Every man has an interesting story. Share yours at email@example.com and win interesting prizes.
Here are some men with their interesting stories. What's yours?
Sagar Sodah, a visually-impaired programmer based in Mumbai, is trying to help women report sexual abuse. Sodah has only 10% vision, but that has never stopped him from achieving his goals. The chatbot that he designed for Safecity, a program that simulates structured conversations over Facebook Messenger is accessible on mobile phones. Most women don’t talk about it because of the stigma that surrounds the society. He feels that the chatbot is an effective outreach as it not only helps the women to speak up, but to also report cases that might go unnoticed. Keep marching on, Sagar!
Rifath Shaarook, an 18 year old along with five other students designed a satellite which weighs just 64 grams and is selected in “Cubes in Space” contest organized by Idoodle Learning in association with NASA. The satellite is made of reinforced carbon fibre with 3-D printing technology. It took more than two-years for Shaarook and his team to design the less weight satellite using the 3-D printing technology at a cost of just ₹1 lakh. Shaarook, who lost his father at a very young age, got the zeal from him to become a scientist. Shaarook nicknamed his design KalamSat, after Abdul Kalam, India’s former president and famed rocket scientist.
Raghav Baldwa, a 24 year old native from Indore, MP for the longest time has been using sustainable farming techniques and employing debt-ridden farmers to help them pay off their loans and safeguard their livelihoods. He had watched his father donate blood since his childhood and he followed the suit at the age of 17. Back in his home town of Indore, he noticed that a lot of people were finding it extremely difficult to find blood donors in cases of emergencies. He put up a pamphlets in five government hospitals, three private hospitals, and a few medical stores, asking people seeking blood donors to contact him.
After pursuing a degree in architecture from National Institute of Technology, Calicut, 25 year old Nishan Nazer had a simple question – why do most architects choose not to work in rural India? After being selected for fellowship, he chose to work in the housing sector and joined the NGO Gram Vikas. He was sent to Rudhapadhar village located in Gajapati district of Odisha to check how he could help the tribal community. He was shocked to see the state of the government school in the village. Children walked kilometers through the forest to comee to school just to have midday meals. They had no benches, desks, or even teachers. When Nishan filed an RTI query, he came to know that 45,000 schools in the state lacked basic infrastructure. Though Nishan knew that the solution was as easy as providing infrastructure, the next challenge was availability of space. So he came up with the idea of multi-utility furniture and named it SURFACE. He manufactured over 30-40 SURFACE pieces and had them distributed to schools run by Gram Vikas. The response was priceless as the kids treated it as their priced possession.
We always question our teachings in school and when will we ever put this to use. But here’s a 17 year old who has implemented his learnings and how! Siddharth, a resident from Delhi was taken aback when he was 12 years old because of the Nirbhaya incident. Feeling restless, Mandala created a device called the ElectroShoe. He used social media platforms like Linkedin to connect with mentors and develop this prototype. The more the user walks, the more energy is generated and stored in a rechargeable battery. "All a woman needs to do is ensure that the battery is sufficiently charged. When the shoe makes contact with an attacker's body, the attacker will be electrocuted," said the whiz kid. The Education Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana, Kadivam Srihari awarded him with a letter of appreciation for his valiant effort. Mandala's invention could not have come at a better time!
We often tend to make donations in order to help people in distress. But have you ever wondered, how long does this donations and help last? While others are spending time in finding a solution to this, Nand Kishore Chaudhary formed Jaipur Rugs in the year 1978. Besides the idea of business, his concept of promoting growth in mass level was one of the features of his foundation. Kishore included all the tribal women and the unemployed and under-privileged people from the villages of India. Initially he started off with the ‘chamars’ considered as untouchables in Rajasthan.
We’ve always heard about Best out of waste but hardly there are few who have implemented the same. But Jayant Parab, a 16 year old from Mumbai has did and how! He has become popular for collecting scrap from his father’s scrap selling shop and turning it into a computer! Due to his father being in the scrap industry, he was led on to picking up e-waste, add some additional wires to the same and making it functional. His father has started collection scrap and old computers from hospitals, schools and offices. He sells some of his e-waste, some for recycling and gives some to his son to work on. Jayant on the other hand aspires to revolutionize the e-waste industry.
