From helping people live with dignity to addressing suicide prevention, the top social stories of the week

By Team SS|12th Sep 2020
This week, SocialStory saw an assortment of stories about kindness, compassion and determination of the common man.
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As the American aviator Amelia Earheart once said, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”

This week’s Social Stories shine the spotlight on people performing acts of compassion.

Anoop Khanna, a 62-year-old social worker from Noida, is helping people live with dignity, while the non-profit Engendered is creating inclusive workspaces for women.

On the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, we spoke to Dr GP Gururaj, an alum of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), to gather more insights on mental health.

Here are the top social stories of the week:

Helping people live with dignity: Meet Anoop Khanna, a social worker striving for a better India

Anoop Khanna

Anoop Khanna finds a huge queue outside his stall every day

Every day, in Noida Sector 29, almost 500 people from different social groups queue up outside a store to grab a full meal for just Rs 5.

Dadi ki Rasoi (grandmother’s kitchen), an initiative by Anoop Khanna, provides quality meals for such a minimal amount. The 62-year-old social worker believes that every human being has a right to get food, clothing and medicines — and live a life with dignity.

Serving labourers, daily wagers, students, and private employees, Dadi ki Rasoi has two stalls operating in Noida.

Jharkhand couple who drove 1,200 km to write exam get air tickets for return journey


Representational image

A 27-year-old man from Jharkhand, who drove over 1,200 km on a scooter with his pregnant wife riding pillion so that she could appear in an exam for aspiring teachers, got air tickets for their return journey.

The tribal couple, Dhananjay Kumar (27) and his wife Soni Hembram (22), travelled on a two-wheeler from Ganta Tola village in Godda district of Jharkhand to reach Gwalior, a centre for DEd (Diploma in Education) exam, required to be cleared by those wanting to take up teaching jobs.

Not-for-profit organisation Engendered aims to bridge gender gap at workplaces

Team Engendered

Team Engendered

Despite efforts being made to improve gender equality in companies, female workers are still paid significantly less than their male counterparts, and women continue to be underrepresented in senior management roles. Adding to this, cases of sexual harassment at the workplace have been on the rise.

To bridge this gap, a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit organisation is working to create more inclusive workplaces for women. Founded in March 2019, Engendered is helping companies and women employees go beyond the Human Resource mandate of gender parity.

The organisation helps design and develop ‘workforce inclusion accelerators’ for B2B companies to enhance the role of women.

This woman bus driver from Himachal Pradesh helps transport people amidst the pandemic

Woman bus driver

Seema Thakur, the sole woman bus driver in Himachal Pradesh.

Being the only woman driver among a total of 8,813 employees as part of the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), Seema is breaking gender stereotypes every single day.

From waking up early in the morning to manoeuvring through the rugged and curvy roads of Shimla, Seema does it all. Even amidst the coronavirus pandemic, she steps out of her comfort zone to be at the frontlines of helping people commute in the state. 

A psychiatrist’s take on mental health and suicide prevention in India

Dr. GP Gururaj

Dr. GP Gururaj, a consultant psychiatrist.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over eight lakh people lose their lives to suicide each year; this translates to one individual attempting suicide every 40 seconds. In fact, India and China together contribute about 40 percent of such cases. 

This year, on World Suicide Prevention Day, SocialStory spoke to psychiatrist Dr GP Gururaj, who practices at Axxon Specialty Hospital in Bengaluru, to gather more insight on the alarming issue. A National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) alum, Dr Gururaj also teaches at Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research in Kolar. 

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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