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INNOVATOR PROFILE

Ravjibhai Savaliya
Babapur in district Amreli, Gujarat
Volume - 19
 
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In 1958, in a small village Babapur in district Amreli, all the efforts of engineers to start a new water pumping machine had failed. On the insistence of a villager, a 12-year old boy from amongst the curious villagers, was allowed to tinker with the machine and to everyone’s surprise, he made it work! This boy, Ravjibhai Savaliya grew up to be known as a ‘maverick innovator’ in Gujarat.

As a small boy, he often stared at the new electronic toys in the village exhibitions and thought of making them himself one day. He brought recognition to his school, Sarvodaya, by participating in various Science fairs. But then,there came a time when his family could not afford his school fee of 50 paisa. Ravjibhai had to leave his studies. However, his teachers Gunubhai Purohit and Hasuben, recognizing his aptitude towards science and his potential to innovate, sent him to Mumbai to do a vocational course at ITI.

In 1966 he returned to Babapur with the dream of setting up a laboratory, which he did, in due course of time, so that his mechanical innovations could minimize hardships of the villagers. He often explained the working of the farm and water machineries to the folks around and fired their imagination. Unfortunately he had to leave his village due to the lack of proper facilities and his susceptibility to water borne infections there.