Putul Tiwari

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In several ways, change is like a wildfire. Both have beginnings so small that our eyes fail to notice them in the concealed corners of the world. But as wind feeds the tiny flames of change it creates a raging fire and gives way to a revolution. It is most exciting to see people talk about ushering in a change but more so when someone in their 20s takes on the heavy challenge of working around government policies, stirring up a civil movement, and improving the Indian legislature.

Twenty-five-year-old Naga Sravan Kilaru humbly introduces himself as 'a responsible citizen'. "I define myself as a responsible citizen because that's the only thing that matters," he says while talking to KenFolios in an interview. His mission is to involve youth in government policies and increase accountability for lawmakers for which he relentlessly interacts with college students through seminars and rallies.

64jzwuby8ykzhz7wuxmqz4cprcauwzai.jpgSravan has walked 3000 km across Andhra Pradesh for representing the youth manifesto and stirring political awareness.

"The thing is we all are educated but not informed. We could be successful engineers or entrepreneurs but at the end if we are not responsible citizens it doesn't really matter what we are," says Sravan, who won the 2017 National Youth Award for outstanding work in the field of national development and social service.

The Vijaywada resident says when the youth wants to work for the society, it can't be limited to distributing sweets blankets to the homeless. We have to step up and have more serious conversations to ensure our society realizes it needs and then voices them out. On the other hand, he also engages with political parties making them understand that the youth needs more than just jobs from their government. It is critical to increase youth representation in politics and for that he campaigns to advocate for 30 percent reservation for youngsters within political parties.

Inspired by a 74-year-old man

Like many youngsters, Sravan's interest in politics found its beginning in 2011 when Anna Hazare launched the anti-corruption movement. He was 17 then. Sravan saw that many of his friends supported the Lokpal bill but had no clue what the bill demanded. It was then he began forming groups of young people to educate them on Lokpal and campaign for the bill, thus beginning his journey towards bringing accountability in democracy.

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"In 2011, when I saw (then) 74-year-old Anna Hazare on TV I wondered why an elderly man, who won't live more than probably a decade, is concerned about the future of this country. It was a very immature thought but later I asked myself that shouldn't I, who is going to live in this country for all my life, be doing something for my country," says Sravan.

"Often civil movements lose to politics because we don't have the right set of information. I advocate for change and that change is information."

It is easy to agree that we as society are ignorant of how we function and what role we play in a democracy. Most youngsters, especially those living in urban areas and are privileged, don't know who their MLA or MP is as it does not impact their day-to-day life. This problem cannot be solely blamed on lack of interest as there is also a lack of simplified information that can be consumed by the youth.

Fixing the basics

When Sravan was in college, he began organising campaigns and rallies for youth in Bengaluru and his hometown Vijayawada to spread political awareness and to make politicians take notice of their demands and worries. He started circulating report cards of Members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh that analysed their political performance and promise delivery. “Once you expose the reality the sense of accountability automatically starts growing,’’ says Sravan.

jiuzju49bcwea5mgzcjkhpimpzuxddah.jpgSravan with Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu.

"The state is going to have 37 lakh first-time voters in the 2019 elections and around 1.12 crore people will be between age of 18 to 35. We need to organise and tell the political parties that these are our list of demands. Then they will also come forward," he told The New Minute.

In a country where youth politics is led by people in their mid-forties, Sravan's efforts incite hope of a better and more informed future. His incessant zeal to motivate youth to do more than just form 60 percent of Indian population deserves our notice and active support. We can begin with researching on public representative of our area, their track record and potential to offer us good governance.

"हूँ आज उठा फ़लक नापता,

दिमाग से दिमागी फ़ितरत भांपता

अचेतन-अवचेतन का संगम

दिल में ज्वाला लिए क्रांति की

खड़ा हुआ हूँ बाहर से मैं

भीतर एक शमशान हूँ

शायद मैं इंसान हूँ

हाँ शायद मैं इंसान हूँ"

राम निरंजन रैदास की लिखी निम्नलिखित पंक्तियाँ स्पष्ट रूप से इंसान के टूटने की तड़प को दर्शाती हैं। और इन्हीं पंक्तियों को चर्चित करते दिखे पूर्व नक्सली कमांडर रमेश पोड़ियाम

वाक्या सोमवार को छत्तीसगढ़ के बस्तर इलाके का है। यहाँ पोलिंग बूथ बने केवरामुंडा सरकारी स्कूल में नक्सलियों के चुनाव बहिष्कार व हिंसक घटनाओं के बीच पूर्व नक्सल कमांडर रमेश पोड़ियाम उर्फ़ बदरन्ना अपनी पत्नी के साथ जब पोलिंग बूथ पर वोट डालने पहुँचे तो लोग उन्हें देखकर दंग रह गए। उनकी पत्नी लता भी उन्हीं की कमेटी में मैम्बर थीं।

