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Dashrath Manjhi : Mountain Man


One of the inspiring story that I came across a long time back is of Dashrath Manjhi. He received the appellation "Mountain Man" after he carved a path 360-foot-long (110 m) through-cut, 25-foot-deep (7.6 m) in places and 30-foot-wide (9.1 m) to form a road through a mountain in the Gehlour hills, working day and night for 22 years from 1960 to 1982.

But why would he do such a humongous task? Such motivation stirred from the loss of his wife, Falguni Devi, as she was unable to receive a medical treatment in time because the nearest town with a doctor was 70 kilometers (43 mi) away from their village in Bihar, India. Moreover, kids of the village have to take up an arduous task of walking miles to attend school. To ameliorate the pain of thousands and not letting anyone suffer the same fate as his wife inspired him to create a short-cut through the mountain, reducing the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of the Gaya district from 55 km to 15 km, bringing him the national acclaim.


He died on August 17, 2007 and was given a state funeral by the Government of Bihar. What this story inspires me is that hope is the best thing, maybe, one of those thing that drives your will; though he was ridiculed by his fellow villagers, calling him 'stupid' for taking up such an impossible task, nevertheless, his sheer determination made him strive for straight 22 years because he hoped: to make things easy for his people, to assuage the pain caused by the mountain, and that humanity - with will - can transmute the impossible into possible, as is show in the above image.

Sindhutai Sapkal : The Mother of Orphans


Sou. Sindhutai Sapkal also known as Mother of Orphans is an Indian social worker and social activist known particularly for her work for raising orphan children.

At the age of nine, she was married to a man with the age difference of 21 years. Her husband was a 30-year-old cattle-herder, who would often beat her for no reasons. At the age 20, she was deserted by her husband and thrown out of her house along with an infant baby girl. She landed up on a railway station and tried to commit suicide twice to end her gruesome life.But she decided not to give up and fight against the cruelty of male dominated society.

“I was told there are only two processions in a woman’s life; once when she gets married and the other when she dies. Imagine my state of mind when they took me in a procession to my husband’s home in Navargaon forest in Wardha"- Sindhutai Sapkal

During the homelessness, she came across dozens of street children and orphans living pathetic lives. A day, she got up with a resolve to fight for them and give them a better and decent life. Her courage and determination encouraged others to come up with their helping hands. Years passed and now she has nurtured over 1050 orphaned children. As of today, she has a grand family of 207 son-in-laws, 36 daughter-in-laws and over 1000 grandchildren.

“When I was out myself on the streets begging for food and fighting for survival each day, I realized that there are so many orphans who have nobody to go to. I decided to take care of them and raise them as my own” - Sindhutai Sapkal

Many of the children that she adopted are well educated lawyers and doctors, and some including her biological daughter are running their independent orphanages. One of her child is doing PHD on her life. Till date she is honored by 272 awards. She used all that money to buy land to make home for her orphan children.

Srikanth Bolla : The blind CEO of a 50 crore company


He is the CEO of Hyderabad-based Bollant Industries, an organisation that employs uneducated and disabled employees to manufacture eco-friendly, disposable consumer packaging solutions, which is worth Rs 50 crores. Sounds nothing great right? Here comes the twist in the tail. He was born blind into an agricultural family in Sitaramapuram village in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, India. After his birth villagers in his family advised his mother and father to let him die.
"Many questions bothered me. Why should a disabled child be pushed to the back row in the class? Why should the 10 percent of the disabled population of India be left out of the Indian economy?"

In school, he was pushed to the back bench and was not allowed to play. He excelled in studies and scored above 90 percent in his class 10 examinations. Indian Institute of Technology and BITS Pilani has closed its doors citing his disability. He applied to the top Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and now he is all set to finish his studies in Computer Science and Business Management, and started a computer-training centre for visually challenged students. The centre now trains 30 blind high school students each year, but with more funding, he hopes to add more computers and more students. Bolla was quoted in MIT journal, where he said, “I want to dedicate my life to community and social service. I want a place in society where people look up to me as a role model and great leader”. He wants to pursue an MBA in an institute like Harvard and become India's president.