Arav Hak is a 7th grader who like any other child of his age goes to school and does plenty of homework and has a hectic life. In addition to this, he does something really extraordinary. He is raising funds for children suffering from cancer and has raised over INR 9 lakhs by his efforts. His mother has been closely working with the Nargis Dutt Cancer foundation and all the money that he collects goes to the same. On reaching home from school, he goes out to people and shares his noble cause with them. He started this by approaching family friends and his mother’s contacts and was able to spread the word to other numerous people. His ideology is beautiful for a 12 year old which is to spend the money we spend on our luxury on helping someone else who is need of the money. Kudos to Arav!
Madan Yadav, a government school teacher is someone who aspires to transform his school and village. When Madan returned to his village after intermediate college in 2003, he vowed to change the education scenario in Badwankala. Using the government’s Sarv Siksha Abhigyan he arranged for free books, uniforms, mid-day meals. Roughly 500 students from two nearby villages come to attend the school. “I try my best to teach them too, but I cannot do everything. We need more teachers and facilities,” he says.
An example of a Good Samaritan is nothing less than Hemant Patel. At 7 pm daily, he makes his way to the VS Hospital in Ahmedabad, carrying home-made food prepared by his wife for more than 400 people. During the 2002 riots, curfew had been imposed in the city, due to which the relatives of patients admitted to VS Hospital were in a fix as they couldn't get food to eat. “Monthly cost of running this service is around 90K, although arranging finances is hard for me but still I manage it.” says Hemant.
Afroz Shah and his 84-year-old neighbor Harbansh Mathur took the initiative of cleaning the Mumbai’s famous Versova Beach in 2015. The clean-up grew into a massive volunteer movement that saw 4,000 tons of garbage being picked up, the largest beach clean-up in the world. UNEP has hailed the movement as an example to the citizens all over the world about initiating such movements for environmental protection. For leading it, Mumbai-based lawyer was named as the winner of the top environmental honour of the United Nations. Shah will be the one representing India with the Champions of the Earth award for spearheading the cleanliness project of Mumbai’s Versova beach. A super influential personality for the youth of the nation.
A resident of Seechewal, a village located about 40 km from Jalandhar and around 400 km from Delhi, an environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal has done all that he could do to keep it clean and pristine. It's because he undertook the task of cleaning Guru Nanak's historic river Kali Bein, the 160-km long tributary of Beas, which flows through Punjab all by himself. Singh's low-cost underground sewage system model, also known as the Seechewal Model treats the stored sewage water in a natural way, using it for agriculture and irrigation. This model has benefitted around 50 villages and has had the envy of the Central Government of India, who have approached Singh to implement this model in the cleaning of River Ganga, as well. In January 2017, Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal was rewarded with the Padma Shri award.
Tanmay Bakshi is not just another average child you would know. The 12 year old was first introduced to programming languages, when he was five and imagined the way his name could be showcased on his dad’s monitor screen. He is now one of the youngest major app developers in the world. He built his first ever app for the iPhone at the age of nine. Since then, he has continued to develop various programming languages in which he is fluent in most. HE came with “AskTanmay”, which he described as "the world's first web-based NLQA system, built using IBM Watson's Cognitive Capabilities." The eight-step algorithm can solve queries related to a 'PERSON,' 'ORGANIZATION,' 'LOCATION,' or 'DATE' answer type.
Dr Subroto Das met an accident on a national highway few years back in Gujarat and post that accident he realized that there were no emergency medical aid provided to the victims. To bring out a solution to this, he started the Lifeline Foundation. He is hailed as the 'Highway Messiah’, Das is one of the pioneers in bringing medical relief to accident victims on national highways. The Lifeline foundation has now spread to over 4000km of highways across Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan and West Bengal. His team reaches the accident spot in less than 40 minutes and has saved lives of over 1200 victims so far.
