‘Human beings live on hope’ - 100 inspiring quotes of 2015 on social entrepreneurship


From a wide range of social entrepreneurship stories in 2015, we present you 100 inspiring quotes from social entrepreneurs, activists and NGOs. From improving environment and education to overcoming social stigmas and political barriers, the changemakers in this compilation have memorable words for us all.

These social entrepreneurs motivate us on with the progress they have made – but also remind us that the proverbial glass is still half-empty and there is much work ahead. We hope these quotes and linked stories inspire you as well to do your bit (and more!) to make India and the world a better place.

Inspiration, perspective, facts, perseverance, humility, empathy and courage – these 100 quotes capture them all. YourStory wishes our readers all the very best for the holiday season and a year of successes and progress ahead in 2016!

A green city is the smartest city I can think of! – Harini Nagendra, Azim Premji University

There is a great need to enhance the social capital of our nation. – Hemant Gupta, Thank You, India

There is an urgent need to spread success stories and positive messages to all. – Rajesh AR, LabourNet Services

If waste is processed at source, it can not only give immense environmental benefit, but also economic benefit to the waste generators as well as municipal bodies. – Nirmal Bhogilal, Batliboi

The city has soul; it just needs a helping hand for people to connect with the soul. – Manjit Singh Hoonjan, Calcutta Photo Tours

India today needs a stronger social empathy build-out. – Atul Satija, Nudge Foundation

Good health is of no use if there is no purpose in life. – Urmi Basu, New Light

If you look at failure in advance, then nothing will ever happen. – Jenpu Rongmei, CAN Youth

Recycling is an art that sustains life and livelihood. – Trash2Cash

Sincerity is the sum of all moral qualities. – Dr. B R Ambedkar

Exemplifying success stories is the best way of spreading awareness and gaining social interest. – Shrikant Gajbhiye, Bee The Change

It’s hard to digest that half of the world’s population lives on an income less than Rs 150 ($2.50) per day. – Shriyans Bhandari, Greensole

You will never be short of opportunities for developing software that changes lives of millions. – Smita Ram, Rang De

Educating a girl child decreases her chances of becoming a victim of child marriage. – Yogesh Vaishnav, Vikalp Sansthan

Rural India is truly the world’s oral cancer capital. – Praveen Adil, Clinic Itidirkha

For an HIV+ child to understand why he is being discriminated against is impossible. – Arvind Mathur, Jodhpur Network of Positive People

A business venture without corporate social responsibility is doing nothing to aid the community. – Alexis Gomez, Helping Faceless

India loses over USD 12 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies among its population. – Centre for Science and Environment

Even if we are doing social good, we need to be sustainable, and we can’t keep asking for grants and burning through funds. – Mukund BS, RenewIT

There’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to donate money for charity out of your own earnings. – Palam Kalyanasundaram

The best way to ensure justice is to empower the people who demand it. – Nishant Gambhir, Lex Do It

12 million children spend their childhood at work and not in a classroom. There is one rape every 30 minutes in India. – UN reports

Mobile skill development laboratories should be introduced for the benefit of the students. – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

What you get from society, you must return multifold. – Padmashree Karamshi Jethabai Somaiya

Music can move people and we are using the medium. It is the most non violent medium. – Siddhanath Buyao, ‘Save Tiracol, Save Goa’

Design thinking brings in flexibility. – Jacob Mathew, Spring Health

Respect and compassion are vital to reduce violence in society at large. – Puja Mahajan, PETA

A sustainable society stands on the four pillars of – People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace. – Kailash Satyarthi

Compassion has no geographical boundaries. – Shukla Bose, Parikrama

We ourselves can work to make the world a better place – all we need to do is step up and take the initiative. – Mohini Pandey, Learning Circles

Image: shutterstock

Soap provides dignity. I believe it’s a right to be clean. – Erin Zaikis, Sundara

People think organic products are expensive, so there’s a big mental block. – Swati Maheshwari, Rustic Art

Nearly 800 women die every day due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. – World Health Organisation

Only 25.3% of children in third grade can do a simple two digit subtraction in India. – ASER Report 2014

I personally believe there’s a sort of ‘propaganda’ that pro-environment is anti-development. – Ritu Bhardwaj, Common Thread

We’ve had concerts where the audience was completely unaware that musicians were blind and got shocked when they found it out at the end of the performance! – Sunil J. Mathew, SRVC

Industry collaboration is the single most exciting opportunity in relation to supply chains sustainability. – Sustainable Supply Chain Trends 2015 report

Direct linkage of the privileged section with the ‘have-nots’ is as important as funds. – Debabrata Banerjee, PCT

Never in our education are we taught where to find the right problems to solve. A lot of innovation lies in framing the problem right. – Rahul Panicker, Embrace Innovations

It’s still hard for many to believe in the concept of ‘social enterprise’ and its motives to address key challenges in the society. – Nagesh Chukka, vRemind

The kind of care and attention given to geriatric healthcare patients is completely neglected. – Kavya J., Frontenders

Ignorance is in the heart of corruption in our country. – Prabhakar Singh, Janta Choupal

