There is a new trend among youngsters who are giving up cozy jobs to help unprivileged section of our society. Who doesn’t love warm blankets and Starbuck coffee or branded sneakers but, these are only materials not to satisfy, for there is no end to human desire, one ends new begins. This desire prevents us human to ascend to another dimension of humanity. It restricts people to reach greatness.
However, not all are meant to inspire and those who do, they imprint the world with genius. We have compiled a list of 10 such remarkable people of India, who sailed against the wind to make a difference.
1. Alok Sagar: What if we tell you that the man who taught Raghuram Rajan once, is now spending his time changing the life of poor. for the past 32 years, this extraordinary man has been residing in the very remote and tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh. He has planted more than 50k trees. According to him, the only way India can be changed is through root levels. The man has no luxury and has been living a similar life as the likes of tribal people. In his wardrobe, he owns 3 pairs of Kurtas, a bicycle and spends the day distributing seeds and educating people.
2. Shuvajit Payne: After completing his education from Kolkata and working for full four years with IBM in London and owning every luxury one could dream of, he somehow felt it unworthy. He left the job to do something good, something meaningful and with a purpose. He decided to work for rural people, where he thinks talent is hidden but due to lack of opportunities and guidance couldn’t surface. With the help of SBI’s Young India program, he gave the youngsters a chance to work for the rural area development projects. Some NGOs also came to aid in helping them. The People are provided with a stipend also.
3. Varun Sharma: Sauba, a remote village in Odisha has never witnessed electricity and any development what so ever. Even the basic amenities are lacking. A Post graduate from Azim Premji’s University Banglore decided to bring light in their lives. He has burdened himself happily with a responsibility of bringing electricity, proper education and basic facilities to the village. He has tied up with the people and SBI’s Young India development project, to re-open the school and getting funds approved to build a road for the area. There are no arrangements in the village for emergency first aid. The nearest hospital is about 55 km away. Varun is determined to turn the place into a livable society where children can learn and sick can be treated.
4. Nupur Guliani: Dreamt to be a Chartered Accountant and being an intern with Ernst and Young. Nupur left all behind to make a far village of Rajasthan misery free. Villagers there totally rely on woods, consuming 20-30kgs daily. Not only is that harmful to the environment but for their very lives. She learned about SBI’s Young India development scheme and that gave her the remaining courage to carry out her dream of helping the people. The women travel miles to collect woods. She plans to replace the wood usage with biomass briquettes. These briquettes are thick biomass structure and possible substitute for wood. Currently, she is working on a briquette composed of sawdust, decomposing leaves, tamarind seeds and water. It will be tested soon, and she is optimistic the village will be using it in about upcoming months.
5. Shalini Krishnan: When most of us are struggling to settle down (well it mostly means high paying job) with a job in a reputed MNCs, Shalini Krishnan decided to do the opposite. Having worked for the companies like Adobe, Cisco, and Honeywell, she thought to put these strings aside and contribute to the society. Kankia village in Odisha was the place she thought of serving. She noticed that children in the schools are creative and talented and are among the brightest. Unfortunately, not all get the privilege as only one child from a family is sent to study while others support their families in fields and farms. The families cannot afford to pay 1,000 rs. for the school fee. Kalpanadham, a creativity, and design studio opened by her are especially devoted to teaching these children art.
6. Vandana Maurya: A village struggling through children malnutrition for past 50 years found relief when ‘Nagli Madam’ came to their rescue. Quitting her job in a multinational law firm, she has been trying her hard to change the eating habits of the people. Jawahar, a village, in the remote province of Thane and 150 km away from Mumbai, was plagued with infant malnutrition. She has spread the practice of growing Millet or Nagli a kind of Millet/Nagli revolution, (hence the name Nagli Madam). She is also attempting to pull them out of poverty by various means such as Millet Festival, market linkage etc.
7. Shriya Rangarajan: Having a degree from a reputed foreign university assures a good job. Many of us desire that to earn loads. Maybe that is where we lose purpose. Shriya determined not to lose the meaning of life and after Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she moved to a remote village of Maharashtra to improve the sub-human living of women. She is helping the women to create stunning pieces of paper quilled jewelry and plans to sell it through online stores.
8. Anirudh Prasadh: What happens to the country whose backbone is Agriculture and there is no proper system of farming nor any relief for farmers. Anirudh was a chemical engineer and had a high paying job but he went to help farmers of Kolli hills, Tamil Nadu. He has been pushing the production of millet crops to enable them to sell these products through modern age tools such online marketing and e-commerce platforms and earn more profits. MS Swaminathan Research Foundation came forward to support Anirudh in what they term ‘Millet Revolution’. Cereals made out of this crop helps in ailing Calcium and iron deficiency. He even helped them in rebranding and repackaging of the products the village sells.
9. Pratibha Krishnaiah: Change is only an initiative, a step to take. Pratibha was placed as a software engineer in a multinational firm of Banglore but, that is not what she had in her mind. She ran off to help the women in villages of Uttrakhand to make them more productive to earn the livelihood. A two hour of trekking to her workplace shows her passion for doing good. Villages like Khetikhan, Tapni, Pal and Dhat mostly relied on agriculture and untimely rain sometimes burden their shoulders with huge losses. She wanted to give them an alternate source of income. That is when she found out the women were good multitaskers, they could knit and walk with loads on their heads the same time. She brought together 25 women to develop the knitting and crochet work. The finished products will later be sold in the markets.
10. Manoj Munot: Inspired from a local MLA, a construction business owner, Manoj Munot from Aurangabad, Maharashtra has set a new bar for serving humanity. Earlier he had planned an expensive wedding for her daughter, however, on the second thought, he gave the money for the human cause. He built 90 houses for the poor. According to his daughter, there couldn’t anymore greater gift than this. He also drew praises across the country.
These were a few of many people who left their cozy beds and luxury lifestyle to make a difference in society. They stand as a symbol that life has much more meaning than just running after money. It is a purpose and a meaning. Once a great man said, behind greed and luxury lies true peace, enough to inspire and change the world.’ They found out their calling. Have you yet?