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Amrutbhai B. Agravat
Arjunbhai M. Paghdar
Badabhai S. Manat
Banidanbhai M. Gadhavi
Bhanjibhai B. Mathukia
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Category LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
 
Details Bhanjibhai (82 years), has been a tinkerer since his childhood. Among the many things he had developed over the years, the most important ones are a low cost check dam, 10/12 HP three and four wheel tractors and bullock operated sprayer. His son has inherited his innovative nature and has worked with him on a number of innovations. Bhanjibhai has always had the support of his wife and other family members in all his endeavours however, his family believes if his innovations would have brought more prosperity to them, it would have been really nice. Bhanjibhai, though, remains unfazed even to this date. Bhanjibhai is an innovative farmer and active leader in his village and community. He has also served as “Deputy Sarpanch” for five years in his village and was an active member of Kisan Sangh for many years. Soft spoken, and a man of few words, he had been a regular in many shodhyatras and has inspired thousands of farmers, artisans and young people met during these yatras. Bhanjibhai also tried developing a number of other innovations like a ground nut sprayer, low cost storage for grains at home, an air borne agricultural sprayer, etc. Low cost Check Dam Due to insufficient rainfall and poor water harvesting in past, the underground water level has been going down. He was deeply concerned with the problem of widespread water scarcity in Saurashtra. The first idea to solve this problem came to him in April 2002 after his participation in the eighth Shodhyatra in Alwar district, Rajasthan. The efforts made by ‘Tarun Bharat Sangh’ to conserve water made him think about his commitment to the future generations. Another inspiring factor was Government’s 60x40 check dam scheme, which made him think that if a dam was built at low cost, more dams could be built and more water could be conserved. Bhanjibhai has built check dam with series of semi-circular bunds on the river Dhrafad flowing through the innovator’s village. For constructing the dam he took stones of the size of 11x15 inches and placed the stones in the flowing water keeping a little distance between two stones. Later on this gap was filled up using river sand, stones and cement. The cost for this came up to Rs.10, 000 including the labour cost (then). He constructed this dam without any help from the government agencies. Due to this innovation, the surrounding region has stayed green for a far longer time compared to other areas. The wells in the neighbouring regions here also been charged. After this dam was completed, villages requested him to build another check dam downstream. He then build second check dam in collaboration with them. Similar check dams were constructed in many areas of Saurashtra region thereafter.
 
Volume No. Honey Bee 28(1) 14-15, 2017

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