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बासागुड़ा एरिया कमेटी के कमांडर रहे रमेश उर्फ़ बदरन्ना ने कहा कि "हमने ख़ुद को वोट डालने के लिए वोटिंग से पहली रात ही तैयार कर लिया था। जब नक्सली गलियारों में दाख़िल हुआ था तब मुझे वही नीतियाँ क्रांतिकारी लगती थीं। कुछ वक़्त बाद मैं जब शीर्ष पर पहुँचा तो एहसास हुआ कि किसी भी समस्या का समाधान बंदूक की नोंक पर नहीं किया जा सकता।"

वो आगे कहते हैं, "उसी वक़्त में ही मेरा विवाह लता से हो गया। फ़िर दोनों ने ही लोकतंत्र के रास्ते को अपनाया और "गन नहीं गणतंत्र" की विचारधारा के साथ सभी समस्याओं को सुलझाने की ठानी। हम दोनों ने सन् 2000 में आत्मसमर्पण कर दिया था। इसके बाद मेरी पत्नी पुलिस फोर्स में तैनात हुई जो कि अभी सहायक आरक्षक के पद पर हैं। मैं सरकारी स्विमिंग पूल में हूँ। हम दोनों ने अपना वोट उसे दिया जो बस्तर में शांति लेकर आये। मैं उम्मीद करता हूँ कि भटके हुए लोग भी जल्द ही गणतंत्र को अपनाएंगे और शांति के रास्ते पर चलेंगे। बस्तर में फ़िर से एक नया सवेरा आयेगा।" 

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बता दें कि समर्पण करने और लोकतंत्र का रास्ता अपनाने के पश्चात रमेश उर्फ़ बदरन्ना व उनकी पत्नी लता तब से अभी तक सभी पंचायत और लोकसभा चुनावों में अपने मत का प्रयोग करते हैं। इसी के साथ वह लोगों को इस रास्ते पर चलने के लिए प्रेरित करते हैं। वह अब साधारण जीवन बिता रहे हैं और सरकारी मकान में रहते हैं। 

उन्हें आइकॉन मान कर अब तक तकरीबन सत्तर नक्सली सरेंडर कर चुके हैं। बस्तर में पहली बार सरेंडर के बाद नक्सलियों के परिवार बसाने के लिए नसबंदी खोलने की शुरुआत बदरन्ना से ही हुई थी। अब समर्पण करने वाले सभी नक्सलियों को इनके बारे में ज़रूर बताया जाता है।

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रमेश उर्फ़ बदरन्ना व उनकी पत्नी ने इस बात को समझा कि नक्सली रास्तों से कहीं बेहतर सुख शांति व लोकतंत्र का रास्ता होता है। हमें बुराई को त्याग कर अच्छाई की ओर कदम बढ़ाना चाहिए। इनकी ये सच्ची कहानी हमसे बस यही कहती है कि "आप कब बदलेंगे...?"

 

"दरिया हो या पहाड़ हो टकराना चाहिए,

जब तक न साँस टूटे जिए जाना चाहिए ,

यूँ तो क़दम क़दम पे है दीवार सामने,

कोई न हो तो ख़ुद से उलझ जाना चाहिए।"

निदा फ़ाज़ली साहब की ग़ज़ल का लिखा बेहद ख़ूबसूरत ये एक शेर इंसान को उसकी लड़ाई लड़ने के लिए बहुत सारी हिम्मत देता है, और वो बड़ा होकर इसे चर्चित भी करता है। मगर इस बार इसे चर्चित किया है उम्र की दीवार लांघ कर छोटे-छोटे बच्चों ने। खेलने कूदने वाली दस-बारह साल की उम्र में मुंबई के मुंब्रा इलाके के दो बच्चों ने अपनी सूझ-बूझ और हिम्मत से अपने भाई को अपहृत होने से बचा लिया। वाक्या शुक्रवार को उस वक़्त का है जब ठाणे के मुम्ब्रा इलाका स्थित ज़रीन अपार्टमेंट निवासी दो बच्चे अपने चचेरे भाई के साथ अपार्टमेंट के बाहर खेल रहे थे। तभी बुर्का पहने एक महिला ने वहाँ खेल रहे छोटे बच्चे से संपर्क किया और उसे अपने साथ लेकर जाने लगी। तभी वहाँ मौजूद उसके दस वर्षीय भाई ने उसे देख लिए और उसने अपने चचेरे भाई से घर पर ख़बर करने की कहते हुए उस औरत का पीछा करना चालू कर दिया। तक़रीबन आठ मिनट तक उस अज्ञात महिला का पीछा करने के बाद परिवार और लोगों की मदद से अपने भाई को बचा लिया। मगर भीड़ को इकट्ठा होते देख अपहरणकर्ता भाग निकली।

पीछा करने वाले भाई ने बताया कि "मैं उसके पीछे चल रहा था और बार-बार पूछ रहा था कि वह मेरे भाई को कहाँ लेकर जा रही है। जब मैंने उसे पकड़ने की कोशिश की, तो वह मेरे भाई को लेकर तेज़ी से दौड़ पड़ी।"

