wanted. He studied till class ten and then took up odd jobs before finally settling into his father’s workshop.
In 1995, at the age of 20 years, he started his own workshop where he started making grill gates, different iron structures for household use along with the motor repairing work. Born and brought up in a rural area, Rafiq identifies with the problems people have to face and that reflects in the kind of products/ innovations he comes up with. Given the pathetic condition of electricity in the region, for his workshop, he was in dire need of an electricity generator but he could not afford it. He thought of designing a pressure generator for producing electricity by pressing it continuously. Rafiq claims to have developed a generator,which could that can produce 40W electricity by pressing it continuously. This won him a lot of admiration in the district and he got invited to the Islamic University of Science and Technology to demonstrate his device. For there he got linked to the GIAN Cell J&K, regional office of NIF established in partnership with the University of Kashmir, at Srinagar.
Rafiq devotes most of his time working on his innovations and developing new prototypes. His wife has been very considerate and supportive of his efforts and has offloaded much of the family responsibilities from his shoulders so that he can continue his work. She hopes one day the persistence of her husband gets recognised. ‘Mehnat tas Chu fal’, she says meaning hard work secures reward.