Dr. Bhaskar Choudhury is a veterinarian from Guwahati, Assam, and is currently designate as the Regional Head for Zone 1 in the North East - Assam. While working for the Wildlife Trust of India, he has worked on several animal rescue projects in Assam and Uttaranchal and at Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation near Kaziranga National Park, Assam. He has been handling en number of recue cases which included endangered species like rhinos, tigers, black bears and many more. HE has led CWRC teams and motivated local people to support and provide information on displaced animals, especially during floods. He was honored with a national award by the Association of Indian Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians at an International Congress organized in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, in April 2007.
Chintakindi from Telangana was upset about the fact that his mother had to endure pain while weaving. Chintakini, a school dropout, invented an ASU machine that helped in reducing the time and the labor needed to weave Pochampalli sarees. He named the machine after his mother’s name Laxmi. With this invention, he was successful in imposing a positive impact on almost 60% of the looms that used to weave Pochampalli sarees. The first machine was invented in the year 1999 and the machine was mounted on a wooden frame, later into steel and then many more electronic components were added. He then took forward this invention to Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
Md Zabi Khan, a 19 year old student from KG Reddy College of Engineering and Technology is like just another teenager but he spends most of his time for a noble cause. The sight of an abandoned pet is not really a pleasant one as you often see them lurking around the streets, either hungry, wounded, depressed or sometimes waiting to be reclaimed. Md Zabi Khan and his love for dogs goes a long way and his NGO, A Place to Bark works to rehabilitate deserted canines in Hyderabad. Not just cats and dogs, the shelter also hosts other animals like rabbits, turkeys and ducks. Currently busy with college life, he aspires to open a bigger animal shelter and work towards abolishment of illegal pet breeds.
Karimul Haque is tea-garden worker from West Bengal, popularly known as the ‘Ambulance Dada’. Karimul converted his motor bike into a portable ambulance just after a sad incident occurred in which could not save his mother’s life as there was no ambulance to take her to the hospital. He runs the 24x7 service in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. Since this invention, he has managed to save over 3000 lives and first aid help is always provided by him to the needy. His bike is the only lifeline for 20 villages in and around Dhalabari.
Genabhai is a divyang farmer who singlehandedly transformed a district which was drought hit into the largest producer of pomegranate in the nation. He hails from a remote district in Gujarat named Banaskantha. He is famously known as the Anar Dada. He started experimenting pomegranate cultivation in the year 2005. He adopted various technologies to produce the best quality of pomegranate. At his personal cost he decided to spread awareness and share his knowledge for pomegranate cultivation. A lot of farmers have now started adapting to his methods and improve the quality of agricultural products across India. He was recently honored with the Padma Shri Award. But, what is remarkable about this simple man is that despite being differently-abled, he achieved notable feats.
Dr. Arvind Bhateja form Bangalore is one of the best neurosurgeons in the nation. He has achieved numerous award for over 3,000 successful surgeries. Not only this, he has two distinct identities. You now already know about his doctorial traits but he is also one of the top amateur cyclists of India. He not only placed first in the Veterans category but also managed to raise Rs. 3.5 lakhs to cover the spinal surgeries of the underprivileged, who can’t afford to pay for it themselves. So far he has aided with doing 97 spinal surgeries for free. He is an inspirational individual for the youth of India.
Venkatesh, a 21 year old, has saved above hundred lives at Marina Beach, Chennai. People usually are expected to risk their lives whilst on duty, or for money or glory, but this man does it for the sake of being happy. He is often seen at the Chennai’s famous beach. He is very helpful to the beach patrol police and people say he has saved more than 150 people who were in danger of drowning. All his actions are not complex but only unselfish acts. He does this job for free and doesn’t expect gratitude or praising for the same.
Venkatraman has been serving the attendants of poor patients admitted at the hospital a meal for Re.1 since 2008. He is the modest owner of a small eatery, working with his wife who is also a yoga teacher. His family needs are satisfied by the funds going into the subsidized meal funds. Venkat goes to the hospital himself to give away 20 tokens for free meals. He has now requested the nurses at the hospital to distribute the tokens to whom they feel are in the most need. Venkat understands and believes that the people’s blessing will give him back much more than he can ever give them.
