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Unsung Hero : Madan Yadav

Unsung Hero

Madan Yadav

Name Madan Yadav
Place Bihar
Career Tutor

No Roads or Electricity, but the School in this village is in Excellent Condition. Thanks to One Man. Badwankala, a small village in Bihar, is located 1,500 feet above sea level. This hilltop village has no electricity, water and even connectivity to the main road. It was only a few months ago that the first vehicles started reaching this place, otherwise there was no other way to get here but to walk. Most people in this remote area haven’t even stepped out of the village their entire lives. But there is a man here who runs a school where students recite English poems, excel academically, and are dressed like private school students.

“Our village is just like what it was when the country became independent. We are stuck in 1947. There are no facilities. Can you believe that people here have not even seen a train in their entire lives?” asks Madan.

Madan completed his primary education in Badwankala and then went off to a school located 20 km far from the village. After completing intermediate college, he worked as a school teacher in a private school for five years. But the sad state of education in his own village kept haunting him. “There is literally no facility in our village. We have to walk at least a kilometre to fetch water. There is no electricity and there are no roads. I do not have words to explain the misery of the residents here. I contacted the government officials so many times but no action was taken by them,” says Madan. “The condition of the school was terrible. It was started in 1953 but hardly anyone went to the school. I opened the locks and took charge,” he recalls.

He started spreading the awareness about education in the village and asked people to send their kids to school. To better the facilities and attract more students, he made the best possible use of the government’s Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. Free books, uniforms, mid-day meals. and financial incentives were part of the programme and Madan utilised them to the full.

“Around 500 students from two nearby villages come to attend the school. I try my best to teach them too, but I cannot do everything. We need more teachers and facilities, at least to draw village children to the school” he says. “There are only six rooms here. We need at least four more to accommodate the students. Also, the playground’s boundary wall is broken. We need to repair that and fix the ground, which is uneven and students sometimes hurt themselves while playing. We are not asking much from the government. All we want is some more teachers and more rooms, as we are not able to manage 500 students in such tiny premises. When the country is progressing so much, it hurts me to see this region being neglected. Don’t these people have the right to lead a better life?” asks Madan.


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Unsung Hero : Lakshmi Narayan J

Unsung Hero

J Lakshmi Narayan

Name J Lakshmi Narayan
Place Chennai
Career Working in Housekeeping Department

For 3 Years Now, The Chennai Folks Have Been Cleaning the Streets for Free!

The mountains of garbage festering on the streets of India are not just an eyesore but also an open breeding ground for deadly diseases. Sadly, this is a common sight in many economically weak neighbourhoods in cities, because they are more often than not ignored by municipal bodies and workers.

What is worse is that even the people living in such neighbourhoods have become used to being surrounded by waste, and existing in the extremely unsanitary environment, because they feel that there isn’t much that can be done on their part.

However, J Lakshmi Narayan, who has been working in the housekeeping department at Mayor Ramanathan Hall, MRC Nagar for over a decade, was always bothered with the sight of a resident of Mylapore’s Veerabadran Street. Lakshmi Narayan was drawn to the cause of social work and often took up cleaning activities like burying the corpses of street animals and birds during his teenage days—something which typically fails to elicit any reaction from most people. He is trash piling up on the streets of Chennai.

A true altruist, Lakshmi Narayan also helps out the local traffic police in busy areas like Mambalam and Koyembedu by volunteering to manage the ongoing influx of traffic and has been doing so for the past 15 years.

“I was quite content with the little difference that I was making without any publicity. But the issue of the garbage-strewn streets kept gnawing at me, and I wanted to do something to change the situation,” says Lakshmi Narayan to The Better India. Lakshmi Narayan believes that the effort to tackle the never-ending crisis of waste has to begin from one’s own home and only then can it be extended anywhere beyond.


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Unsung Hero : Goutham Kumar

Unsung Hero

Goutham Kumar

Name Goutham Kumar
Place Hyderabad
Career Corporate employee

“This Corporate Professional Quits his Job to Ensure that Nobody in his City Goes Hungry or Homeless”

A former corporate employee, Goutham Kumar realized that his true calling lay in serving humanity. Meet the man who is changing lives in Hyderabad.”Nobody should have to go hungry” says Goutham who left behind a lucrative profession to serve the greater good.

Having worked for a number of companies across the country, including Expedia, Goutham switched to work with full-time NGOs in Hyderabad five years ago. “I started my NGO because I wanted to serve others,” he says. “But I wanted it to be my profession, not a passion to be followed just once or twice a week. I was sure that this would be my sole purpose.” Recruiting the help of family members and well-wishers, Goutham set up Serve Needy in 2014 to assist the impoverished and homeless in the city.

Recovering leftovers to feed the hungry, better known as the Anna Daatha programme, is just one of the 14 projects Goutham is presently involved in.

Goutham and his family members, as well as four employees, work with an ever-increasing team of volunteers to aid the poor and homeless. They offer aid for cancer patients—including alternative medicine and birthday parties—at Hyderabad’s MNJ Cancer Hospital and Basawatarakam Hospital.They aid government schools, fix pot holes, identify and rescue mentally challenged individuals and even pets from the streets. Serve Needy’s special birthday parties in schools, hospitals and old age homes have garnered such a fan following that Goutham even receives special requests from sponsors.


