Mayank Raj

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Human trafficking is a disgrace to humanity. A lot of innocent child are abducted and sold to traffickers just for money. These traffickers either resell them or compel them to do inappropriate things outraging their decency. But this case was more heart wrenching because the ones who showed such cruelty to this little girl from Bihar were her own. This innocent little girl was sold by her own parents to some trafficker. She would have lost her modesty, her freedom, her future to it, but she was a warrior who kept fighting back and luckily found a group of compassionate transgenders who escorted her out of darkness.

Act that killed humanity

This 15-year-old girl hailing from Nawada, Bihar had no idea that her parents whom she loved unconditionally will trade her to some 50 year old man in exchange for one and half lakh rupees. Before selling her forcefully, they constantly put pressure on her to get married to which she rebuffed. She was in standard ninth only and wanted to study further. When her parents realized that they can’t do it by force, they baited her into a trap with the help of two of her uncles.

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Besides my parents, my two uncles intoxicated me before selling me. When I regained consciousness, I put up a strong opposition and denied to go with the groom. But my parents and uncles cheated with me, saying the man had no intention to marry me. Instead, he would keep me like his daughter and provide all opportunity for further studies in achieving a bright career. I gave up and went with him to Giridih,” reported the girl to police.

Assaulted by her own

When that man took her with him, he tried to rape her but she fled back to her home and reported everything to her parents. Instead of supporting and rescuing their daughter, they assaulted her and sent her back to the same monster. Later, the man convinced her to go with him for honeymoon and boarded a train to Pune where the girl overheard his conversation with someone on the phone and realized that he was going to resell her for rupees six lakh who would have put her into flesh trade. But this girl didn’t give up and fought back. As soon as the train reached Allahabad railway station she met a group of transgenders to whom she narrated her agony. 

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Compassion is not gender biased

These transgenders restored her faith in humanity and showed her sympathy and support which she needed the most. They rescued her and took her to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay (Mughalsarai) station. They escorted the girl to her married cousin sister safely at Bare village in Kaimur district and informed her parents. Even after all this, her mother threatened her to get back to the darkness she once fled but she was stronger now and denied it. Her mother even lodged an FIR against the girl’s brother-in-law but it did rebuttal on her only. 

The girl is safe and sound now with the intervention of Police and she is now protected under Child Marriage Act and relevant sections of POCSO Act. This matter will be looked after by sub divisional police officer, Bhabua, Ajay Prasad.

The girl was lucky to have found these compassionate humans, but there are several others who aren’t lucky. Cases like these require keen observation because most of the times the culprits are hidden in plain sight.

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We all have problems to deal with in our lives. For some it’s small and for some it’s gruesome. But we all get choices as well. Either we live with it or work to get past it and live our lives to the fullest. This man who became quadriplegic after encountering an accident faced a lot of pain and disappointment but it all ended when he decided that he has had enough of it. He brought change within him and soon after he was reforming lives of other who were also suffering as he did once.

The terrible accident

In 1975, S Ramakrishnan (now 87) met a horrifying accident during the Indian naval officer’s selection interview. Due to his serious condition, he was admitted to hospital where he was saved but it had some repercussions. He became quadriplegic after the accident which meant that he couldn’t use his fore and hind limbs anymore. He was completely bedridden for over a year and suffered the agony which almost broke him. For most of the people where they will find death to be an easy exit, he found his reason to live by turning fates of those who were suffering just like him and another hero joined him in his battle as well.

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I was in traction for three months and totally bedridden. Then they gradually trained me to sit on a bed and wheelchair. I have no sensation below the neck. I need help for bathing, turning over in bed, eating etc," says Ramakrishnan.

Dynamic duo

After spending a whole year in hospital, he returned to his village Ayikudy in Tamil Nadu and after two months established Amar Sevam Sangam in 1981 which was named after Air Marshal Amar Singh Chahal where who treated him in the hospital. He started teaching local children free of cost. There he met S Sankara Raman who himself was troubled by muscular dystrophy and lost his job to it. Both warriors on wheelchair as their chariots together embarked on a mission to help people fighting these battles like them. 

“The cost of running the centre was almost Rs 15 lakhs a month. Twelve per cent of the required funds came from the government while 60 per cent came from donations and 15 per cent from interest,” says S Ramakrishnan.

