HYDERABAD: Ashok, a rural innovator from Suryapet, was awarded first prize at the Students Engineering Model Competition held at the India International Science Festival (IISF) organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences in Kolkata on Friday.
The 17-year-old had invented a low-cost, portable paddy hand weeder, a device that would help remove large weeds from paddy fields. IT Minister KT Rama Rao appreciated Ashok and assured to help him in his future endeavours.
Phanindra Sama, Telangana State Innovation Cell’s Chief Innovation Officer stated that the agriculture sector was in need of more such innovations.
A Class XII student, Ashok has been pursuing vocational agriculture at Devarkonda Vocational Junior College as a parallel course. He aims to make more innovations that can solve pressing problems in the agriculture sector, especially for small farmers.
Paddy is one of the major crops grown in Telangana. Women have to bend forward to remove the weeds, which is a strenuous task. Sometimes the weeds grow longer roots and make the task even more difficult. Identifying this problem, Ashok invented a low cost and portable paddy hand weeder.
Ashok already has three innovations to his name, including an alarm for the deaf that releases an odour at a fixed time, and a multipurpose hand-tool for small farmers that can do four essential activities at an affordable cost, like weeding in cotton and chili crops, seed-bed preparation, gathering paddy grains, and drying paddy grass.
His innovations were exhibited at various places across the country with the help of the Telangana State Innovation Cell (TSIC) and is now demanded by various farmers across the state.
Presently, he has more than 15 orders for his product. Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao and Peddapalli ZP Chairman Putta Madhu were also present at the meeting.