6 changemakers to commend in July #ImpactGurus

By: Diamond Diwan

Published On: August 01, 2018

“I want to make a difference. I want to leave behind some form of an impact on the world.” How many of us have thought that at some point in our life? I remember saying these exact lines in an interview, where my ex-employer smiled slowly, perhaps reminiscing saying these same lines in her youth somewhere.

And then there are a selected few of us, who actually make this thought, this innate desire - a reality. 

#ImpactGurus is a series that sheds light on change makers across the globe and highlights the phenomenal work done by individuals to aid social causes, drive innovations in social projects and make a difference in the world. Big or small, we believe their actions and intentions deserve our acknowledgement.

Mentioned below are the 6 changemakers who made a major difference in this rainy month of July.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla: An IIT trained Indo-Australian scientist pioneered world’s first micro factory to breakdown and repurpose waste.The micro factory is useful for the following reasons:

  1. Rather than displacing kabadiwallas from their business it adds to their income and to their lives. 

  2. A standard micro factory requires merely 50 sq metres area and can be located in places like Seelampur where waste is stockpiled.

  3. The high grade metals like gold, copper and palladium in the e-waste are separated by the micro factories and can be resold under totally safe conditions.

  4. 40% of the e-waste is made up of plastic that’s burnt and can be highly toxic. The micro factory can create filament with plastic thereby eradicating this practise completely.

Veena was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for outstanding achievement in science among numerous other awards. 

Swati Bidan Baruah: Assam’s first transgender activist to be appointed as a conciliator in Lok AdalatIn 2012, the Bombay High Court allowed Swati to undergo a sex operation much against the wishes of her parents.

The 27- year -old will be a member of the bench presided over by retired district and sessions judge and will hear cases in Lok Adalat. The position is usually given to advocates, social workers and mediators.

Swati’s commitment towards the community and her efforts to contribute to it did not go unnoticed. The determined activist is mindful of the responsibility entrusted to her and says, “I will do my best to provide justice and try to not keep cases pending.”

Arvind Singh Jiyal: Student dedicates his life to cleaning the GangaJiyal is a volunteer for the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Namami Gange programme. As a postgraduate student he believes that it’s up to the younger generation to make a change.

The 22 year old has dedicated himself to cleaning up the river banks, planting trees, conducting workshops to spread the message to give up plastic and so on. With the help of his volunteer group, he has managed to convince traders to use jute and cloth bags over polythene ones and has planted over 50-60 trees that are now over 10 feet tall.

For him, environment is his religion and he hopes to make Clean Ganga Mission a mass movement.

Amgoth Tukaram: Scaled the highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro to spread awareness about wearing helmets.

The 19- year-old from Telangana wanted to create awareness about wearing a helmet when riding vehicles. His inspiration came from witnessing a gross accident first-hand after which he knew that he had to do something. 

He carried an 18- metre-long flag of India to the peak to bring more light to his campaign.

Amin Hakim: A tuberculosis patient plays music in the hospital where he is admitted.Amin is a 26-year-old who used to work in the catering business until he was re-diagnosed with TB in 2017. Due to the deadly stigma attached to tuberculosis, he found himself completely lonely. His friends cut all contact and his wife left him.

In the hospital, he realized that others around him were gripped with the same loneliness and suffering. That’s when an idea struck him. He made a WhatsApp group and ended up starting a band called ‘Band-Aid’ with the sole aim of healing the fellow TB patients.

The band members play for a couple of times every week. Many TB patients commit suicide due to a sense of abandonment. 

“Music has helped all of us to come out of depression. I feel more alive than I ever have, and so do all my friends. Having a purpose in life is so important for these patients. No matter what happens in the future, I never want this band to stop to performing,” says Amin

And lastly,

The most well-known change maker in July is India’s very own Hima Das who got the country its first gold medal for global track events and became the second Indian athlete to strike gold!

July has indeed been a very good month for India!

If you liked this, we suggest you also read:

5 changemakers to applaud in July