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उन दोनों भाईयों के चाचा खुर्शीद वारसी ने बताया कि "क्षेत्र में विवाह समारोह की तैयारी की वज़ह से काफ़ी भीड़-भाड़ थी। तकरीबन 01:30 बजे, तीनों बच्चे अपने घर के बाहर खेल रहे थे। तभी महिला ने पहले मेरे छोटे भतीजे को बातचीत के नाटक में शामिल करने की कोशिश की। फ़िर उसने उसे उठा लिया और जाने लगी। इस पर जब मेरे दस वर्षीय भतीजे ने उस महिला से सवाल किया, तो उसने ज़वाब दिया कि वह उसे चॉकलेट दिलवाने के लिए ले जा रही है। वह तुरंत सावधान हो गया और अपने बारह वर्षीय चचेरे भाई के पास पहुँचा और उसे परिवार को सूचित करने के लिए कहा कि वह घर जाकर बताये कि उसके भाई को एक अज्ञात महिला अपने साथ ले जा रही है, और ख़ुद शोर मचाते हुए उसके पीछे-पीछे चल दिया।"

वारसी ने कहा कि लड़के ने अलॉर्म देना जारी रखा जब तक वह रुक नहीं गई। जल्द ही मेरे रिश्तेदार और पड़ोसी बच्चे को बचाने के लिए जगह पर पहुँचे। उसने भीड़ को देख कर ख़ुद को घिरा हुआ पाया और वह लड़के को छोड़ कर भाग गयी।"

उसके बाद स्थानीय निवासियों ने मुंब्रा पुलिस को सूचित किया और महिला की पहचान करने के लिए क्षेत्र से निजी सीसीटीवी कैमरों की फुटेज को खंगाला गया। कैमरों की एक फुटेज में साफ़ दिखाई देता है कि कथित अपहरणकर्ता किस तरह से ढाई साल के बच्चे को अपने साथ लेकर जा रही है और कैसे उसका दस साल का बड़ा भाई शोर मचाते हुए उसे रोकने की कोशिश कर रहा है। 
इस घटना के बाद, अपार्टमेंट के निवासी इलाके में खेलने वाले बच्चों के बारे में अधिक सतर्कता बरतने की योजनाएं बना रहे हैं। एक निवासी रिज़वान अंसारी ने बताया कि "हम बच्चों की सुरक्षा के बारे में बहुत चिंतित हैं और हम क्षेत्र में सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से बहुत जल्द सीसीटीवी कैमरों को स्थापित करेंगे।" 

मुंबई पुलिस के वरिष्ठ पुलिस निरीक्षक, किशोर पासलकर ने कहा कि "हमें निवासियों से बच्चे को अपहरण करने के प्रयास के सिलसिले में जानकारी मिली है। हम फ़िलहाल मामले की जाँच कर रहे हैं, लेकिन अभी परिवार ने इस घटना के बारे में आधिकारिक शिकायत दर्ज़ नहीं की है।

तो ये था दस साल के बच्चों का दिमाग और उनकी सूझ-बूझ जिसकी बदौलत उन्होंने अपने भाई को अपहृत होने से बचा लिया। यह सच्ची घटना ये बताती है कि हमें भी अपने बच्चों को इस तरह की घटनाओं के लिए तैयार करना चाहिए जिससे वक़्त आने पर वो ख़ुद अपनी लड़ाई लड़ सकें।


फ़ोटो:- प्रशांत नार्वेकर

Sometime back Tamil Nadu wheelchair racing champion Manoj Kumar approached Soulfree, a public charitable trust that helps people with severely disability, as he couldn't find a way to get a special paralympic wheelchair for upcoming national and international level championships. Despite having confidence in his abilities he was losing heart as nobody came forward to assist him. With Soulfree's help he was able to get the wheelchair just two weeks ahead of national championship. He poured his heart and soul into the tournament and emerged with a gold medal!

Manoj is one among hundreds of people who cannot stop thanking Soulfree's founder Preethi Srinivasan for her help and support. A former national-level cricketer, swimmer, and bright student, she now remains paralyzed from neck down for over two decades after being hurt in a freak accident at the age of 18. After spending 11 years in complete isolation from the world she decided to focus on what she can do instead of what her body cannot.

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On a usual day, Preeti wakes up at 8.30 am, spends an hour-and-a-half to perform her morning ablutions with the help of her caregiver. By 10 am this wheelchair warrior is on her voice-enabled laptop ready to spread motivation and sunshine in people's lives who have resigned to fate. It is impossible to listen to this woman talk and not be blown away by her positive attitude, simplicity and infectious belief in scheme of things.

“I started playing cricket when I was four. I was the only girl among 300 boys who took coaching. I was eight when I played for the senior state team and it’s a record that is yet to be broken and I am waiting for someone to break that record," she tells KenFolios in an exclusive interview.