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Their campus soon expanded and became a facility for over 60 polio stricken children. They were taught, fed and provided a shelter for free. They taught children up to standard eight and further sent them to nearby schools. As the campus expanded, daycare spastic centre was set up for the mentally challenged and for children suffering from cerebral palsy. Besides this they also provided physiotherapy to children that improved their chances of recovery. Even the wheel chairs were provided to them for free along with transportation facility. The expansion went on and a computer lab was setup to teach students. For the handicapped students, everything was for free while for normal students a nominal fee was charged.

Able enough to get what they deserve

"The biggest problem we face here is employment for the disabled," he says. "In professional courses disabled people face a lot of problems. They are denied admission even with very high marks," says S Ramakrishnan.

This concern was also taken care of by introducing the children to modern education of industry standards by industry professionals. VOCS Chidambaram, a computer consultant from Chennai Teachers at Spastic school who worked in the United States for seven years looked after the technicalities to help them fetch a job. 

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"Datamatics-Mumbai and Chennai has given them a data entry job. They functioned as a BPO and this resulted in income generation here," says VOCS Chidambaram.

Commendable work deserves a reward

Late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam awarded the institution as the 'Best Institution in the service of the disabled and uplift of rural poor in 2002. It also received numerous prestigious awards by top NGOs of India. The work done till now has helped hundreds of students to see a better tomorrow and is still working for the same. It has given hope to those who were once deprived the light of life due to their disabilities.

Nadu

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Eradicating plastic from our vicinity in a safer way has become the most crucial issue in the era of rapid industrialization. While we make an effort to go green, the shackles of plastic pull us behind. While the world was using narrow minded and primitive methods to get rid of plastic, this small village in Kerala showed the world how to do it and in return get profited from the proper disposal of plastic. The method was highly effective and eco friendly and also able to contribute to the development of backward areas of the nation.

Unheard village now in headlines

Nedumgandam was an unknown village of Kerala until recently when it revealed its futuristic waste management methods to the whole world. This village joined hand with Clean Kerala Company, an initiative by the state government to recycle plastic and used it for the construction of roads that will be facilitating villages. The Panchayat of Nedumgandam collected plastic from houses, schools and hospitals through Harithasena, the Kudumbasree’s green army, which collects plastic and non-bio-degradable waste. This collected waste was then sold to Clean Kerala Company that processed it further in a scientific way to obtain bitumen and sold it to government and private construction companies.

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(Segregating waste)

Generating revenue

This idea is also giving a chance to the Panchayat to earn a decent amount of money. Till now, they have earned 62,472 rupees by selling 4,164.83 kg of recycled plastic trash and have kept 10,000 kg of processed plastic waste and 3,000 kg of organic fertilizers for sale. Panchayat president S Jnanasundaram and secretary P V Biju supervise the operations of the processing plant. Now the government has decided to diversify with something more than just waste management.

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(Bitumen)

One more thing

The state government has affirmed the Panchayat’s proposal to establish a bio-gas unit at the waste processing plant to facilitate the village residents with fuel for cooking. For this a sum of 10 lakh has been sanctioned by the government and will be executed by the Union Ministry of Rural Development’s Govardhan programme and the State’s Suchitwa Mission. To meet the needs of locality, the plant will be using 300 kg of solid waste which is sufficient for the nearby households. This technique is promising and can aid to the development of several villages like Nedumgandam if laid and executed properly. This is also teaching the world to utilize the resources in a efficient and effective manner.

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Medical science today is not the same today as it was a few years ago. No matter how much development medical field saw few years ago, procedures like surgeries required the physical presence of doctor. So if someone suffered a heart attack and didn’t get medical attention immediately due to geographical barriers, the chances of survival for that person became really low. But with the recent breakthrough in telerobotic surgery, the world witnessed first successful surgery in India where the doctor was 32 km away from the patient and created history.

The telerobotic surgeon

Cardiologist Dr Tejal Patel from Ahmedabad did this miraculous telerobotic Coronary intervention from a distance of 32 km on a middle aged woman who admitted to Apex Heart Institute in Ahmedabad while the doctor was at Akshardham temple complex in Gandhinagar. The system was designed by Da Vinci system which is the leading surgical robotics technology provider. The patient was successfully operated with the help of robotically controlled instruments. To connect these devices, jio band was used that provided seamless connectivity of 100 MBPS. This surgery lasted 15 minutes and became successful marking a mile stone. All the necessary precautions were taken during the surgery to ensure the safety of patient. It was broadcasted on a screen at the Akshardham temple in the presence of Gujrat's Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

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Life depended on signal strength

Because the whole procedure required internet connectivity, the connection needed to be strong and resilient. Any kind of connectivity issue could have stopped the procedure and jeopardized the life of patient. So, a team of surgeons were also present there to operate if the internet failed. But none of them had to jump into action as the bots did their job perfectly with the expertise of Dr Tejal Patel. With this India became the first country in the world to have successfully implemented telerobotic coronary intervention and set new benchmarks in the field of medical science and technology.

