[Year in Review 2020] Here are the top 10 inspiring Monday Motivation stories

Through our weekly series of Monday Motivation, SocialStory showcased stories of inspiring individuals who did their best to help others in a year like no other. We bring you some of the best of 2020.

Who doesn’t dread a Monday morning! Through our Monday Motivation series, SocialStory strives to remove the dread attached to Mondays by bringing you stories of inspiration and positivity, and arm you with the right attitude for the week ahead.

Despite being the year of the pandemic, 2020 saw a number of individuals - from an IAS officer educating children in Jharkhand to an IRS officer going all out to help migrant workers during the lockdown - going above and beyond the call of duty to help others.

Here’s presenting our top 10 picks of 2020 for our Monday Motivation series. Read on…

Aditya Ranjan – an IAS officer who changed the face of education in Jharkhand

Officer Aditya Ranjan at one of the model anganwadis

Across Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, the walls of 650 anganwadis (rural childcare centres) are painted with numbers and alphabets. Known as Building as Learning Aid (BALA), this is one of the many things that intrigue the children in the district, one of the poorest in India.

This and other facilities such as better sanitation, starting basic education, and providing nutritional food are all the results of efforts by IAS officer Aditya Ranjan and his initiative ‘Model Anganwadi’. 

Binish Desai – the ‘Recycle Man’ of India

Dr Binish Desai

Born in Valsad, Gujarat, Binish Desai was always very inquisitive and keen on learning new things. Just like any other child, he used to revel in outdoor games, cartoons, and comics. An ardent fan of Dexter’s Laboratory, the show inspired Binish to think innovatively.

In all likelihood, it served as a seed for the then 10-year-old to perform his own little experiments. From there on, there was no looking back for Binish. Right from inventing his first machine to convert vapour into water in his mother’s kitchen, building P-bricks from industrial paper waste to becoming the ‘Recycle Man’ of India, he did it all. 

Vipesh Garg who created a mini forest with sustainable farming

One of the sessions by Vipesh

Inspired by his mother, Vipesh Garg, a horticulture development officer in Mansa, Punjab, became inclined towards farming. Not surprisingly, Vipesh went on to pursue a Bachelor’s in Agriculture Science, a Master’s in Vegetable Science, and chose a career path in the horticultural sector.

Since 2019, he has been building his own mini farm in his hometown, where he grows a wide variety of organic produce on a 100 square metre plot of land. These include over 100 types of organically-grown flowers, fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs and plants. He is also on a mission to actively help other farmers make their own bioenzymes and products to create their own sustainable farms.

Pradeep Nair who rescued over 70,000 animals

Pradeep along with other volunteers

Thirty-five-year-old Pradeep Nair’s love and adoration for animals go beyond hugs and cuddles. A web developer by night and an animal rescuer by day, he has been stepping out of his comfort zone to provide solace to the amiable creatures. 

From volunteering with the Blue Cross, a UK-based animal welfare organisation, laying the foundation for an NGO on his own, to rescuing and treating more than 70,000 animals, Pradeep has done it all. 

Nupur Tewari’s mission to heal the world

Nupur Tewari

Living in a remote village, Nupur Tewari had her share of adversities, but what sets her apart is how she turned her life around to change the lives of many across the globe. Nupur is a motivational speaker, a spiritual healer, a philanthropist, a performance coach and a yoga instructor, who grew up in a small village in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district. Despite education being of primal importance to her family, obtaining it was arduous.

After her marriage, she moved to Japan where she found her calling. In 2017, with increasing suicide rates and an overtly anxious atmosphere in Tokyo, Nupur established the HealTokyo movement to help ease the suffering with free yoga and counselling sessions. In 2018, she extended her efforts into her motherland through ‘HealIndya’, starting with the adoption of a school in Aligarh.

Sunita Jeevan Kulkarni – a 70-year-old who is making education affordable

Sunitha along with other staff members of Valley View High School.

70-year-old Sunita Jeevan Kulkarni is doing everything in her power to make education open for all. After working in the field of education for over 25 years, she and her husband set up a school to provide quality education for underprivileged and differently-abled students.

The Valley View High School, situated in the Kondhwa region of Pune, was started with just eight students in 1996. Today, the strength of the school stands at around 1,500, with 900 boys and 600 girls.

Anushka Arora - for helping rural women access the right pregnancy care

Anushka Arora

Moved by the plight of her maid who could not afford decent pregnancy care, Anushka Arora, a third-year product design student at Pearl Academy, Mumbai Campus, decided to do something about the lack of medical facilities to pregnant women, especially in the rural regions.

She decided to create an accountability system or database in which all the schemes provided by the government for expecting mothers could be made accessible to ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers and ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife). In simple words, the product was devised so that healthcare workers in rural areas could be aware of schemes, which should, in turn, help mothers at various accessible centres or in the comfort of their homes

Narsimha Chary reviving dead tube lights

39-year-old Narsimha Chary showing a demo.

Thirty-nine year old Narsimha Chary is in the process of brightening up the world by bringing dead tube lights back to life. It all started in the year 2000 when he invented an integrated circuit that could re-glow failed tube lights without using a choke and starter. However, Narsimha’s journey was not easy. It took seven years of hard work and dedication to achieve the feat. 

So far, Narsimha has collaborated with various panchayats, civic bodies, and municipal corporations to successfully re-glow more than 10 lakh tube lights throughout India. Further, he is continuing this endeavour of electrification by working with the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD)

Malini Saba’s mission to aid 1 billion people

Malini Saba donated to the construction of the secondary wing for 2500 girls by Nabha Foundation, Punjab

Self-made businesswoman, psychologist, fitness enthusiast, author, passionate culinarian, single-mom, social rights activist, global advocate for women and girls, and most importantly, philanthropist, Dr Malini Saba enunciates the quality of using one’s business to serve humanity. She has helped millions of underprivileged women and children in South and Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and the US to gain access to life-saving medical, educational services and achieves economic stability.

Dr Saba launched the ‘Anannke Foundation’ (previously known as Saba Family Foundation) to serve as the umbrella organisation for all of her philanthropic efforts and activities which focus on healthcare, education, and human rights.

Aditya Prakash Bhardwaj who helped migrant workers during the lockdown

Aditya conducts counselling sessions at government-run schools.

Living in Faridabad, a city that lies between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, Aditya Prakash Bhardwaj was shocked to see these migrant workers ‘walking’ miles back to their hometown. Empathetic to their plight, doctor-turned-IRS officer Aditya, sprang into action, and formed a local activism group, WeCare.

WeCare realised that the workers’ requirements were more short term, and that while they appreciated whatever was being provided to them, they needed something that could just help them get through the next day, so they could reach home safe and sound. Aditya decided that his team would prepare and serve fresh meals. Apart from WeCare, Aditya also takes counselling sessions from government schools.

Edited by Anju Narayanan


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