Life after two near death experiences

Today, she is known for her motivational speeches that bring about 360° change in people's perspective to look at struggles of life. Her organization is also a ray of hope as it works extensively with people having limited mobility. has given away more than 100 wheelchairs, including specially crafted lite-weight aluminium ones, for improved mobility for paraplegics. For quadriplegics they provide a reclining wheelchair for enhanced comfort, for special cases they provide retrofitted scooters too. They also provide a stipend of Rs 1,000 to around 20 severely disabled every month who are so poor they can't even afford two square meals for themselves.

"All you require is a little boost. And the person who motivates them also gains from it, right? Nobody should be made to feel lesser than others just because they are taking somebody's help. In a way, we all are dependent on someone or the other. But if we do it with a sense interconnectedness life becomes beautiful," says Preethi.

Image below: An old photograph of Preethi with her father. 

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Talking about the meaning of life Preethi shares that she has undergone two near death experiences. "I have been dead twice and for the second time I was gone for eight minutes. Before this happened I would fret and be full of fear. I would wonder why am I here, why am I even alive. But when I actually sensed my body dying all my fears went away. I now believe that I am being kept alive by a greater force to fulfil a purpose. All I have to do is be happy in here and now and do that work wholeheartedly. That's it."

Free your soul

One would assume that nothing is difficult for a changemaker like Preethi and she is a storehouse of energy, which she most certainly is. But the matter of fact is that her strength, her extraordinary achievements, and her unending motivation comes from knowledge and understanding of human limitations and their infinite potential. For Preethi, being dependent on someone else for your own needs and feeling helpless are two difficult things in life. And when you look at her work it becomes clear that she is doing all she can to empower others and instil them with a sense of independence.

Preethi has been working tirelessly to support Soulfree by funding it through delivering motivational speeches and raising personal and corporate funding. She not only inspires others to break mental shackles and come out flying but also empowers them by providing services like vocational training, job placement assistance and any other aide.

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One day, Preethi came across a person whose lower body was dysfunctional. This man lived in a hut and was reeling under extreme poverty. He would live of meagre earnings of his elderly mother and was severely depressed with his life. He would spend most of his day lying on cot. Preethi spoke to the man and made him break his mental barriers. She told him to focus on what can he do instead of what he cannot. The man expressed that all he knew was farming. So, Soulfree arranged a piece of land for him on lease and inspired him to start working on it. In an year's time he had produced over 100 sacs of rice and earned over a lakh rupees! It is absolutely inspiring and heartwarming to know about these transformation.

"I have never gone and asked anyone for money. I think when you dearly want to do something with a pure intent, things happen on their own effortlessly. It is important to surrender yourself to God and be honest toward your work. That's all," Preethi signs off.

The interview finished at around 8 pm. Now Preethi would spend an hour or two talking to her friends, socializing, listening to music or watching a good game of cricket on television.

 

Share Preethi's inspiring story, donate for her organization, and definitely leave your comments in the box below.

What will you choose between a life with regular pay cheques, fixed work schedule, with time for family and loved ones; versus a life where society looks down upon you but you save hundreds of people from a painful life? Dr Glory Alexander had thought she will work in the social sector after she retires from her hospital duties but fate had something else in store for her and so many people who needed hope and support in life.

Dr Glory is one of the very few people in country who began working on HIV/ AIDS in late 1990s when the disease was shrouded with stigma, social alienation and unending misinformation. In an exclusive interaction with KenFolios, she shares about her life, work and impact caused by her organization .

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A rosy childhood

Born in Bangalore, Dr Glory was raised in a loving family where she was the youngest among four siblings. Her mother was a homemaker and father was an air force officer. This meant a lot of travelling around, jumping from one school to another, and growing up with a competitive attitude.

Excited with Glory's consistent good grades in school, her parents encouraged their daughter to consider becoming a doctor, an option that seemed equally appealing to her. "I was adamant to join only AFMC, Pune but my parents knocked sense into me and asked to apply at other places, too. After a rigorous interview session that lasted three days, I joined Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore," she says.

f3wut4pu678jtsbitwwwlxvzbryxfbbz.pngExclusive photo: A photo from 1977 when Dr Glory (first from right) along with other medical practitioners went to help flood victims in Ongole in Andhra Pradesh.

A death that stirred a storm

In 1987, she joined Bangalore Baptist Hospital as a consultant in medicine. Life was far away from being unpredictable, or so it seemed to her that time until she was nursing a severely ill patient. This was an American battling respiratory failure in India, away from his near and dear ones.

Dr Glory recalls, "His tongue and his nails had turned blue and he was breaking down. That time I could not figure out what the problem was. When I was about to leave, he asked me, “Doctor, could it be AIDS?” I did not know what to say. In 1987, AIDS was not even in the medical syllabus. I went to the library and read about the illness in The Oxford Textbook of Medicine. And it all fell into place."

It was a time when there were no testing options available for AIDS in Bangalore so his samples were sent to Vellore. By the time tests came and it was known that the person did have AIDS, he was already dead and buried. This incident left a deep impact on Dr Glory and stayed with her in one corner. She says, she wondered why would a person choose to come so far to die.

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"I didn't know what my future would look like but I knew that this incident had affected me."