Ravi Gulati is a perfect example of a successful man who is an IIM- Graduate and had a competitive job in Canada, which is something each looks forward to after completing his/her education. However he took a major life changing decision. He quit his job and did something he really looked forward to. Ravi became an inspiration for millions when he started tutting underprivileged children. He teaches children of drivers, barbers and maids near his home in New Delhi. He is a volunteer at Manzil, A youth empowerment and learning centre. Hence while we preview his decision it is highlighted that it definitely requires immense amount of courage to make such a selfless move and work towards humanity.
Babar Ali at a very young age realized that a lot of parents just like his are unable to send their children to the schools due to monetary issues. Babar decided to do his bit for children who could not attend school owing to poverty. Very popularly known as the youngest headmaster of the world (BBC acclaimed), Babar Ali, started a school starting with a batch of eight students. He named the school, Ananada Siksha Niketan which gradually gained much popularity and is also affiliated West Bengal Government. In 2015, the school had 300 students and a total of 10 teachers for various subjects.
T. Sriramanujam, an eleven-year old visually impaired child named T Sriramanujam became a Tamil news channel’s anchor, fulfilling his childhood dream. He is claimed to be the first such anchor in the world with such a rare talent. Born and blind at birth, the young boy read the first news bulletin of his life with help of Braille for 22 minutes live. Currently selected for a special weekly programme, Sriramanujam will become a permanent daily news reader on the Lotus Channel.
Kalyan Akkipeddi on his 30th birthday realized to do something socially productive for the betterment of the nation and its people. The only thing he aspired to do was to travel around the country and try to understand what role does poverty play in the people of India. He came up with the solution to construct an entirely new village in Andhra Pradesh called ProtoVillage. This village is the prototype of an abundant rural community that is being built for and by the villagers themselves. The idea is to make something that can be replicated all over the country. He purchased 12.5 acres of land to setup ProtoVillage. 12 families volunteered to be part of the endeavour. It was decided that the village will be home to a maximum of 15 families.
Bipin Ganatra lost his elder brother Narendra to a blazing fire that was cause by a fire-crackers on Diwali night. This young helpless lad decided that he would try and save as many lives from fires. He has been selflessly doing the exact same thing for over forty years now, very often putting his life at several occasions. Today he is 59 years old, he is not a professional fireman but has fought over hundreds of fires in the city of Kolkata. He is one of the unsung heroes who works tirelessly to save people from hazardous fires.
Gaurang Damani was given a go ahead for the first time ever in the country by the Indian Railways for a non-profit venture, Die Hard Indian, for adopting a railway station and take charge of its beautification process. Damani commenced his determined project in December 2014, and the first thing he did was identify the spot in King’s Circle station. This was the first place that was cleaned before moving on to other stations all over. He has been a social worker since the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was initiated. HE has been developing many railway stations by keeping them clean. With help of other 550 volunteers he doesn't only keep them clean but also beautify by them creative paintings and graffiti art. He has won many Public Interest Litigations awards for his noble causes.
Deep Joshi was born in the year 1947 in the village of Puriyag, Uttarakhand. He was a farmer by profession. After completing his degree college, he got his master's engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is the co-founder of a non-profit organization, "Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN). PRADAN is an organization that recruits students that have graduated from college all over India to do community work. PRADAN was also awarded for its brilliant contribution towards society. PRADAN is affiliated with the likes of developing land and water resources, self-help groups, developing land and water resource, forest-based livelihood, horticulture and agriculture, natural resource management.
