India at 73: 6 Unconventional Indian People



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15th August 2019 marks the 72nd year of independence of India from the British rule. Over seven decades of ups and downs, India has not failed to make its mark in the world. From launching Chandrayan -2 to getting away with article 370. To quote Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom” and so she has.  These words become truer as the years pass and some Indians truly embody them.  At the heart of every big or small achievement fighting with the Indian spirit plays a huge role.
 These Indians show you how taking control of their own lives, grabbing the opportunities that their freedom provides them, and fighting against all odds lead them to success.

Sita Sahu
An Indian sporting prodigy, Sita Sahu at only 15 years of age won two special Olympic medals in 2011. She won Bronze medals in the 200m and 4x 400m relay. Coming from a street vendor family in Rewa, her financial conditions weren’t great. Even after winning medals in the Olympics she was not given the financial help promised to her even after repeated reminders. Unfortunately, mentally challenged Sita had to go back to selling Gol Gappas to help her family survive.
 After two years, the government finally gave her the financial incentives promised. She returned to athletics and has been pushing all boundaries since then. She turned around life not only for herself but also for her family. Her sibling who could not afford to go to school earlier is now enrolled in one and her father expanded the chaat business into a concrete shop. Sita Sahu is an inspiration for all of us.

APJ Abdul Kalam
He was awarded “Bharat Ratna”, “Padma Vibhushan”, and “Padma Bhusan”.As a young boy, he sold newspapers to support his family and spent hours studying to achieve his goals. Our Ex-President led a humble and simple life. He is known as the “Missile Man of India” and his contributions in the field of Science and Technology are talked about even today. He believed in the youth and loved teaching. He was a determined and passionate person who saw past the challenges and into the future. He is a true role model for all of us.

Hima Das
Also known as the “Dhing Express”, Hima Das set the national record in 400 meters with a timing of 50.79 seconds clocked at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, Indonesia. She was born in a poor family in Assam’s Nagaon district. Her parents, both farmers, belonged to the indigenous Kalibarta community. She studied in Dhing public high school and was initially interested in making football her career. On the recommendation of her teacher, she shifted to sprinting.
 Despite not having the proper resources for the training she went on to grow in her field. She eventually started tasting success and won 5 successive Gold medals in 20 days. She was awarded the Arjuna Award at mere 18 years of age and is first-ever India’s youth ambassador. She ran past all obstacles in front of her and is succeeding in life.

Prakash Amte
Being born in a family where social work was the norm, Prakash Amte obtained a medical degree from Government Medical College, Nagpur and became a doctor. Prakash Amte could have easily led a peaceful life without any struggles but he followed his father Baba Amte’s footsteps and dedicated his life for the betterment of people. 
Along with his wife, he moved to Hemalkasa, a village where there was no electricity at all. They successfully ran a hospital there which was deemed impossible. They helped the tribals in the village and performed medical procedures without electricity or modern equipment. Today, they run a rescued animal shelter home, a hospital, and a school in the area. His life work shows us that humanity hasn’t died.

Kalpana Saroj
A real-life ‘Slumdog Millionaire story’- Kalpana Saroj was married off at the age of 12 years and she lived in a slum in Mumbai with her husband's family. After suffering from repeated physical abuse from her husband’s family, her father took her back to her village where she was ostracized. She attempted suicide due to societal pressure and trauma. She went on to stay with her Uncle in Mumbai when she was 16 years old. She started working in a garment factory ad later using government loans for scheduled caste people, started a tailoring business and a furniture store. Her entrepreneurial success started from there. 
She then started her film production and she restructured the Kamai Tubes company after taking over and turned it into profitable. She now has personal assets worth 112 million dollars. She shows us how perseverance and the spirit of not giving up can lead you far in life.

Ritesh Agarwal
Ritesh Agarwal is the perfect example of the saying “Age doesn’t matter”. At only 18 years of age, he started his first company OravelStays.  A college dropout following his dream of becoming an entrepreneur, he applied to Thiel Fellowship and got in becoming the first Asian resident of the Thiel Fellowship. He received a fellowship of 100,000 dollars during that time where the entrepreneurial skills were nurtured by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. OravelStays later turned into OYO rooms and is now the fastest-growing hotel chain in India. Ritesh Agarwal makes us believe that dreaming big can make wonders.
These are just a few people, but the list goes on. This Independence day finds the true Indian spirit within yourself. There is no doubt that in a country like India there are many odds but fighting over those odds is the celebration of being Indian.

- Written By Sunidhi Shende

- Edited By Maitreyi Mehndiratta


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India at 73: 6 Unconventional Indian People India at 73: 6 Unconventional Indian People Reviewed by EMN on August 15, 2019 Rating: 5

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