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Rising India, Real Heroes: Untold stories of unsung heroes from all corners of India

From an Assamese rickshaw puller building schools for underprivileged kids to a farmer growing crops on Ladakh's hillsides, these heroes are quietly transforming the country

Published: May 31, 2023 05:17:30 PM IST
Updated: May 31, 2023 08:07:46 PM IST

Rising India, Real Heroes: Untold stories of unsung heroes from all corners of IndiaUnsung heroes can be found in every corner of India, and it’s time we told their stories. From an Assamese rickshaw puller building schools for underprivileged kids, to a farmer growing crops on Ladakh’s hillsides, to a doctor building artificial limbs for injured animals, and more, these heroes are quietly and determinedly transforming the country around us.

The Rickshaw Puller Who Built Nine Schools

Ahmed Ali, a rickshaw puller from Assam, has established schools for underprivileged children in his area. Ali’s dedication to educating underprivileged children is truly inspiring. Born and raised in Madhurband village in Assam, Ali moved to Karimganj district in search of work. As a rickshaw puller, he was himself unable to pursue his education due to financial constraints. This made him empathetic towards children who were in the same situation. He decided to set up schools in his area to provide free education. Ali has established nine schools so far. In an episode of Mann Ki Baat in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended Ali’s selfless work and dedication.
A home for sparrows

Inderpal Singh Batra has turned his home into a sanctuary for over 250,000 sparrows. In the Prime Minister’s electoral district of Varanasi, Batra has been on a campaign to save the sparrow population from decline due to rapid urbanisation. In the early 2000s, he decided to take action by purchasing a clay pot, drilling a hole in it, and filling it with twigs to make a nest for the birds. What started with just a few sparrows has now grown to over 2,500, with more than 100 nests in Batra’s home. His efforts have turned his home into a sanctuary for these birds, and he hopes to inspire others to do the same. Batra’s initiative is a reminder of the importance of protecting our environment and the role each individual can play in preserving nature. Prime Minister Modi was all praise for Batra’s efforts during his Mann Ki Baat address in March 2021.
The ‘Mukhiya’ of Youtubers

Gulab Yadav has helped transform his village into a hub for YouTube content creators. Yadav, the sarpanch of Tulsi village in Chhattisgarh, has become an inspiration for the people of his village. Under his leadership, Tulsi Village has won a national award for the impressive achievements of its residents in creating YouTube content. The village of around 3,000 people has become a hub for YouTube creators, with over 1,000 villagers now earning money through their content. Yadav’s vision and encouragement have helped the young talent of his village flourish. The success of these YouTube creators has not only brought in an alternative source of income but has also empowered women in the village.
Big B’s inspiration

Vijay Barse is the visionary behind the slum soccer movement. Barse started Zopadpatti Football in 2002, which became famous as Slum Soccer. He used football to empower underprivileged youth and help them stay away from crime and drugs. The league was an instant success, and children from all over Nagpur’s slums started participating. Barse’s story is an inspiration, and Amitabh Bachchan portrayed him in the film ‘Jhund," bringing more attention to this amazing movement.
The maker of ‘Krishna Limbs’

Dr. Tapesh Mathur, a veterinarian in Jaipur, has designed India’s first prosthetic limb for animals, helping over 500 animals from various states. Mathur was always concerned about the future of animals that had undergone amputations due to vehicle accidents, especially cows. He started researching prosthetics for animals and designed the ‘Krishna Limb’, India’s first prosthetic limb for animals. From design to production, Mathur does all the work by himself at his home workshop in Mansarovar, Jaipur. Each limb costs up to Rs 4,500–Rs 5,000, but Mathur does not charge for them. He has provided 160 prosthetics, mostly free of charge, across the country. His work has mostly helped cows, but he has also helped horses, camels, and other animals. Mathur’s work has given a new lease of life to many animals.

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