Rajendra Singh known as the "Waterman of India"was born on 6th August, 1959 in the Bagpat district in Uttar Pradesh near Meerut. He opted for studying medics, but when he was enrolled for a post in a rural village, he realized that drinking water problems were far worse than health care. He worked whole heartedly, putting in maximum efforts to bring out the solutions to these problems. The ground water in these rural regions were sucked by the crops and the trees leading the water to disappear. With help from the associates and some really innovative techniques he was successful to conserve water for the human race. The good deeds of bringing water to 1000 villages lead him to receive the much deserved award of "Nobel Prize for Water". The judges of the Stockholm Water Prize stated that his methods have also helped a lot in preventing floods, restoring oil and rivers and bringing back Wildlife
Chandi Prasad Bhatt considered as the father of India's environment movement was born on June 23, 1943 in the district of Chamoli, Gopeshwar. The famous Dasholi Gram Swarajya is found by him, which later became the mother organization of Chipko Movement. Since childhood, Bhatt always wanted to do social work for the betterment of the people and fighting against domineering government policies on forests. He initiated one of the biggest Independent India's people's movement which turned out to be very successful. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan award for the same and was also honoured with the Ramon Magsaysay award for community leadership.
Bindeshwar Pathak was born on April 2, 1943 in Bihar and was a Brahmin by birth. In his childhood itself he realized that the caste system was full of unjustness. Bindeshwar's ultimatum was to focus on building toilets that can be affordable for the common man, as he has always been an inventor by nature. He is the man behind the beginning of Sulabh International. He has been successful in bringing out a revolution in enduring infrastructure for public sanitation. Also, he executed several plans for eradication of false practices and beliefs like untouchability, injustice etc.
This third grader, CEO of his own game development firm called Prudent Games, is an accomplished hacker, app developer, and cyber-crime buster. The 10-year-old Reuben Paul is the youngest attendee at the Ground Zero Summit 2015, Asia’s foremost conference on information security. He stands tall, on a chair hidden behind the lectern in order to reach the microphone, addressing some of the world’s most well-known researchers and cyber-security experts. Rubbing shoulders with chief guest, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and an army of hackers from around the globe, 9-year-old Indian-origin kid Reuben Paul is at the summit being held at the Ashok Hotel in New Delhi.On November 14, 2014 Reuben had delivered his own keynote address at the 2014 summit, but in 2015, he was invited as a ‘special ambassador’ to share his knowledge of teaching cyber security to kids.
When he is not hacking and developing new apps, Reuben takes Kung Fu, gymnastics and swim lessons and loves spending time with his friends.
DrRavindraKoelhe, MD, lives and runs a clinic in Melghat, Maharashtra. His fee is Rs 2 for the first consultation and Rs 1 for the second.Not only is he a doctor and social worker, Dr Koelhe has also taken the government to court for having failed in its duty to protect the Korku tribals of the region.
After completing his MBBS, he worked in Melghat for a year-and-a-half only to realise that he needed more expertise to handle the problems of the tribals. So he went back to medical college for an MD in preventive and social medicine. He decided to work in rural India. He was highly influenced by Ruskin Bond who wrote, 'If you want to serve mankind, go and work among the poorest and most neglected.'
He toured the rural areas of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and decided that Gadricholi in Maharashtra was the most backward amongst his travels and decided to work there.Dr.Koelhe has been practicing the same since 31 years now.
Harakhchand Sawla can be seen taking a walk around the premises of Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) ina white kurta and pyjama, from afternoon till late evening, talking intently to those who are generally overlooked by passers-by, the cancer patients that camp outside TMH.
Around 12.30pm for lunch and 6.30pm for dinner, patients queue up outside his tiny office in a nearby chawl with plates and glasses, and are served hot meals - rice, chappatis and vegetables.
Sawla decided to leave his thriving business and began serving to cancer patients by adopting 25 of them, looking after their nutritional needs. Sawla now has a dedicated army of up to 150 volunteers who assist him. Sawla's trust, Jeevan Jyot, also caters to the need for meals of 700-odd patients or their relatives at state-run hospitals - JJ, St George, Cama and TMH. The trust incurs a daily cost of Rs. 12,000 in feeding these patients.
Manohar Aich, was better known in his native India by his nickname, "Pocket Hercules." At 4 feet 11 inches, Aich was an unlikely bodybuilder, but as his incredible life story attests, he was a man who could seemingly overcome any obstacle.
