Name : Refaz Ahmad Wani & Ishfaq Ahmad Wani, J&K
District & State : Anantnag, Jammu & Kashmir
Category : Engineering
Award : Consolation
Award Function : 7th National Grassroots Innovation Awards
Award Year : 2013
Refaz and Ishfaq (18) are twins from a small village in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. They never fail to surprise others with their creativity and hence they are known as the ‘Creative Twins’. They have an amazing line-up of ‘big ideas’, which includes a foldable water bottle, a hoe that also doubles up as a shovel, an easy apple catcher among others. Growing up in the remote village of Wandewalgam some 80 kilometers from Srinagar, they had little access to the outside world. Their father worked as a labourer in Delhi/ Jammu. Money was short and they had just enough for basic things. But this lack of resources shaped their creativity as they learnt to be self-reliant. Refaz remembers an Id when they were about four years old. “Our father had come home for Id. We were staring sadly at children playing with their new store-bought toys. But we couldn’t afford them. Our father noticed our unhappiness and took us outside promising us better toys than anyone else’s. He collected mud and showed us how to shape it into birds, people, cars and even snakes.” This became their favourite past time and they spent countless hours making these mud figurines that are proudly displayed in the house even today. In class five, they saw a JCB machine used in construction for the first time in their village. They were intrigued and set out making one of their own. Working hard for three weeks, they made a wooden model that could be operated by one person.