A blacksmith by profession and an innovator by passion, Mohd Rafiq Ahanger has innovated a multi-purpose tool, which can perform the functions of an axe, hammer, chisel, blade as well as a screw driver for domestic or other carpentry tasks. He believes that his innovation resulted from the hardships he faced and the need to find an easier solution for his work requiring heavy physical efforts.
Rafiq did not have an easy childhood as he was born in the family of blacksmiths who faced hardships due to financial problems. His family consisted of 2 brother and 6 daughters while his father was the only earning member in the family. However, he also mentions that although he belonged to a lower income family he never really felt poor because of the various sacrifices his parents made in an attempt to give their children the best possible upbringing. Since childhood, he developed a passion towards his father’s profession and often played with blacksmith tools, iron, and steel to which he had access. He also tried repairing old gadgets, make toys from iron or make small replicas. After completing studies till class 10th and then performed various odd jobs before settling into his father’s workshop.
Being driven by his passion he started his own workshop at the age of 20 in 1995. At his own workshop, he started making grill gates, different iron structures for household use along with the motor repairing work.
Even though Rafiq realises the problems faced by the people of his area,
he faced many difficulties such as the problem of electricity for his workshop and his financial inability to purchase a generator to bring about innovations to ease the suffering of his people.
However, these problems motivated him further. He thought of designing a pressure generator for producing electricity by pressing it continuously. He succeeded in inventing a generator that could produce 40W electricity by pressing it continuously.This made him a local hero of his district and he was invited to the Islamic University of Science and Technology to demonstrate his device.
The multipurpose tool that he has innovated is made from high carbon steel and can be used as one of the three tools as per requirement. The tool is significant as it reduces human effort by combining multiple tools and benefits the user by monetary terms. NIF has filed a patent application and design registration in his name.
Rafiq did not limit his innovations to only one tool and came up with a number of other useful ideas and innovations. He has further developed an implement for easy digging- a hand tool used for digging as well as collection of soil. His list of innovations also includes an ergonomic spade, automatic sieve, safety jacket for Walnut harvesting, modified iron sheet cutter and much more.
After witnessing the passion and capabilities of Rafiq, NIF is planning to register a company “Rafiq Innovations Private Limited” to help him in scaling up his innovations.