In undivided Bengal, he began to show off his body at village fairs. He reportedly would bend iron bars with his teeth and neck and balance the sharp edge of a sword on his belly.At some point, he caught the eye of the British, who still ruled India, and was hired as a physical trainer for the Royal Indian Air Force.
In 1942, the “Quit India” movement had gathered considerable momentum. He protested against the British oppression at the camp while serving for the Royal Indian Air Force. It is believed that he even slapped a British officer, who made an offensive remark against the Indians during the interrogation. He was imprisoned for this act of his but later it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he had no restrictions on training by himself. Then, he was shifted to the Alipore Presidency Jail but release followed as India won her freedom. He died of natural causes at age 104 at his home in Kolkata, 64 years after he was crowned Mr. Universe.
The white cane has been the mobility device of choice for blind people for some time now. But Abhinav Verma and his friends at IIT Kharagpur dared to think beyond: It was three years ago, as students, that they created a wearable sonar-based device, which can be worn like a glove. This was the first step towards removing the dependency of the blind on the white cane. The results they achieved were remarkable. Abhinav then decided to pursue the innovation even after college. He started a company called EmbroS and devoted his time to perfecting the product in terms of its efficiency and size. Abhinav then decided to pursue the innovation even after college. He started a company called EmbroS and devoted his time to perfecting the product in terms of its efficiency and size. After many trials and experiments, he developed Live Braille, a small and smart device that weighs just about 29 grams.
Live Braille has the ability to detect obstacles within a range of four metres. The device sends out 50 ultrasonic pulses a second to detect the obstacles and provides almost instantaneous haptic feedback to the user who can then avoid the obstructions and move forward. The device lets the user know where the obstacles are, how far they are, are they moving or not, what their texture is (hard, soft or sharp), and more.
In 1997, Amir was only 8 when he lost both his arms in a severe accident that took place in his father’s sawmill. Due to the accident, his father had to sell the business and land so as to pay for the all the medical requirements and rehabilitation of Amir. Lone would have lost his hope if it were not for his family. His grandmother was a tremendous support when she convinced him to go back to school. But it was not even a bit pleasant of a scenario for him there. The teacher had declared that he was a misfit for the school and that he should probably go to a school for the disabled.
When the growing un-supportiveness from people was, naturally, about to take a toll over Amir, instead it only put more courage inside of him.In between of all this, there is one thing that Amir always wanted to do- play cricket. It was a favourite for Amir and he knew that he could not detach himself from that this sport. However, the very idea of it aroused a round of mockery for the young man; he did not lose, he could not; it was not an option. This time, he knew what he was doing and had his full heart and intentions to do so. This youthful soul has found a spot as a captain in Kashmir’s state-para cricket team. Today, he is closer to his dreams than any of us could ever.
Aditya Tiwari was finally handed over the toddler suffering from Down's syndrome after fighting for adoption for more than a year. This was probably the first time in that a single parent at such young age had adopted a special child. Aditya, 28, who works for an MNC in Pune, had been trying to adopt one-and-a-half-year old Binney since September 2014. He had to fight with authorities for the child suffering from genetic disorder and a hole in his heart, but had hit the wall as old norms did not allow single parents below 30 to adopt. Decks were cleared when adoption rules changed from August 1 last year, bringing down the age to 25. Still there was a delay of five months after change in adoption norms. He is really an inspiration for others.
So what’s so inspiring about Major DP Singh? There are definitely many more individuals who run, walk, paint, sketch, or sing for a cause. Major DP Singh is different. For one, he is a Kargil war survivor, India’s first amputee marathon runner, a blade runner and a Limca record holder. India was at war with Pakistan in Kargil in 1999. A 25 year old Singh was knocked by a mortar that ripped his vital organs and tissues. Lying on the battle ground in a pool of blood he was taken to the field hospital where he was declared dead by the doctors. A fighter in true spirit and soul, Singh defied this and overpowered death.Months in the Artificial Limb Centre of the military hospital, and losing all his body mass, Singh was told by the doctors that his leg would have to be amputated. But this didn’t deter him. He was alive and that was important to him.Where running could be tough for many of us, it could become excruciating for someone with a prosthetic limb. Major Singh though has come a long way from his first marathon that was marked with pain and bleeding. After falling a million times, he has picked himself up, as of today, has over 20 marathons to his credit.