Eleven years later

Dr Glory along with her husband went to work in Oman for three years. "Since the Baptist Hospital could not offer us attractive compensation, we thought of working abroad for a couple of years and then come back to rejoin the hospital in Bangalore," she says.

By the time they were back, in 1994, AIDS had come out of dark alleys and was staring the nation right in the face. The international communities whispered their fears of India becoming the next Africa and will lose one whole generation to the disease."I was appalled at the stigma around AIDS and it was even present among medical community at that time."

Emitting ray of hope

Once Dr Glory was invited to speak to 250 students about HIV/ AIDS. It was an interesting talk and every student listened to her with rapt attention but when she asked if anyone had a question, she was met with silence that reeked of shame. She then asked that students can write their questions on a piece of paper. The result, 31 questions reached her. Next time she was invited to address 900 medical students and the same thing happened.

Nobody wanted to talk about this hushed disease making it clear for Dr Glory that she had to reroute her career. In 1998, she quit the Baptist hospital to set up Asha Foundation, a place that is now one-stop solution for HIV/ AIDS patients. Right from a phone helpline to providing assistance in finding job, they do it all.

y3vxkgrpsm9acmvmcjhzqvfqefvebiz9.pngDr Glory was honored with Dr BC Roy National Award under the category of ‘Outstanding services in the field of Socio-Medical Relief’ from then President Pranab Mukherjee at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on on the occasion of Doctors’ Day.

Asha stands for action, service and hope for AIDS. It is a charitable and voluntary Trust helping HIV/AIDS infected people, their families and society. The range of services include advocacy, capacity building, research, preventive services, awareness, treatment, care, support and rehabilitation of HIV-infected and affected persons with a special focus on women and children.

It is nothing short of a victory for our country that HIV/ AIDS, once a life threatening disease, has now reduced to a chronic disorder. And a portion of this achievement rightly bear thanks to Dr Glory Alexander. Share this story and leave your comments below.

Typically, when you are in mid-twenties, life is only beginning to unfold. There's energy, fun, and a lot of things that can be labelled under 'going with the flow'. But there are always some individuals who combine their talent with hard work causing a spark so bright that everyone is forced to notice it.

Even as a young college student, Kuunal Saraff (26) recognized his entrepreneurial streak and acted on it breathlessly. Today, at 26, he wears the badge of saving hundreds of life only because he believed in his idea and pursued it passionately. He the founder of The Saviours, a non-governmental organization that has built a network of blood donors and does various other humanitarian projects.

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Rising from the ashes

"After finishing college I came back to my hometown . It so happened that one day, my grandfather needed to be hospitalized and we had to run from pillar to post for arranging blood. It was harrowing," Kuunal tells KenFolios in an interview.

 It was in this moment that he realized arranging blood is a widespread struggle and brings a lot of stress to friends and family members of patients. He began thinking if going through this ordeal is mandatory or could their be a way out. Within a month of finishing college, he established The Saviours, in August 2014. It sure was not an easy task but the first time Kuunal single-handedly arranged for over 100 donors he became more sure than ever that he would scale his activities at a larger scale.

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"When you help others the universe conspires to help you." - How an iPhone Made Me The Youngest Billionaire, a book by Kuunal Saraff.

Creating attractive model

Kuunal devised an internship model which attracted students for certificates. However, the impact caused by their work motivated the students to continue the association for more than just a couple of years.

"We exist because there is a gap between blood donors and recipients," says Kuunal.

Today, The Saviours has expanded to a team of 3000+ volunteers, with a database of 30,000+ emergency donors and have effectively saved over 1,000 lives with its work. Started from Kolkata, it now has its units in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore too.

Humanity above all

"Apart from working with blood donors, The Saviours also does workshop with children in orphanages, spends time with lonely and elderly, feeds poor and homeless. My work earns me so much satisfaction that it can't be put into words," says the BBA graduate.

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It is Kuunal's next ambition to create autonomous teams of The Saviour in every Indian city and bridge the gap between blood donors and recipients and to expand the humanitarian work that they do.

Cheers to the amazing work that The Saviours is doing. They cement our belief in humanity and treating everyone with love and respect. Share the story and leave below your comments.

परंपरागत रूप से भारत में, व्यापारिक संचालन समाज की बेहतरी से कोई सरोकार नहीं रखता है। लाभ की एक छोटी सी राशि और वह भी अनिवार्य सीएसआर की वजह से डोनेट करने के अलावा उनका दूर-दूर तक कोई वास्ता नहीं रहता। लेकिन समय के साथ अब इस क्षेत्र में भी क्रांतिकारी परिवर्तन देखने को मिल रहे हैं। सामाजिक उद्यमियों की वर्तमान लहर ने वाकई में एक नए दौर का आगाज़ किया है।