Very often, a lot of people get into social enterprise like hammers looking for nails. – Jacob Mathew, Industree Crafts Foundation

Keep your chin up in the face of critique or lack of belief from others – Akshay Roongta, Amrutdhara

Human beings live on hope. – Umesh Malhotra, Hippocampus

One retired teacher, blind in one eye, offered us to donate his healthy eye for research. – K Chandrasekhar, Forus Health

Most Indian companies have not yet begun to understand how climate change will affect them. This is all the more true for India’s MSMEs. – SIDBI/GIZ report

Treat the suffering of others as your own and help them. The joy that you will experience is unmatched and fulfilling. – D.R. Mehta, BMVSS

I always wanted to earn a lot of money but ethically. – Mohit Verma, Threadcraft India

[Rural] people have not used toilets for centuries and it requires a whole cultural change. – Paul Sathianathan, Guardian

The mathematic of teams is that 1+1=3. – Sowmya Ayyar, Prafull Oorja

Failing sometimes is not bad as long as you can learn from the mistakes. Failures are the stepping stones for success. – Venkat Maroju, SourceTrace

In urban areas we have absolutely no responsibility in our consumption and this is something that has to change. – Sujatha Ramni, Daana Network

There are 60 million people with disabilities in India. How do we extend digital dividends to them as well? – Rumi Mallick Mitra, NASSCOM Foundation

Image: shutterstock

Healthcare has to have a social component. – Arjun Sachidanand, SAS Health Care

Let’s make a change today. We need to change ourselves instead of discussing the never-ending problems- just start working towards finding a solution. – Jai Mishra, Teach for India

By the year 2030 there would be an estimated 80 million diabetics in the country. – Jamal Ahmad, Rajiv Gandhi Centre

One of our first volunteers is now our deputy director. – Sabbah Haji, Haji Public School

With time, we’ve observed a change in our costumers’ aspiration. From just lamps, they start asking for phone chargers, fans, and TV. – Vernie Sannoo, Barefoot Power

We want every school in the country to make experiential education and life skill training an important aspect of their curriculum. – Swetha, Apni Shala

I don’t want to be a big wave; if I could just be a drop in the ocean I’ll know I’ve made a difference. – Angeline Dias, Teach for India

Solar is still a nascent sector – people still haven’t picked up the technology. – Anuj Gupta, 8Minutes

How do you lead a life of limitless growth on a planet with finite resources? – Mansoor Khan, ‘The Third Curve’

By the time my daughter is my age, the planet will become uninhabitable. My fight is to give their generation a fighting chance. – Narayan Peesapaty, Bakeys

Our dreams should be bigger than our fears. – Mukesh Jain, Accessible India Campaign

It’s not that I was afraid to die. I was afraid of dying without accomplishing something truly meaningful. – Sanjay Guha Thakurta, Rangamaati

I strongly believe that human struggle is not confined to roti, kapda, and makan. It goes much beyond that. – Swagat Thorat, Sparshdnyan

The first clause we make the families sign is that they send their daughters to the local government schools we have tied up with. – Swati Bondia, Om Shanti Traders

The world is full of good people. – Naga Naresh Karutura, Google

We must create inclusion by design and not as an afterthought. – Mohan Sundaram, Association of People with Disability

I have seen the torture that a mother undergoes when she comes to know that she has delivered a girl. – Dr Ganesh Rakh

Four hundred million people in India, mostly spread across roughly 125,000 villages, are without electricity. – Manoj Sinha, energy innovator

Rather than one leader, millions of teachers will be the spark we need. – Sharath Jeevan, STIR Education

Beneath the feet of us oppressed, Like a heartbeat this land will beat. – Faiz Ahmad Faiz

Recycle, Reuse, and Respect. – Abhijit Jejurikar, Acorn Foundation

Image: shutterstock

What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. – Deepak Singh Bonal, Helpiez

Social causes are a powerful way to build communities. – Samyak Chakrabarty, Green Batti Project

Alongside economic poverty, we are witnessing the challenge of cultural poverty. – Shreya Soni, Picture Wala Foundation

Waste management is every citizen’s responsibility. – Sandeep Garg, Green Brick Eco Solutions

Kerala is a place that offers real hope for the future of the Third World. – Bill McKibben

The greatest satisfaction and joy came from the priceless reward that comes when farmers whose lives depend on your efforts appreciate what is being done for them. – Dr. Verghese Kurien

Most traditional artists consider their art a form of worship, and the act of creation comes directly from the heart. – Aditi Garg, Adirag

Turning unemployment into entrepreneurship will create a world without poverty. – Prof Mohammad Yunus

Working in the education sector is a long term impact thing. So being patient is also important. – Kshitiz Anand, Happy Horizons Trust

The dream is to find a way to make sanitation a sustained change in underserved communities. – Valentin Post, FINISH

In India, only three per cent of people pay tax and the money is spent on sweeping instead of making sure the waste doesn’t hit the ground in the first place. – Jodie Underhill, Waste Warriors

Everything stems from that one entity, the volunteer. – Rajani Paranjpe and Bina Sheth Lashkari, Vibha

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).


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