Seventy year old and 70 per cent paraplegic, still,Yengkhom Mangi of Kakching Paji Leikai faced all odds in life and became one of the few innovators of the country to get the honour of National Grassroot Innovation Award 2012 .
The award was conferred on Mangi by National Innovation Foundation under Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for inventing kouna (reed) mat weaving machine in the State category.
Mangi received the award from President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the opening function of National innovation exhibition held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 9 last.The exhibition will continue till March 15 .
The award comprise of Rs 50,000, one memento and a certificate.
As reported in The Sangai Express, Mangi became paraplegic due to polio and could not take part in social events and interact with his friends since his childhood.He spent time making fishing items, Manipuri mats, repairing radio and electrical items although he did not get any formal training.
Some 15 years back, Mangi said, he decided to invent a machine for weaving Manipuri kouna mats as traditional way of making mats was not suitable for physically challenged persons like him.
After months of sleepless nights, Mangi invented the machine similar to handloom and started making one kouna mat daily.The machine is effortless and could even sometimes develop two mats a day.Traditional model of mat making is suitable only for normal people and needed to be stretched on the floor, limited with size and occupies more space.One needs to bend head down while weaving the mats, which creates back ache and takes three days in weaving a mat.Mangi said, his machine does not need such uncomfortable efforts and develop mats fast.
Time and again people like Mangi prove that nothing except his own attitude can stop man from achieving what he wants. Hats off to him!