Srikanth with late President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
Today, Srikanth has four production plants, one each in Hubli (Karnataka) and Nizamabad (Telangana), and two in Hyderabad (Telangana). Another plant, which will be one hundred percent solar operated, is coming up in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Angel investor Ravi Mantha was impressed with his business acumen and vision for his company that he not only decided to mentor him but also invested in Srikanth’s company.They are raising $2-million (around Rs 13 crores) in funding and have already raised Rs 9 crores. His vision is to build a sustainable company with a workforce comprising 70 percent people with disability.

Palam Kalyanasundaram : Man of the Millenium

“Everything is a state of mind. Finally, what do we take with us when we leave planet earth?”

73-year-old Tamil Nadu librarian donated Rs 30 crore to the uneducated poor

This man, an Indian, received "Man of the Millennium" from an American organization.

The reason they awarded will put to shame many of the celebrities who are treated as demi-gods in India.

Kalyanasundaram, has donated his entire salary in his whole lifetime to the welfare of the society for various social causes ranging from child welfare to free hand donations . He used to do laundry and server jobs for his daily needs. He is unmarried and also donated his family share to various social causes.

He donated the entire amount which he got with the award also to the underprivileged. And Just for facts, the amount was 30 crores.

The Missile Man of India : Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

The person who inspired every countrymen. He always dreamed for a better society and a better nation. He was a great man who changed our country, a great inspiration for the youth like me and a great model for all.

Sir Kalam demonstrated the great potential for dynamism and innovations. Agni, Pritvi, Akash, Trishul and Nag- missiles that have become household names in India and have raised the nation to the level of a missile power of international reckoning. After graduating from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT – Chennai) in 1960, he joined Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist. Sir Kalam started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, but remained unconvinced with the choice of his job at DRDO. Later Sir Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite near earth's orbit in July 1980. Joining ISRO was one of his biggest achievements in Sir Kalam's life.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam's 79th birthday was recognized as World Student's Day by United Nations. He has also received honorary doctorates from 40 universities. The Government of India has honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government. In 1997, Kalam received India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, for his immense and valuable contribution to the scientific research and modernization of defence technology in India. In 2005, Switzerland declared 26 May as science day to commemorate Kalam's visit in the country. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Von Braun Award from the National Space Society "to recognize excellence in management of and leadership for a space-related project."

At the same time he helped to create India's awesome weaponry and maintained the rigour of his personal life, working 18 hours a day and practicing veena and loving literature. With the characteristics of modesty, Kalam ascribes the greatness of his achievements to the influence of his teachers and parents. He was a simple and ordinary person who have experience a lot of struggle in his youth and boy hood. He came from a poor background and started working at an early age to supplement his family's income. His dream was to become a pilot and fly high ,but narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the Indian Air Force (IAF).On July 25,2002 he was sworn in as the eleventh president of India and governed India succeeding K.R Narayanan.

Dr Kalam set a target of interacting with 100,000 students during the two years after his resignation from the post of scientific adviser in 1999. He loved to interact with students by saying- "I feel comfortable in the company of young people, particularly high school students. Henceforth, I intend to share with them experiences, helping them to ignite their imagination and preparing them to work for a developed India for which the road map is already available. ''He continued to interact with students during his term as a President and also during his post-presidency period as a visiting professor at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, and a visiting faculty at many other academic and research institutions across India. He is strong supporter of Space based solar power. He continues to take an active interest in other developments in the field of science and technology.

Dr Kalam felt that the biggest problem faced within the youths of our country was the lack of clarity of vision, the lack of direction. The poor children living in obscure place, in an unprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way his destiny has been shaped and helped them to liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory backwardness and hopelessness.

