5 Changemakers in December who helped end the year on a striking note

By: Diamond Diwan

Published On: December 31, 2018

I recently binge watched Bojack Horseman and its brilliant story writing has gripped my heart since. To oversimplify it, the sitcom shows how different characters strive to fill their lives with purpose and meaning despite all odds and how their actions consequently influence and impact other characters’ lives. 

There is Todd Chavez who goes on to pursue his whacky, out of the box ideas with complete sincerity and there is Princess Carolyn who is goal oriented and wants to help and manage everyone in her life. 

Our world is filled with Todd Chavezs and Princess Carolyns - ordinary people who go out of their way because they believe in their extraordinary vision. This blog seeks to celebrate 5 such passionate changemakers who made added to December’s festivities and made the world a touch brighter than before! 

Here we go -

1. Book shop fuels 18 Balwadis: Established in 2002, the Sisters of the People Book shop, is run and managed solely by women. Located in Lajpat Bhavan in New Delhi, the book shop houses a robust collection of vintage books that are mostly donated. 

They sell these lettered treasure chests at prices as low as Rs. 10! The proceedings from which go towards funding 18 Balwadis - Indian pre-schools run by the government or the NGOs!

What’s more, the eco-friendly and zero waste Book shop also takes up WhatsApp requests and helps set you up with your chosen book. Seriously though, what are you waiting for?

Image courtesy: Sisters of the People

2. It takes no Magical Pencil for IIT-M students to procure 400+ desks!

Instead, they just used discarded cardboard boxes, collected from various stores and even houses around Chennai. These students from Madras created eco-friendly desks that will now be used by over 400 students across multiple government school.

This is a part of REACH - a programme driven by students that aims to promote education by taking into account the environment, and promotes the importance of reuse.

Image Courtesy: REACH/ IIT-M

3. The underprivileged get a cancer ward, thanks to a fulfilled last wish

The Kidwai Hospital in Bengaluru is expanded to house a 390-bed wing to help underprivileged people beat cancer. After businessman Dhanraj Daga passed away, his brother-in-law and close friend, Sipani who decided to fulfill the old man’s dying wish.

Thanks to the family’s initiative, many people who are turned away from government hospitals due to there being no bed vacancy, can get treated here. The cost of the total project came up to Rs. 13 crore.

4. “Our schools and textbooks have failed us” - Arghya Banerjee, Founder of Leverfield School

A typical classroom can very easily be compared to a box. Even though teachers encourage students to think, it’s thinking that’s done inside this very box. This is what Arghya Banerjee and many people across the world, do not stand for. 

Banerjee started a practise in his school wherein students are taught using puzzles and board games to create an environment that induces creativity and assertiveness. 

Leverfield school also uses classics in the form of movies and story books to help young minds reach maximum growth and empathy, as well as the ability to interpret the outside world.

Learning is lifelong and not just ‘mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell’ - this school establishes just that.

5. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, acid attack survivor proves just that

Inderjeet Kaur of Mohali lost her eyesight, her job as a tutor and had to leave studies after the acid attack 7 years back in December. Instead of letting her perpetrator win however, she decided to fight back. The determined lady petitioned before the Punjab and Haryana High Court and successfully led to the formulation of policies for financial assistance for acid attack survivors. 

Not just that, Kaur cleared her banking service examination this year against all stigma and has gone on to become a banker in Canara Bank’s Delhi office. One can only watch awestruck and wish her all the best as she continues to shine like the beacon of hope that she is!


Being a changemaker isn’t just about achieving miraculous results. It’s about hard work, consistency and pushing through even when it makes you scared. Each one of us has that one cause that we are passionate about and I hope that 2019 is the year that you seize the changemaker within you. 

Here’s one final Bojack Horseman reference for my patient readers -

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