Credits his ‘sincere efforts’ of past 3 years; ‘rough conditions’ of farmers his motivation
Srinagar: Zamin Sufie, a Class 10 student who lives in Soura locality of Srinagar, has invented a machine that performs multiple agricultural activities, from paddy transplanting to sowing, digging, watering and manuring.
Without any formal support from outside, Zamin has been working on the project for the past 3 years, in the lawns of his house.
“The idea of inventing a machine like this came to my mind when my family took me to a village in Ganderbal where we had few kanals of paddy land. There I was saddened to see the rough conditions of workers. Many of them had developed skin ailments due to routine work in muddy and marshy fields,” the 16-year-old Zamin says.
One day, when he came back from a field, he drew the sketch of a machine that could be used for transplanting paddy saplings in quick time.
“From that very moment I started working on that sketch to give it a material shape. I bought binding paper and modeled it on the same pattern that I had thought of. I felt it was workable and not too difficult to build,” says Zamin who has been working tirelessly to make his invention readily available in the market.
Zamin says it took him just six months to complete his invention, but it served only one function at that time – that of transplanting paddy saplings.
“I wanted my invention to be multi-functional, so that it really serves people, especially the farmers, in their daily chores,” Zamin says. So he went to work again, trying to add many dimensions to his machine.
It has cost him more than fifty thousand rupees, his savings of past six years, but Zamin says it is money well spent.
“Unlike my friends, who I hardly meet because of time constraints, I prefer to spend my pocket money on iron plates, rods, nuts and bolts for the machine. I also had to pay the iron smith for moulding and welding of raw material. To save a few pennies, I used to pull the cart myself for ferrying the raw material,” Zamin says.
He says the machine would have been completed long ago but he lacked the resources. “I had to sit idle for many days, once for six months, because of resource constraints. During those periods I kept saving my pocket money. I made use of caps of plastic bottles to work as wheels before I actually bought the iron wheels,” the boy proudly says.
Many a time he had to dismantle the machine to make modifications, whenever any new idea came to his mind.
Even though Zamin’s invention is complete, he wishes to make it programmable. For this he intends to go outside the state, probably to Chandigarh, to learn how to programme a machine.
“I don’t have any contacts or ready resources. Whatever little I have done is because of my sincere efforts. Now I need technical as well as monetary assistance to make my machine the way I have conceived it,” Zamin says.
Last year, when National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar organised the 5-day international conference ‘INSPIRE’, Zamin was invited by NIT officials to present his paper on his new invention.
“He approached us with his new innovation and we were impressed by it. We promised him support in whatever way we could and encouraged him to carry on with his work,” says Mohammad Ashraf Shah, head of physics department of NIT Srinagar.
He said that even though his department had little to do with agricultural activities, but “for young innovators like Zamin, our department has thrown its gates open and would continue to encourage them to bring laurels for us.”
“Seeing his dedication, we invited him to the international conference held for the first time in J&K, where he was also given a ‘Young Innovator’ award for his invention,” Shah said.
Zamin says he was offered a fellowship last year by a Nigerian University when he emailed his idea to them.
“They told me to come and work there on my project. But they put up a condition that I won’t sell my innovation to anyone other than the university, which I declined categorically,” he says, adding, “It’s my project. It was started by me and I would complete it with the help of the Almighty.”