Life Contributions of two Assamese Padma Shri Winners

Tuesday, 24 November 2020


Life Contributions of two Assamese Padma Shri Winners

Chandrika Das | February 13, 2019 18:41 hrs

Assam's noted surgeon and population expert Dr Ilias Ali and Science and Engineering-Grassroots Innovator, Uddhab Bharali have been conferred with the Padma Shri.

Dr Ilias Ali has made numerous contributions towards the nation in the field of Medicine-Surgery, on the other hand, Uddhab Kumar Bharali has made an enormous contribution in the field of Science and Engineering-Grassroots Innovation.

The duo made it in the list of 94 Padma Shri awardee list in 2019.

Here are the highlights of the significant contributions made by the two towards the society and mankind.

Uddhab Bharali:

Uddhab bharali, often known as the King of innovation, was born and brought up in Lakhimpur in a family that was in financial doldrums. Although he was a bright student since his early days, he could not complete his studies due to financial constraints.

His early life was basically about poverty stricken days and hungry nights, but then, it was those hard days that actually made him the colossus that he is today.

Uddhab Bharali has always been in love with Mathematics and Science. Today, from machines that can help physically challenged people commute to machines which can deseed pomegranates, Bharali has more than 150 innovations to his credit.

Burdened with debt at a very tender age, Bharali had to take up a project with a polythene making company where he invented a polythene making machine to help the tea garden workers. The machine was invented at a subsidized cost of Rs 67,000. With this project, he went to pay off his debts.

My life has been a difficult one. I would not have been capable of achieving anything, if I'd have sat and complained. Life kept throwing new opportunities and I kept grabbing each of them. Hard times come to all people, what matters is how we deal with it."

Between 1990 and 2005, the innovator invented 24 machines.

In the year 2006, Bharali invented a machine which could peel pomegranate seeds, which turned out to be one of his most popular inventions. The machine could separate the outer skin of a pomegranate from the thinner membrane without any damage to the seeds. The machine can deseed approximately 55 kgs of pomegranates in one hour.

The machine soon gained global popularity and orders started pouring from US, Japan and Turkey.

In addition to this machine, the innovator had invented machines that could peel garlic, effortlessly cut betel nuts, polish bras utensils, peel passion fruit seeds etc. His inventions are made to make life and living easier for the common people. His invention "Areca Nut Peeler" can peel 100-120 nuts per minute, and "Cassava Peeler" - an electronic gadget that can process up to 5 kgs of cassava per minute. His rice planting machine is yet another marvel. The low cost machine is designed to double rice yield to boost the economy of Assam.

People of Assam often relate him to the character of Ranchodas Shyamaldas Chanchad played by Aamir Khan in the movie '3 Idiots.'

He is the recipient of Shristi Sanman Award in 2007, President's Grassroots Innovation Award, 2009. He is the winner of Engineering Design contest organised by NASA Tech "Create the Future Design Contest" for 2012 and 2013. He is also the recipient of Rashtriya Ekta Sanman in 2013.

Dr Ilias Ali:

The retired surgeon of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Dr Ilias Ali traverses like a nomad to advocate birth control, especially among Assam's rural Muslim populace.

The 63-year-old has been on a mission to educate people about Population Control and motivate people to adopt 'No Scalpel Vasectomy' (NSV). His works are primarily focussed in the state's Bengali Muslim dominating areas, where people view NSV and consumption of contraceptive pills as going against the Islamic religion.

Ali was born in 1955, at village named Jajia (presently Ghopeli) of Darang district. He completed his primary education from Baghmara Primary School, and metric from Chengeliajhar Higer Secondary School in 1973. He received the degree of MBBS in 1982 from Gauhati Medical College and the degree of Master of Surgery in 1987. He received training of Leproscopic Surgery from Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi in 1994, Cancer Surgery from Mumbai Tata Memorial Hospital in 1996, Advanced Leproscopic Surgery from Ethicon Institute in 1997, training in NSV from Maulana Azad Medical College in 1994, Pancreatic Surgery from Greece in 1998, and training in NSV from Greece in 2002.

Dr Ilias Ali today stands as one of the most expert and popular surgeons of Guwahati. He had served as Chief Trainer, NSV Scheme, Govt of Assam; Chief Modal Officer, National Health Mission; Senior Advisor, Assam family Planning Department; NSV Specialist, Govt of India; Member of Population Policy Making Committee; Inspector, Medical Council of India, Govt of India.

He has conducted over 1 lakh vasectomy throughout the rural areas of the state to spread awareness among the people about Population Control. He has also been travelling across Assam to spread message on women education, women empowerment, environment protection, pollution control etc.

His initiative Global Hospital of Surgery today is providing healthcare service to several Guwahatians.

In his words, “Population is the main reason behind the imbalance in nature and disturbance in the society today. We as society need to understand the problem and spread the awareness of birth control.”                       

Dr Ilias Ali has been primarily focussing to educate the non-indigenous Muslim people of the state. Socially and demographically, it has been observed that in this community there is a high rate of child marriage, illiteracy, poverty, bigamy or polygamy, which in turn leads to big families.                                                               

He was nominated by Assam Government for Padma Shri in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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