About Dr. Kalam’s Journey of life

Kalam was born on 15th October 1931 and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India's civilian space program and military missile development efforts. He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.

He also played a pivotal organizational, technical, and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

From 'Missile Man' to 'People's President'

Kalam was elected as the 11th President of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the then-opposition Indian National Congress and had served 5 years to the nation. Widely referred to as the "People's President”, he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service after a single term. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.

Role model for students

A vegetarian bachelor, Kalam was quoted as saying that like most of the technology he spearheaded, he himself was "Made in India", having never been trained abroad.

Kalam succeeded K R Narayanan and served a full five-year term from 2002 until 2007 after he won the presidential elections which was a highly one-sided contest with Lakshmi Sahgal, a revolutionary of the Indian Independence movement, as his rival. He secured the backing of all political parties.

A role model for students and young people Kalam was always happy to be among them and educational institutions. He breathed his last in the premises of an educational institution.


Death

While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83. Thousands including national-level dignitaries attended the funeral ceremony held in his hometown of Rameshwaram, where he was buried with full state honours.

(Source : Hindustan Times, Wikipedia and India.yourstory.com)

Pranav Dhanawade : The Boy Who Scored 1009 runs in a single match

Well not exactly a success story but it was highly inspiring to know about the 15 year old boy who broke a 116 year old record in cricket. 
His name is Pranav Dhanawade. He scored 1009 runs of his own in a single match.

Pranav, whose father drives an autorickshaw, may have grown up in Kalyan, not quite the cricketing artery of Mumbai, only showed coolth and great self-confidence. His nervous father revealed to this reporter that he often worked overtime to provide Pranav two square meals and cricketing gear. Inspired by Prithvi Shaw's Harris Shield feat, Pranav had vowed to his father on Monday that he would get to a score that would be near-impossible to surpass. His unbeaten knock of 1009, an innings laced with 129 fours and 59 sixes off 327 deliveries has forever put Kalyan on the cricketing map.



Salute!

Source: Pranav Dhanawade's record feat hides more than it reveals - Times of India

Michael Jeffrey Jordan


“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

Jordan suffered his first set-back in his sophomore year when he was left out of the varsity basketball team, because he was only 5’9” at that time and his taller classmate Leroy Smith had won the last spot on the team.

He made up his mind that he would never have to face a similar situation ever again and started practicing every day after that, making it a point to take out time for his practice daily without fail. He soon shot up to 6’3”, made the team the next year and never had to look back after that.

From being a part of two gold-medal winning teams at the Olympics to winning NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award five times in his career, Jordan dominated the sports field for more than a decade in the ‘90s.

Neerja Bhanot - The Heroine Of The Hijack

The Heroine Of The Hijack

She was a flight attendant for Pan Am, based in Mumbai, India, who was murdered while saving passengers from terrorists on board the hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 on 5 September 1986. Posthumously, she became the youngest recipient of India's highest peacetime military award for bravery, the Ashok Chakra.

Bhanot was the senior flight purser on the ill-fated Pan Am Flight 73, which was hijacked by four heavily armed terrorists after it landed at Karachi at 5 am from Mumbai. PA 73 was en route to Frankfurt and onward to New York City. Bhanot, being the senior-most cabin crew member on board, took charge.

The hijackers were part of the terrorist Abu Nidal Organization and were backed by Libya. The terrorists then instructed Bhanot to collect the passports of all the passengers so that they could identify the Americans. Bhanot and the other attendants under her charge hid the passports of the 41 Americans on board – some under a seat and the rest down a rubbish chute.

After 17 hours, the hijackers opened fire and set off explosives. Bhanot opened the emergency door and helped a number of passengers escape. She could have been the first to jump out when she opened the door but she decided not to and was shot while shielding three children from a hail of bullets. Bhanot was recognized internationally as "the heroine of the hijack" and is the youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra Award, India's most prestigious gallantry award for bravery during peace time.