In his eighties, one would think that people usually hang their boots and wait for death to come knocking! But not so Annasaheb Bhavu Udgavi. He not only has his childlike curiosity intact, with an active brain to innovate but abundance of zeal and enthusiasm, which can put most youth to shame!
Annasaheb has always been an innovator and all grassroot inventions. The Govt of India has also recognized his contribution and he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from National Innovation Foundation-India. His contributions in agriculture and renewable energy are milestones.
In 1960, he developed a clock which ran on drops of water. The second’s hand of the clock moved forward when a drop of water fell on it from a dispenser, which had been timed properly. In 1962, he made a horizontal charkha that was foldable and could fit into a suitcase. He displayed this at Sabarmati Ashram, which improvised on his design, and increased the number of ‘belanis’ from three to eight in the conventional one, in order to increase the output.
He innovated drip irrigation way back in 1970 when this terminology did not even exist. To save his betel vine orchard from acute water scarcity, Annasaheb fitted PVC pipes used in electrical fittings with perforations made on them using nails. By irrigating each day for one hour, he ran the crops for seven years.
In 80’s, to protect his sugarcane crop from pests, he created the rotor sprinkler system called ChandraPrabha that could cover a radius of 140 feet. Besides whisking the pests away, it can irrigate 1 acre in 1.5 hours. In early 1990s, Annasaheb made a foot-operated milking machine using a suction pump.
His innovations are legendary and continue to work, just like his mind, which continues to tick and invent ways to simplify agriculture.