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(Dr Tejal monitoring the procedure)

Future can be better

With so much advancement, more and more lives can be saved and geographical barriers will no longer be an obstacle for one’s revival. This can prove to be highly effective in cardiovascular diseases as they require immediate medical attention. With successful implementation, Da Vinci systems have inspired global companies to commercialize these bots so that they can be brought into mainstream. With this, it will be accessible to more and more number of people and it will also reduce the fatalities due to such diseases. It’s a ray of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

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She married to her childhood love hoping for the moons and starts but very soon she experienced a storm brewing in her life. Her husband started assaulting her physically only after six months of marriage. For eight years she remained quiet and kept it from everyone but it only kept getting worse. When her tolerance reached saturation, she took her three-year-old daughter and left her house and the trauma behind. Little did she know that these eight years of life lessons will make her the trail blazer for millions of women all across the globe. 

From a victim to a global award winner

Urmila Chanam, a native of Manipur won Voices of Our Future Award by World Pulse, a social networking platform for her enlightening work for women all across the world and breaking the stereotypes and narrow-minded thinking about menstrual hygiene. World Pulse is a social networking platform connecting women from 190 countries across the world to amplify women’s voices to speed up change and improve the lives of millions around the world. She is one of the only three recipients in the world.

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Women should not be considered as untouchables when on their periods. Don’t treat us like untouchables for five days and pretend to worship us for the remaining 25 days. Please treat us like women,” says Urmila.

Breaking the silence

She was born to an army officer that gave her an opportunity to travel which unravelled the world to her and deepened her perspectives. After her traumatic experience she realized that her silence played the devil her life and chose to raise awareness by starting ‘Breaking the Silence’ campaign that won the UNFPA National Laadli Award in 2015 for the Best Social Media Campaign in India. Her thoughts and campaigns about menstrual hygiene not only created awareness among women but also influenced male ideology in a positive way. Her work took her to various places including Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur and very soon, Kashmir would be her next campaign destination.

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(Urmila, breaking the silence)

Visions for good

Urmila vision is to see more and more number of women using sanitary pads as it will safeguard them against lethal cervical cancer that claims 72,000 lives every year. She also urges the government to include a chapter about menstrual hygiene in school curriculum to spread knowledge and also wishes to see a decline in the school dropout rate of girls due to menstruation. As long as woman like her is lighting the path for other women, the world will definitely improve and become a better place for everyone.

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No happiness is worth comparing for a woman than becoming a mother. But not all are blessed with it because nearly 10-15% of women suffer from infertility due to uterine problems every year this deprives them of this pleasure. If it was few years ago, the only way these women would have become a mother is by adopting a child or surrogacy but this no longer is the scenario. With recent advancements in medical field, the world saw the birth of a baby through a transplanted womb for the first time that was donated by a dead person which was no less than a miracle and became a hope for all suffering women in the world.

Childhood agony taken away

This Brazilian woman was not like every other woman when she born. She was lacking her uterus due to a condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome which meant she couldn’t bear her child. But luckily she found a donor when she reached 32. The donor was 45 who died due a stroke. Her womb was transplanted into to her in 2016 by Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at Brazil’s Sao Paulo university hospital.

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(A representative figure of normal female reproductive system)

The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population,” says Dani.

Five months post transplant, Dani’s team checked her for any anomalies in the transplant. The ultrasound was perfectly normal and she had regular menstruation. Her agony was going to be relieved once and for all.

Hope returned to her life

When it was confirmed that she could now bear a child, her preciously fertilized and frozen eggs were implanted into her womb. After 10 days time period, her pregnancy was affirmed and now everyone was hoping for the day of delivery. After 35 week and 3 days, she gave birth to a beautiful little girl child who weighed 2.55 kg at the time of birth. She was a cesarean baby and as healthy as any normal child. Seven months later she showed normal growth and weighed 7.2 kg.

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Challenges overcame

The transplant was quite tricky as it involved connecting veins from the donor uterus with the recipient’s veins, as well as linking arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals but the doctor and his team took all the necessary precautions and showed promising results. With this they have brought hope in the life of all the women who suffer the same problem and have lost faith.