जिस प्रकार व्यापारिक उद्यमिता में नवाचारी उत्पादों या नवाचारी सेवाओं का बहुत महत्व है, उसी तरह सामाजिक उद्यमी के कार्य में सामाजिक नवाचार का बहुत महत्व है। नई पीढ़ी के युवा अब ऐसे स्मार्ट आइडियाज के साथ आगे आ रहे हैं, जो सामाजिक कल्याण को ध्यान में रखकर बनाया गया है। आज हम एक ऐसे ही स्टार्टअप की कहानी आपके सामने पेश कर रहे हैं, जो एक क्रांतिकारी ऐप के ज़रिये आपके भीतर की परोपकारिता को आपके फिटनेस के साथ जोड़ता है।

'इम्पैक्ट' नामक यह ऐप आपको टहलने या जॉग या दौड़ने के लिए प्रोत्साहित करता है और आपकी यह गतिविधि फंड इकट्ठा करने वाली विभिन्न परियोजनाओं में योगदान देती है। इस ऐप के सह-संस्थापक और मुख्य कार्यकारी अधिकारी इशान नदकर्णी ने केनफ़ोलिओज़ के साथ ख़ास बातचीत में प्रोजेक्ट के ऊपर विस्तार से चर्चा की।

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कैसे हुई शुरुआत

दो साल पहले इशान नादकर्णी और निखिल खंडेलवाल ने इस प्रोजेक्ट की आधारशिला रखी थी। दोनों पहले से ही एक क्राउडफंडिंग परियोजना पर काम कर रहे थे, जिसका उद्देश्य तकनीक के माध्यम से समाज की बेहतरी में योगदान देना था। इसी दौरान एक दिन निखिल ने इशान को एक चुनौती दी कि यदि वह जॉगिंग के लिए जाएगा तो वह उसे पैसे देंगे। खेल-खेल में दी गयी इसी चुनौती में उन्हें अपना स्टार्टअप आइडिया दिखा। 

फिर उन्होंने इस परियोजना पर काम करना शुरू किया। और जल्द ही तीन अन्य लोग इससे जुड़े। उन्होंने अगस्त, 2016 में अपना ऐप लॉन्च किया। वर्तमान में, उनके पास 12 लोगों की एक टीम है जो विभिन्न व्यावसायिक पहलुओं पर काम कर रही है। अब उनके पास 50,000 से अधिक उपयोगकर्ता भी हैं और अब तक उन्होंने ₹2.8 करोड़ से अधिक के फंड भी जुटाए हैं।

कैसे काम करता है यह ऐप

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ऐप डाउनलोड करने के बाद, उपयोगकर्ता को कई फंड इकट्ठा वाली परियोजनाओं में से एक को चुनने के लिए कहा जाता है। चयन करने के बाद, जब उपयोगकर्ता टहलने या जॉग या दौड़ने के लिए जाता है, तो ऐप कवर की दूरी का पता लगाता है और दूरी पूरा होते ही उस विशेष कारण पर काम कर रहे गैर सरकारी संगठनों को एक निश्चित राशि हस्तांतरित की जाती है। यह पैसा कॉर्पोरेट सोशल ज़िम्मेदारी (सीएसआर) की ओर से एक फंड के रूप में विभिन्न कंपनियों से आता है।

साल 2013 में सरकार द्वारा भारत में हर बड़ी कंपनियों को सीएसआर कानून अनिवार्य कर दिया गया था। इस अधिनियम के तहत, प्रत्येक कंपनी जिसका 500 करोड़ रुपये का शुद्ध मूल्य था या 1,000 करोड़ रुपये का कारोबार या ₹ 5 करोड़ का शुद्ध लाभ था, उन्हें सामुदायिक कल्याण के लिए अपने औसत शुद्ध लाभ का कम से कम 2 प्रतिशत खर्च करना पड़ेगा। इम्पैक्ट टीम इस कानून का उपयोग करती है और कंपनियों को इस कानूनी जिम्मेदारी में मदद करती है।

लोगों के बीच बड़ी तेजी से हो रहा है लोकप्रिय

ऐप के विपणन पर बहुत कम खर्च करने वाली टीम का मानना है कि लोगों के बीच लोकप्रिय होने का अपना तरीका है। एक प्रेरणा के रूप में दान के अलावा, ऐप में एक लीडरबोर्ड भी शामिल है जो उपयोगकर्ताओं को प्रतिस्पर्धात्मक अनुभव देता है। इसके अलावा, टीम मैराथन आयोजकों के साथ भी मिलकर काम करती है। वे उन कंपनियों के लिए कर्मचारियों की मेजबानी भी करते हैं जो मौद्रिक योगदान के लिए इच्छुक होते हैं।

एक विचार जो दो दोस्तों के बीच एक मजेदार चुनौती से शुरू हुआ, अब संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका, कनाडा, मध्य पूर्व और चीन जैसे देशों में भी अपनी पहुँच बना चुका है। बहुत से लोग पैसे या समय की कमी की वजह से सामजिक कल्याण के कार्यों में योगदान चाहते हुए भी नहीं दे पाते। यह ऐप उनके लिए एक वरदान साबित हो सकता है।

