Rice Thresher

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A young boy who grew up in the lush green paddy fields understood the enormous costs in sustaining agriculture. Finally, he devised a mechanical rice thrasher that has low weight, is safe and is efficient, reports Samreena Nazir

Apparently, it is a just a rectangular structure with a lid. But inside it has a thin circular wooden rod around which a wheel with sharp headed nails arranged in a sequential manner, moves. This is an innovation of a young man.
For a very long time, Sheikh Zubair, now 24, wanted to create a machine that could reduce manpower requirement in a thrashing of paddy. Finally, he developed a light-weight thresher that easily separates the grain from its stalk and husk. It is quite safe for use and easy to operate.

The little innovation that has been successfully tested by the inventor, however, is still not patented. Zubair says he lacks enough funds for this.

At an early age, he always scouted for collecting fragments of different things to attempt creating new tools. This had converted his courtyard into a junkyard. But he calls it his workshop.

A young innovator, Zubair hails from Muniward village in south Kashmir where almost 90 percent of the households grow paddy.

“Farming has become expensive in comparison to earlier times, and keeping in view the labour, service and time I created this thresher which demands less service and gives more effective results,” said Zubair.

His mother, Gulshana Akhter considered him an “eager kid” in comparison to his other siblings. “He always used to make a heap of things around the house and would always first disjoin the television, radio and other gadgets and then re-joined them back,” she remembers. “He always used to ask me questions about things but I had never been to school, I could hardly answer his enquiries.”

When he was in the eighth standard, Zubair remembers accompanying his father for electrical wiring of houses. “To be honest, what I do is actually my father’s inspiring side,” Zubair said.

Unfortunately, however, Zubair lost his father in a road accident in 2011 when he was 18. Sheikh Abdul Rashid, his father, was an employee in Rural Development Department.

After completing his matriculation from Hanfiya Model High School, Zubair stepped out to garnish his skills. Instead of getting admission in Secondary School, he got admitted to Master Institute of Technology for a diploma in electrical engineering. Later, he did diploma in electrician and wiring man.

With a curious brain, Zubair was always fascinated by machines. He once created a solar mobile charging device and surprised his friends.

The latest innovation for which he was awarded by the Deputy Commissioner, Islamabad on January 26, simplifies the process of threshing paddy. Traditionally, the process requires a lot of human resource who beat the paddy against the threshing drum and then small straws and chaff are separated by waving or winnowing. But Zubair’s threshing machine has a lower operating cost in comparison to traditional methods. His machine works on kerosene, solar energy and on electricity also.

Zubair is presently pursuing B Tech as a non-regular student in electronics at Universal Group of Colleges, Punjab. He has to his credit other innovations too like electrical bike and Kerosene car which are yet in process.

After his father’s death, the family earnings dried up. The loss burdened him and his other siblings and the only priority was to keep the family hearts going. So his status of being a non-regular student in an outside college, helped him manage a fabric shop at Kulgam. From there, he earns a bit and contributes to the family kitty.

“Kashmiri youth are much talented and have a knack for doing wonders but all they need is an encouraging environment and positive grooming,” Zubair said. “Even I had to go out of state to buy some required equipment because of unavailability of such material here in Kashmir.”

Zubair said the “enabling environment” is missing in Jammu and Kashmir. “No government agency came to my help,” he said. “It is only my motivation that keeps me going. But this also is a reality that while I have an innovation in hand, I have no funds to manage a patent.”

Right now, it is his elder brother Zadah Irfan who is helping him chase his dreams. Irfan serves the Rural Development Department in his father’s place.

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