From India’s first Miss Deaf World to TikTok’s #CleanIndia challenge, our top stories for this week

This week we bring you stories of people who succeeded against all odds, and about initiatives drawing focus to the sanitation issue in our country.

10th Aug 2019
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We Indians are known for our jugaad. Proving this yet again is this 33-year-old Class-VI dropout, who has made an affordable yet efficient tractor from an old Bajaj scooter.

Besides this, many Indians these days are into social media. And social media platform TikTok, which was in news for all the wrong reasons recently, is now making a difference in the right direction. The Chinese video platform recently launched #Cleanindia challenge urging users to go on a cleanliness drive. Here are few top picks this week by SocialStory for you.

How Vidisha Baliyan defied all odds to win Miss Deaf World 2019

It is said that strength does not come from physical capacity but from indomitable will. This cannot be truer than in Vidisha Baliyan’s case. The 21-year-old from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh is not only a talented international-level tennis player, but also the epitome of confidence and charisma.

Miss Deaf World

Vidisha Baliyan being crowned the Miss Deaf World 2019 in South Africa.

From being diagnosed with partial hearing impairment at birth to being bullied at school as a child and finally achieving a feat in the field of sports and modelling, Vidisha’s journey has been long and trying, but full of hope and courage.

Her hard work paid off when she won the title of Miss Deaf India in February 2019 in Guwahati, Assam. She also created history by becoming the first Indian to bag the title Miss Deaf World in July in Mbombela, South Africa. “I cannot describe what it felt like. I was on top of the world,” Vidisha says.

TikTok partners with NGO Bhumi for #CleanIndia campaign

Chinese app TikTok is now trending for all the right reasons. After its controversial ban by the Madras High Court due to objectional content on the app going viral, and a lot of negative attention, TikTok is veering in a different direction altogether.

Tik Tok

The app has partnered with a youth volunteer NGO, Bhumi, to launch the #CleanIndia challenge, where it plans to rope in TikTok users to initiate cleanliness drives in different Indian cities.

According to Nitin Saluja, Director, Public Policy, TikTok India, the app is committed to fostering a constructive change in India through its platform. “We are delighted to collaborate with Bhumi for this significant campaign,” he said.

From artisans to entrepreneurs: how social initiative Antaran is reviving the lives of handloom weavers in India

Northeast India constitutes to around 55 percent of the total handloom weaver population, but products are limited to domestic purposes and occasions in the absence of access to the larger market.

Social Story

Akula Charan Nandi interacting a Jaya Jaitly

In the north-eastern states alone, women weavers constitute over 99 percent of the total weaver population. In the absence of proper guidance and support, these women were not able to tap into or understand the market where they could sell their products.

Antaran is aiming to rejuvenate them by providing end-to-end support through their programme. Artisans are taught computer and communication skills, basic design thinking, etc. Additionally, the initiative helps them set up their businesses and register their companies.

With PM Modi set to feature on Man vs Wild, here are the top 5 wildlife conservation initiatives from the govt

On August 12, 2019, the world will watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi venturing into the wild forests of Uttarakhand along with television show host Bear Grylls on the popular show Man vs Wild on Discovery Channel.


Image credit: Shutterstock

Seen as an attempt to create awareness about animal protection and environmental conservation, the 45-second promo, which was shared on Twitter recently, shows Modi interacting with Grylls, riding a dinghy, and putting together a spear.

While we eagerly await this special episode, here is a list of the top wildlife projects and initiatives that the government of India has undertaken in recent years to protect the country’s wildlife and forest ecosystem.

Meet the Class-VI dropout who built an efficient, low-cost tractor from scooter scrap

Indians are known for jugaad, which means solving issues with temporary solutions. They come up with innovations like heating water on a steam iron in the absence of a stove to using a pair of trousers to channel a fan’s breeze to two adjacent rooms.

social story

Mahesh Karmali (Image: eNewsroom)

Mahesh Karmali, 33, hailing from Uncha Ghana, Jharkhand, is one such "innovator". He made an entire tractor using scrap from his old Bajaj Chetak scooter to plough his farmland.

Mahesh spent Rs 12,000 to modify the scooter. The modified tractor can plough 8,640 sqft area using only 2.5 litres of petrol, and is comparatively more efficient than a conventional tractor.

(Edited by Megha Reddy)

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