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चीजें हमेशा एक तरह से नहीं चलती और कभी-कभी चुनौतियों का सामना भी करना होता है। यद्यपि वे अपने लक्ष्यों तक तेजी से पहुंचते हैं, लेकिन कभी-कभी इसमें समय लगता है। ऐसे मामलों में, वे जितनी जल्दी हो सके लक्ष्य को पूरा करने के लिए अधिक से अधिक उपयोगकर्ताओं को प्रोत्साहित करते हैं ताकि एनजीओ समय पर भुगतान कर सकें।

इशान कहते हैं कि "मैं ऐसे समय का सपना देखता हूं जब हमारे उपयोगकर्ताओं की संख्या और उनकी सक्रियता इतनी अधिक होगी कि तुरंत ही किसी भी मुहिम के लिए फंड एकत्रित हो जाएंगे।"

इम्पैक्ट टीम वाकई में समाज में एक प्रभावकारी इम्पैक्ट लाने की दिशा में प्रयासरत है। उम्मीद है कि ज्यादा से ज्यादा लोग इस मुहिम से जुड़कर देश व समाज की बेहतरी में अपना योगदान दे सकेंगे।

यदि आप भी इस मुहिम का हिस्सा बनना चाहते हैं, तो ऐप को डाउनलोड करें:

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Mathematics of life has its own wonderful ways of working. It might not always seem logical but if you take a step back and see the whole picture it does make perfect sense. Today, our spotlight falls on someone who is quietly bringing about much-needed difference in those sections of the society which get least resources to heft the most heavy burdens.

It would be apt to say that life has been fairly hospitable to 54-year-old Nivedita Desai. She got a loving childhood, good education, a nurturing environment, interesting job and what not. But this woman remembered to acknowledge that not everybody around her gets an opportunity.

Twist before 50

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At the age of 49, after gaining over two decades of experience and reaching high up on the career ladder, Nivedita quit her career in flavours and scents industry to do something most people admire only from a distance, founding a charitable trust.

"As a family we were always inclined toward doing our bit for the society but the idea to do this as a full-time activity came from my husband. My family and I pooled in money and started operations under Animedh Charitable Trust (ACT) in 2013," Nivedita told KenFolios in an interview.

The best way to find solution to a problem is to ask the suffering, something that Nivedita has been doing to create a punchy impact. Her team asks women living in slums as to what and how can their life be different and often their suggestions work the best. "Unko jo suit karta hai hum waisi training provide karwate hain," says Nivedita whose organization facilitates tailoring classes, beauty parlor courses, spoken English tuitions, catering training among many others.

Comprehensive approach

ACT promotes college students to act for the society by volunteering to take remedial classes for children living in slums, low-income pockets and orphanages under their programme StudyBuddy. Weekly one hour training for women is also provided to improve their softskills, ability to manage finances etc.

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Animedh has positively impacted over 2,500 children and 1,500 women in Mumbai, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Gujarat with the help of over 150 volunteers.

It is common for girls from low-income families to quit education for STD 10 despite free education schemes. This problem is more complex than it may appear to be. To achieve overall success, ACT ties up with that provide counselling and allied services to the beneficiaries.

"More often we only look at economic empowerment of marginalized communities but in reality there are many other problems that hold them back."

Hundreds like Shraddha

Teenager Shraddha's was nurturing a dream in an environment that did not support her. She was good at sports and wanted to make a career in it. However, her ambitions were shattered when her mother almost withdrew her from all sports activities because of her falling grades at school. Nothing should come between a child and their dream so ACT intervened and took matter in its hand. Their remedial classes have not only resulted in Shradhha's improved grades but have also brought her close to the basketball court.

"There are so many beneficiaries beaming with pride, feeling empowered because ACT would provide them with the most suited assistance. We believe in smart work," says Nivedita, Managing Trustee of ACT.

In 2017, Animedh did another interesting project for adivasi community of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Most parents here worked as labors and did not have the ability to help their children with studies. To bring an amount of comfort among the children and increase relatibility, ACT hired teachers from the same community and offered students help with their lessons. This unique programme was a major success and around 350 students were benefitted from it.

ACT believes that empowered women can be the backbone of widescale impact and can bring about change in the society.

It is only because of Nivedita's leadership, ACT team's hardwork, and unending support from numerous volunteers that thousands of people have been benefitted. It is heartwarming to see that there are people who have dedicated their lives to protect and nourish dreams of someone whom they don't even know at first, but end up forming a close bond.

There are hundreds of ways to act with ACT. Donate here and do your bit.

Reposted Renu Sethi's post.

 Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you're needed by someone - Martina Navratilova

Living with a disability can be hard. But one needs to realize that they are still in control of their lives. All that's required is independence, sense of empowerment, and positive outlook. The story below is about one such man and how he managed to tick all the requirements and lead a fulfilling life.

A tweet by Sanjib Ghosh recently went viral. It was about a teacher, teaching his students. You might wonder what's so extraordinary about that. But when you look at the picture, you see who the teacher truly is. A differently-abled man with limp limbs teaching his students.