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You have heard about people from India going abroad to get jobs in multinational companies and then settling there. But have you ever heard of someone leaving behind everything that everyone aspires for just to become a farmer? Yes, you read it right. This man from England left behind a promising career for his love for farming and came to India to live his dream and set new benchmarks in organic farming.  

Taking the road less traveled

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(Krishna McKenzie)

Krishna McKenzie was a degree holder in acting, music, biology, French and jazz guitar from J Krishnamurti School in UK and could have easily made his living out of it but all of these didn’t add up to give him the same pleasure as farming did. So he selected his career as farming, when his friends planned to study in US. He came to Auroville, township in Tamil Nadu in 1993 as he was highly influenced by Tamil culture and fit right in. He started Solitude farm in 1996 which was based on "social agriculture" that created a dynamic community around local food, permaculture and natural farming.

Endless love for culture

He loved Tamil culture so much that he married a Tamil girl named Deepa and settled in Auroville. The couple loved farming and farmed on six acres of land where 140 unique plants were grown that included plants of high medicinal value like Piper Longum and many others. For him the essence of farming was more important than the monetary value behind it.

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(Servings at Krishna's hotel)

"We need natural potion for us. Farming comes naturally to people here and everyone has good knowledge about the same. But, we tend to forget the essence of farming and get wooed by false goals like money. If food is not good, water is not pure then what is the meaning of money and employment in life?" says Krishna.

Also creating awareness

Krishna also runs a small hotel where he serves organic yield from his farms including millet dosa, indravalli green dosa, wood apple salad, cucumber pachadi and papaya salad to his visitors. He runs the hotel only to make people aware about the benefits of organic farming without any wish for income. His efforts are showing people the value of organic farming for a healthy lifestyle and not harming the soil by use of artificial fertilizers and manures. He is also setting a benchmark for the farmers who are doing farming in an organic way.

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The age of talent is decreasing day by day and the legendary proof of this is a teenager hailing from Nashik. While others of her age were busy studying and preparing for board examinations, this teen went ahead and grabbed the iron man title with swag and became the youngest Asian woman to do so. She also became the first female from Nashik to ace it and made the whole nation proud.

Sunday was about making history

December 2, 2018 was the memorable day in life of Ravija Singal (19) as on this day she became the youngest Asian woman to have won the iron man title in Busselton, Australia by completing 3.8km swimming, 180km cycling and 42.2km running in 16:05:45. This is because of the persuasion she got from her family. Her father being a former iron man champion always motivated her for sports. Her brother himself excels at lawn tennis.

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"During the race, one thing that kept me going was my ability to disconnect from the world and focus on myself,” says Ravija.

Early victories

Ravija previously completed 3.8km swimming, 180km cycling and 42.2km running in just 16:05:45 and bagged the half iron lady title in Delhi on February 18, 2018 and became the first women in the city to so. Out of nine hours she got, she completed 1.9 km swimming in 33 minutes, 90 km cycling in 4.50 hours and utilized the rest of the time for running 21 km.

My parents inculcated sports at a very young age in us. My brother is a lawn tennis player pursuing engineering and I am pursuing medicine. Since standard V, we are into it and have never been pressurized to leave sports for studies,” she said.

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Champion for a reason

Ravija is a national level swimmer and has previously participated in national level events as well. She has won bronze medal in CBSE national level swimming championship. Her parents always supported her and never forced her to quit sports for studies. A huge credit for her achievements goes to her coach Mustafa Topiwala and Taher Kachwala as well as Dr. Milind Pimprikar who trained her scientifically and kept her progress in check. 

In fact, three months before my standard XII exams, I participated in DSO national swimming and CBSE national swimming and won bronze in CBSE. I am thankful to my coaches Mustafa Topiwala and Taher Kachwala. It was a planned event and I trained only for three months,” says Ravija.

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While thousands of people sleep empty stomach daily, thousand others have the audacity to waste food without even realizing that their leftover food could mean world to someone else. Every year there are thousands of weddings and other celebrations that lead to wastage of tonnes of food that can fulfill thousands of stomachs. When our hero attended one such wedding and saw the amount of food wasted by each person, it became the reason for his sleepless night and he decided to change this scenario and started a movement to aid the poor with food supplies as well as turned his nightmare into a lullaby.

The day of reckoning

Advocate Bhuvan Bhaskar Khemka hailing from Haryana was attending a wedding celebration where he saw people taking massive quantity of food in their plates and then wasting more than half of it. He was thrilled to his core and couldn’t sleep that night because what he saw haunted him. That day he pledged to spread awareness among the people and started ‘Shri Ram Bhojan Bachao Sanstha’ in 2010 along with a group of people who contributed five rupees every month for the sole purpose of creating awareness among the people. But awareness alone was not enough to stop it.