Consummate student, Creative innovator, Attentive teacher, Model employee, Recipient of Cavinkare Ability Award, Limca Book Record holder, Honorary Doctorate holder. Many achievements, one name – Riitesh Sinha. Dr. Riitesh Sinha hails from Karnal. This 43 year old’s list of achievements is awe-inspiring particularly in light of the fact that he suffers from spastic cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood.Yet, Riitesh was never one to be cowed down by circumstances. He had just passed with flying colours from his CBSE school (securing 75% in his board exams) when his quest for independence led to him invent his own ‘trike.Soon Riitesh was using the trike to get around town, often going as far as 10 km all on his own, teaching in nearby villages as a part of literacy campaigns became easier with the trike, as did attending his B.Sc classes in Kurukshetra University. Says Riitesh, “The trike gave me wings! And I was glad that this was my own innovation.”Next, Riitesh opened a computer centre that was affiliated with the National Institute of Open Schooling. Here, he taught children – and some interested adults – the basics of computers.In 2011, Riitesh landed a job at the Districts & Sessions Court in Karnal. “But after a few months, I was ousted from the job on the grounds of my disability,” he recounts. “I then approached the High Court with my case. The Court asked me to submit to an ability test. I did and I won the case. The Court quashed my termination order.”
Krishika Rishi’ is the title farming communities across the country have bestowed on SubhashPalekar. This agriculturist is the creator of the ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ model, a method that has been creating waves in the farming community in India. By 1985, Palekar began to notice a drop in yield; one that only got worse with each harvest. Curious about the sudden change, he began to look into the reasons for the decline. Three years of intensive research led him to the conclusion that chemical farming was the culprit. Shocked by the harmful effects of chemical farming, he began the hunt for less destructive alternatives. Thus began the journey of zero budget natural farming in India. Zero budget natural farming, as the name suggests, is a method of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero. More than 40 lakh farmers across the country have benefitted greatly from Palekar’s teachings and his method of natural farming. In 2016, in recognition of his work and the impact he was creating, the Government of India conferred Palekar with the prestigious Padamashri Award. Palekar also made history for being the first active farmer to receive the award.
A staggering 194 million people in India go hungry every day. One in every four children is malnourished, making the country home to one third of the world’s malnourished children. Close to 3,000 of these die every single day, due to diet related illnesses.Yet, when these alarming statistics take on the face of those we encounter at every turn, we avoid eye contact, turn away, and look everywhere but at the person pleading for help.
One young software developer in Bengaluru, however, refused to turn away; Harsh Mittal. His solution to the daunting and all-pervasive challenge of hunger is astoundingly simple: cooking a little extra food in every home. Thanks to his initiative, underprivileged children and senior citizens across the city wait eagerly for the third Sunday of every month where they are treated to piping hot homemade food. Today, the group goes by the name Let’s Feed Bengaluru and boasts of an extensive network of donors and 750 registered volunteers.
When we say, Tanishq Abraham is a child prodigy, we aren’t kidding. Son to software engineer Bijou Abraham and veterinarian Taji Abraham, Tanishq at the tender age of 12 has already three community college degrees to his name. At the age of four, Tanishq became a member of Mensa, the prestigious international society whose qualification for membership is a score of 98 or more on a standardised IQ test, he scored an impressive 99.9. As a five year old, Tanishq enrolled himself in the math classes offered by Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). He completed the entire course in an astonishing 6 months. By six, Tanishq had taken several high school and college level classes online and had enrolled himself in the American River Community College by seven. He passed the Geology and Astonomy courses with flying colours. He also has the unique distinction of being the youngest person to speak and present a paper at one of NASA’s conferences.