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Unsung Hero : Shyam Bihari Prasad

Shyam Bihari Prasad

Unsung Hero

Shyam Bihari Prasad

Name Shyam Bihari Prasad
Place Delhi
Career Retired Assistant General Manager

Meet ‘Uncle’ Shyam Bihari Prasad, a Retired Assistant General Manager from BSNL Patna who teaches kids on a pavement in Vasant Kunj, Delhi.It all started during the cold winter months of 2013 when he shifted to Vasant Kunj in New Delhi to live with his daughter.This elderly gentleman would visit the Hanuman temple near his home every morning, where he would often see several children standing outside, begging the devotees for prasad. One morning, ‘Uncle’ (as he is called by everyone), gave his share of prasad to a child. On another day, he bought biscuits from the shop near the temple gate for a few other children also.

“All these children have working parents who lock up their homes when they go to work. They have to leave their kids outside to fend for themselves. Classes in the local government school start only at 10 am, so these kids beg for food outside the temple before going to school,” says Prasad.

On interacting with the kids, Prasad learnt more about their school and different classes the children attended. He also asked them some basic questions and realized they had no grasp of simple concepts in science and maths, nor any knowledge of spelling and writing in English and Hindi. One morning, he asked some of the children if they would like to study. On receiving an overwhelmingly positive response, he promised to meet them on the pavement outside the temple the next day at 8 am.

“On rainy and cold days, when it is difficult to sit in the open, we move into the temple premises. Nothing stops Uncle from taking classes,” say Pavitra and Anjali, Class VI students at the local government school.

“These children did not know how to sit or talk properly earlier. They would use abusive language to communicate with each other. Today, they have changed and help each other with studies,” says a proud Prasad.

Shyam Bihari Prasad has turned the lives of many of these children around. They are doing well in their school exams and are spending happy and fruitful mornings instead of begging on the street.


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Unsung Hero : Dhaval khatri

Dhaval khatri

Unsung Hero

Dhaval khatri

Name Dhaval khatri
Place Ahmedabad
Career Artist

Dhaval Khatri lost both his hands at the age of 14 and his school asked him to leave. But no such obstacle could stop him from continuing his education, writing all his exams by himself, playing guitar and finally – painting. Calling himself “An artist, not by choice but by chance”, Dhaval says that he has made 300 paintings till now. This is his story.

“It was the festival of Uttarayan and so I was flying kites at our relatives place. And somehow while flying the kite I held my hands on an electric wire instead of kite flying thread. I got a huge electric shock and fell down on the road from the terrace and as a result my heart stopped beating for few seconds so basically I was dead for those few seconds but then fortunately a doctor was passing by and he gave me a hands-only CPR and I was brought back to life.

I realized that life would continue to be difficult. But at the same time I was happy that I had received a new lease of life – something that a few lucky ones gain. In fact I was looking forward to make the best out of what I had been left with. Soon I was trained to do everything without hands. The school in which I was studying gave me a leaving certificate saying YOU ARE OF NO USE to us. You have no hands so obtaining education is just a dream for you.

Instead of motivating me, the principal of that school discouraged me. But I wanted to continue studying so I got myself enrolled in another school and later I even completed my graduation. But the part that will surprise you the most is that I have given exams all by myself. I used to complete my exams before three hours. I even play cricket and football. I’ve also begun playing guitar and trying to master a few pieces in it. When I was in the hospital, my mom practiced me to hold a pen or a pencil. Gradually, I turned into sketching and painting. For six full months, I dedicated myself towards it and got a grip on it. Now, I was able to draw sketches and make paintings fluently.

On one side, my schooling was going on and on the other side I was learning to paint all by myself. After my college I applied at different Universities for a course in painting but each and every university rejected me. So I started doing painting without any guidance. So far I have done around 300 paintings and also have been part of many Television shows. I get lot of orders from around the world. Recently I got an order from New Jersey for three paintings. I have also performed live painting shows all over Gujarat and also in Mumbai. I have made a painting of Salman Khan and wish to meet him and gift him his painting. So all I can say is I’M AN ARTIST NOT BY CHOICE BUT BY CHANCE.


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Unsung Hero : Munnesa Managuli

Unsung Hero

Munnesa Managuli

Name Munnesa Managuli
Place Karnataka
Career BA Graduate

A true hero from Karnataka is providing free rides to pregnant women, physically-disabled people, soldiers and people who are living in border areas.

Mr. Managuli proudly plastered his contact details over his auto and he was very much clear about to whom he has offered free service. The 42 year old BA graduate faced unemployment and that was the reason why he choosed driving auto 11years ago. Munnesa isn’t the owner of the auto but has to cough up Rs 250 a day to use the vehicle to ferry passenger.

When we asked about the inspiration behind his selfless act where Mr.Managuli narrates a heartbreaking story, one set in 1992. He was in Narayanapura village in Basavanabagewadi taluk, Karnataka where he saw a pregnant woman died in front of him. The reason was that she did not get an ambulance or any other vehicle, to visit the hospital. This incident struck him and he decided to become an auto driver who would provide free services to such people.

Mr.Managuli lost his brother so he took up the responsibility of his sister-in-law and her four daughters and wanted to give them a comfortable life. This is one of the main reasons why Munnesa is still unmarried and plans to remain the same for rest of the life.
For this humble man, it’s enough to live a life. In a world full of self-centred people, it is folks like Karnataka’s Munnesa that helps to restore our faith in humanity.


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