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Contributions increased and plan diversified

As this movement gained popularity, the members increased their monthly contributions from five rupees to up to 1000 rupees per month and started collecting leftover food from marriage palaces and other functions to distribute them among poor and needy. Even when quantity of chapatti was not enough for distribution, his organisation members bought bread on their personal expenses to fulfill the requirements of distribution. His organisation also made an awareness slogan that said, ‘उतना ही लो थाली में, व्यर्थ न जाए नाली में’ whose posters were placed in temples and other public places. 

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(Working to save food)

Increasing its radius

Currently the organisation has 250 members who contribute on a monthly basis and reach out to over 25 km to collect food for distribution. Bhuvan strongly believes that if food is not wasted, a lot of people can be fed every day, lakhs of children can be educated and poor can have access to better health care services. His movement is an urge to those who waste food knowingly or unknowingly that by saving food, they are not just respecting it but also brightening the life of those who suffer only due to lack of food. 

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It is a myth that death is hard. Death is easy, dying is an exit. The real nightmare is the life that goes on after someone dear has died. This nightmare was realized when mother of two and the sole earning member of the family passed away after being caught up in the line of fire between two rival gangs in Delhi. Following this, her husband lost the battle to chronic asthma leaving behind two children who were not ready for the blow. Their future would have been finished as they might have to give up education to feed themselves but luckily some compassion driven people saw this as their moral responsibility and swore to look after these children and proved that humanity still exists.

The black day

June 18, 2018 was like every other day for Sangeeta Sharma (37), a factory worker and a mother of two but it didn’t go like every other day. While she was returning from her job, she got shot in ongoing firing between two rival gangs and couldn’t make it.  The whole family was in turmoil with this unexpected happening. The financial condition of the family was not even strong enough to move her body from hospital for cremation. When the news broke out about this family’s condition, Hanuman Prasad, a local dairy shop owner announced this family’s need for help in the neighborhood and that’s when people came forward to offer help to this family. Even after Sangeeta’s last rites, nearly 60,000 rupees were left that Hanuman offered to her daughter.

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It wasn’t possible to go from shop to shop, so I used the loudspeaker to announce the family’s situation,” said Hanuman.

Her children Shruti Sharma (15) and her brother Dheeraj (14) were now under care of their father, Surender Sharma who himself was suffering from chronic asthma and knew that he also don’t have much time. Due to his disease, he was unable to earn. He was always worrying what will happen to his children after he is gone too. But the almighty has plan for each one of us.

God takes care of his children

When the word spread out, more and more people came to know about this family and reached out to offer help. MM Pal Singh, a government contractor transferred 10,000 rupees every month into the family’s bank account. A retired army man and one more person offered monetary help of 5,000 rupees every month.

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I was pained when I got to know that a family was in trouble because of criminals. I decided to pay for their educational needs and other expenses,” says MM Pal Singh.

When so many people came together, Surender was assured that his children will continue to live a normal life and get educated as he always wished. On November 29, 2018 he took his last breath after taking a promise from her daughter that she will continue her studies. Now the children are under the care of their cousin and his wife. They will be looking after their financial needs. 

In his last moments at the hospital, my father held my hand, put his head in my lap and urged me to continue studying,” says Shruti.

More and more hands

Delhi government’s revenue department offered them monetary help of 2 lakh and the chief minister’s relief fund also contributed 5 lakh for their bright future. Prerna-Ek Prayas, an NGO also joined in and is taking care of their ration and electricity bill and have promised to do it for at least six years. 

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It is unfortunate that the children are orphaned, but we will ensure there is no interruption in their education,” says Sanjeev Jha, Burari legislator.

They will be able to continue schooling after a few days. With so many people coming forward from various parts, these children will definitely be brought up without lacking any resource and will see the light of life that their parents always wished for them.

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Fascinated by a news article in The Telegraph which was about the birth of a baby in almost extinct tribe named Onges from Andaman, this 12-year-old girl from Kolkata ran to her father and expressed her desire to visit Andaman during her vacation. Her father thought it as a childish wish and rebuffed her by saying that only researchers can go there. But he didn’t realize that this will get stuck in his daughter’s mind and she will go on and create history. Years passed but she never let the idea of being a researcher vanish and went on to become the first woman in history to successfully establish contact with those tribes who had the reputation of being highly hostile.

