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Karnataka’s ‘tamarind maniac’ awarded Padma Shiri in grassroots innovator category

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Shri Abdul Khader Nadakattin was conferred with a Lifetime Achievement Award during NIF’s 8th National Grassroots Innovation and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge Awards at the hands of then Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee in 2015.

Abdul Khader Nadakattin, a serial grassroots innovator from Dharwad, Karnataka, is amongst the 107 Padma Shri awardees announced for the year 2022, according to information provided by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Owing to his portfolio of innovations related to tamarind, people started calling him "hunase huccha", which means tamarind maniac. It started with his success in growing tamarind with scarce but alkaline water and further graduated with experiments like the technique for harvesting tamarind from the tree and also the highly accepted machine to separate tamarind seeds. This inspired him to develop a machine for slicing tamarind. In furtherance of success with tamarind, he came up with innovations to address agriculture operations like deep ploughing, sowing of seeds, and also fuel-efficient water heating boiler.

His prominent innovations include a device to separate tamarind seeds, ploughing blade manufacturing machine, Seed cum fertilizer drill, Water-heating boiler, an Automatic sugarcane sowing driller, and a wheel tiller. All his innovations demonstrate principles of sustainability, cost-effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and most importantly a social acceptance. His in-depth knowledge of agro-climatic conditions and soil characteristics has made him an inspiration to other farmers in the country, a statement issued by the ministry said. 

Supported by the Centre’s National Innovation Foundation (NIF) –Nadakattin was conferred with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 during NIF’s 8th National Grassroots Innovation and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge Awards by the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee. True to his grassroots spirit and as a mark of respect for the award, he chose to walk barefoot and hence came to be known as the country’s “barefoot scientist”.

Also read:  Karnataka farmer who dug tunnels to tap water in novel way to create lush green farm gets Padma Shri