Meet Mr Sanjay Sen, he has been teaching kids, complex subjects like Math, Science, and English in a government school in Rajasthan under the Shiksha Sambal Project since 2009. The picture shows how Sanjay is straining to write as there are absence of proper facilities like crutches or wheelchairs. In spite of all the hardships this man had been zealously teaching since last 8 years.

After the tweet went viral, people from all over India lauded this teacher's dedication.




What is Shiksha Sambal Project?

Students in rural areas usually struggle with subjects like English, Science and Mathematics (SEM). To top that, shockingly there are often shortages of teachers in government schools for teaching SEM subjects, leading to a large number of students quitting school. To discourage kids from dropping out, the Shiksha Sambal project was started by Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL), in collaboration with the Government of Rajasthan was started.

The Shiksha Sambal project aims in strengthening the learning of SEM subjects. So far it has been implemented in 55 senior government schools located in communities around the company’s operations, across Ajmer, Bhilwada, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand and Udaipur districts of Rajasthan. So far, Siksha Sambal reaches out to over 7,000 students from classes 9th to 12th.


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Picture Source : Twitter








मैंने कई माँ-बाप देखे हैं जो अपने नन्हें-मुन्नों की बड़ाई करते वक़्त उनकी मोबाइल पे नाचती उँगलियों का बखान करने से नहीं चूकते| रोते बच्चों को चुप करना है तो कार्टून लगा दो, वो टूटा खिलौना भूल जाएगा| अगर आप व्यस्त होने वाले हैं तो यूट्यूब पे राइम्स या कार्टून लगा दें| एक ख़त्म होते ही दूसरा शुरू हो जाएगा| मैं आपसे जानना चाहती हूँ कि क्या आपने भी अपने आस-पास के परिवारों में, या खुद के परिवार में यह देखा है? क्या आप ऐसा करते हैं, और आपके बच्चे की उम्र कितनी है?

ये करना कितना ज़रूरी है और कितना हानिकारक, ये भी बताएं| क्या बच्चे फोन न देने पर चिड़चिड़े हो जाते हैं? या फिर छोटी उम्र से ही टेक्नोलॉजी की तरफ रुझान बढ़ जाता है, बच्चे सीखने लगते हैं? आपने आस-पास क्या देखा है, क्या महसूस करते हैं नीचे कॉमेंट्स में हमे बताएं| 

Bigots bigots everywhere

Who non-stop cringe and stink

Chin up, wear the pride

Drown your hatred in a sink

May be you can't see yourself kissing someone of the same sex, and even the thought of a homo couple taking cozy walk in a park grosses you out. But it is time to change that attitude. Because someday an innocent little child, may be your own, will ask you about how proud you felt on this historic day and you would have to lie about it to avoid being judged for your unfair beliefs.

Historically, India has been a country that embraced and celebrated people and their love free of any judgement. And today, thanks to the Apex Court, "love has again become the law of nature," quoting equal rights activist Harrish Iyer.

If someone you know thinks this judgement is a disaster, here are a few quick things you can tell them:

1. Be cool

Just like one doesn't choose to be heterosexual, a gay person cannot choose to be gay. They are born with it and sooner or later the world will have to deal with this truth that people's sexuality, whatever it is, is normal. American Psychiatric Association had removed homosexuality from list of mental illnesses in 1973 and Indian Psychiatric Society thinks the same.

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 "History owes the LGBT community an apology for their sufferings," remarked Justice Indu Malhotra, who was part of the Supreme Court bench.

2. United Nations thinks it is important

When the United Nations decided to create a set of global goals to end poverty and inequality by 2030, equality groups pushed for the rights and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexuals and trans people to be taken into account. The result, the Sustainable Development Goals was agreed in 2015 and signed onto by 193 governments on the basis that they apply to everyone, everywhere and will ‘leave no one behind’.

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"We sincerely hope that this will be the first step towards guaranteeing the full range of fundamental rights to LGBTI persons." - United Nations

3. Because consenting adults can adult

No explanation required. If two adults are willing to have sex, it is nobody's business to judge what they do in their private space. 

4. It is Indian culture, yes

The law that criminalized homosexuality was brought by the British in 1860. Although UK decriminalized the act in 1968 (that is 50 years back) it took a long while for India to catch up. India had always been a land that welcomed love and allowed it to stay wild, without judging it.

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"Hidden in niches as in Khajuraho, one does find images of either women erotically embracing other women or men displaying their genitals to each other. Interpretations and judgements aside, these images tell us that the ‘idea’ of same-sex and what the colonial rulers termed ‘unnatural’ intercourse did exist in India," says ‎mythologist‎ and popular writer Devdutt Pattanaik.

5. Because this is just the beginning

Decriminalizing homosexuality is merely a first step toward a better India. People have been granted the right to love but our society is still far away from warming up to the LGBT community. Homosexuals in India are still far away from getting legally married, adopting children, apply for housing and filling various other important forms and documents.

So be good, okay? Embrace the change with love and make this a better country for every citizen. 

Woman of words. Director and editor-in-chief at KenFolios.

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