Named Abdul Khader, this auto-rickshaw driver has a cult status in Bengaluru. Instead of a regular rickshaw where the commuters are just boarded on/off, Abdul brings a sigh of relief to daily commuters with music, knowledge, convenience and many more such perks which certainly makes it a joy ride. His auto has everything from Mahatma Gandhi’s life story to informative data against dowry, from sun-moon on his ceiling to a mobile charger, a first aid kit or a bottle of water to quench your thirst during scorching Bengaluru summers. Wouldn’t you prefer to ride in here?
Mukul Chandra Joshi, 79, popularly known as 'Traffic Baba', distributes 200 pamphlets to commuters at traffic signals in Noida every day, encouraging them to follow traffic safety norms. Clad in a white gown and cap, microphone in hand, Mukul Chandra Joshi is a familiar sight on major traffic crossings in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Every evening, without fail, this 80 year-old insurance agent, heads for a major traffic junction and gently tells people to make way for pedestrians, or not to jump a red signal, or not to drive without a helmet. Now that is a noble cause!
Meet Karthik Sawhney, the Indian teen who inspite of being blind made it to Stanford for his engineering degree, however, it was a difficult journey for him thanks to our education system. In India, blind students were not given an opportunity to learn science and maths once they complete their 8th standard. They were forced to take other subjects like arts, literature or music. But Karthik Sawhney had different plans in his mind. He was so much passionate about studying science and maths. Karthik Sawhney dreamed of becoming a software developer and his vision was to build software application which can be accessed by people with different disabilities. However, IIT denied him an opportunity to try his potential alongside the bright brains of physically able students. But he never gave up and to everyone’s surprise, Stanford was one step ahead by welcoming Karthik to do his Engineering degree at their campus.
Ankit Jindal was in school when a regular visit to an eye doctor broke this news to his family that he had been suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a disorder which causes progressive vision loss. By the time Jindal turned 20, he had lost his vision entirely, and was completely dependent on others for even basic tasks. He continued to finish his education and was determined to get a deserving job. He started pursuing an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi. It was a college project that got Jindal the recognition that he truly deserved. He led a team which stood at second position at the Tata Business Leadership Awards. It was the start of a good time for Jindal, who had faced a lot of difficulties in his professional and academic career so far. Wipro came as a campus recruiter and Jindal cracked all rounds of interviews without any difficulty.
Chewang Norphel, a 79-year old retired civil engineer, has always been a solution provider, Born in 1936, Norphel comes from a farming background and has served in the government service for more than 36 years before he had to take an early retirement due to his bad health. Being at home was not something Norphel enjoyed doing, and at the same time, the poor living conditions in Ladakh constantly troubled him.
He thought of putting his engineering skills to a better use. The idea first came to him when he saw water dripping from a tap which was kept open so as to avoid the water from freezing in winter and bursting the tap. The water gradually froze into the shape of an ice sheet as it came in touch with the ground and made a pool. It was now time for action, and he put all his engineering knowledge, field experience and passion to work. He started his first experiment in Phutse village. He made canals to divert the water from the main stream to small catchment areas located four kms away from the village.
He also created a shaded area to keep the water frozen in winters. And, as these glaciers are located at a lower altitude of 13,000 feet as compared to the original glaciers which are located at 18,000 feet, they start melting earlier than the mainstream ones and provide water to the villagers when they need it the most in April.
Did you know that you could convert a piece of land in your backyard into a beautiful forest within a year? Shubhendu Sharma, an Industrial Engineer, is allowing you to bring nature home.
It all started when Sharma volunteered to assist a naturalist, Akira Miyawaki, to cultivate a forest at the Toyota plant where he worked. Miyawaki’s technique has managed to regenerate forests from Thailand to the Amazon, and Sharma thought to replicate the model in India. Sharma was adamant on making his idea work and started the company without his family’s knowledge; it was only after a couple of months of operation they got to know about it and finally made peace with it. Having started on his own, Sharma now has a team of 6 that works from Bangalore. Initial troubles with finding the market and sustaining the business were solved to some extent when they received their first order from a German furniture maker to plant about 10,000 trees. Since then, A forest has served around 43 clients and planted over 54,000 trees.