To fulfill her wish

After completing her schooling, Madhumala Chattopadhyay took admission in University of Calcutta to pursue B.Sc honors in anthropology (the study of human societies and cultures and their development). Her parents were still in grey because no one in their family had studied anthropology till now but they didn’t constrain their daughter. After creating an outstanding academic record, she applied for Ph.D at Anthropological Survey of India for doing field research to know the tribes of the Andaman. 

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But women were not allowed at that time to go on field considering the threat of these uncharted lands so her request was turned down. Yet her undisputed record made the committee to reconsider. So they prepared an undertaking for her parents which stated that she is solely responsible for whatever happens to her on the field including her death. But they were unaware that she will become a legend in the contemporary world and the lost tribe’s stories.

First non hostile contact ever made

January 4, 1991 was the day her childhood wish came true as she sailed to the North Sentinelese Islands with a purpose to establish friendly contact with the most hostile tribe. Earlier attempts turned out to be a disaster as the outsiders were welcomed with arrows there but this time Madhumala was onboard. As soon as the research team spotted the Sentinelese, they started dropping coconuts they brought as a friendly offering. Earlier the Sentinelese were pointing arrow at them but after the offerings they soon started collecting them in baskets and stared shouting “Nariyali jaba jaba” which meant more and more coconuts. 

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(First non hostile contact)

When one of the Sentinelese youth tried to shoot an arrow at Madhumala, one of the Sentinelese women pushed him and made him miss his target. After several hours of persistent efforts, the team finally decided to get out of the boat and offered them coconuts with their hands and became the first team to have established a friendly contact with the Sentinelese. All because of Madhumala was the only woman in the team that symbolized no harm to the tribe. She went back again after one and a half months, but this time there was no hostility and both parties showed respect to each other.

Six years of anthropological legend

Although the government later abolished any contact with that tribe but it didn’t stop her from establishing relations with the Jarawas, Onges and Nicobarese tribes. She was welcomed with open arms. The Onges called her ‘Debotobeti’ which meant doctor because she treated minor injuries and wounds which they got during hunting. A Jarawa woman trusted her with her three month old baby which was perhaps the best way to show trust on her. No text book taught her that but  it was from her experience and curiosity to know more about them. 

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(Madhumala with a Jarawa woman)

Some legends are lost but not forever

For her exquisite work, University of Cornell and University of California offered her prestigious research positions  but she chose to stay back to look after her family. She currently works as a senior researcher in ministry of social justice and empowerment but her heart belongs to anthropology and the tribes which she became of a part of during her magnanimous years of exploration. 

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The green color of our national flag is dedicated to the farmers who fulfil the most basic need of humanity which is food. But even farmers have some basic needs that need to be fulfilled and when the government failed to fulfil the simplest of their needs, they were forced to stand up for their rights and make sure that no  farmer has to suffer the problems that have led to their deteriorated condition. Altogether, they wanted their two demands to be fulfilled; the farmers' freedom from indebtedness bill 2018 and the farmers' right to guaranteed remunerative minimum support prices for agricultural commodities bill 2018. 

Farmers were not alone in this fight

For the farmers to be heard, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee declared a rally on November 30, 2018 for their demands to be discussed in the winter session of the parliament. Before the rally started, while some farmers stayed in tents in Ramlila maidan, some stayed out in open air. But these farmers were not alone in this fight in the bone chilling nights of Delhi. Five Gurudwaras including Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Sis Ganj Sahib, Rakabganj, Bap Sahib and Majnu Ka Tila joined hands together and supported the farmers by providing them food and shelter. 

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We are expecting a gathering of 35,000-40,000 people to march towards Parliament Street on Friday morning,” said Vijoo Krishnan, leader of All India Kisan Sabha before rally.

Just to be heard

A crowd of 35,000 to 40,000 farmers from several states including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh joined this rally and started from the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara to the parliament house just to be heard. Many big and small NGOs and volunteer groups also reached out to back the farmers. Over 600-700 volunteers walked side by side with the farmers across all the four assembly points from Bangla Sahib Gurudwara to the parliament house. 

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Need to be heard

There is an urgent need to hear the farmers because most of them live on bare minimum yet work to fulfill someone else’s stomach. Negligence towards their needs have led to a surge in their suicide rates due to poverty and lack of resources. Their entire living is contingent upon a good yield and if for some reason beyond their control their yield fails, some slack should be cut for them because ultimately it is us for whom they are working their fingers to the bone.

pic courtesy: pic-1, pic-2;

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