EDITORS: Following is a series of special features that seek to bring unique and extraordinary stories of ordinary people, groups and communities from across a diverse, plural and inclusive India made possible by a collaboration between IANS and the Frank Islam Foundation based in Washington.
How a Muslim trust is redefining charity, making it meaningful (IANS Special Series) (11:46)
By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, Nov 11 (IANS) There is no dearth of generous people in society who want to do something for the less fortunate, but their help often doesn't reach the needy or gets misappropriated. To make charity a satisfying experience that brings the intended results to both benefactor and beneficiary, a Hyderabad-based group, Safa Baitul Maal, is showing the way by creating and using data to link the rich with the poor and needy.
Empowering children to be future civic leaders (IANS Special Series) (12:04)
By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) While kids of their age were busy playing, 12-year-olds Jatin, Vikas and Ritesh joined hands to resolve the problem of garbage disposal and the unhealthy living conditions in their working-class neighbourhood in Shiv Vihar in north Delhi. At the same time, Aatrey, another pre-teen from Nilothi Nangloi, took the initiative to solve the problem of an unsafe road after his aunt met with an accident.
A library run by industrial workers means world of change for children (IANS Special Series) (11:58)
By Jaideep Sarin
Ludhiana (Punjab), Oct 21 (IANS) At first look, it is just another small room with one wall almost crumbling. But this 25-square yard space means the world for children of factory workers and labourers in Punjab's industrial hub Ludhiana.
From pain and penury to pinnacle of success: The winning tale of gritty Swapna Barman (IANS Special Series) (12:32)
By Debayan Mukherjee
Kolkata, Oct 14 (IANS) Until that evening in Jakarta when the country celebrated her success with much fanfare, everything about heptathlete Swapna Barman spelt hardship. From extreme poverty to physical deformity of the kind that threatened to time and again derail her ambition, Swapna pushed every odd to its limits on course to become the first Indian heptathlete to win an Asian Games gold.
What a woman! She battled personal odds to become crusader against child marriages (IANS Special Series) (12:48)
By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Oct 7 (IANS) Her struggle for survival began even before she was born. Her own family members wanted to kill her in her mother's womb after her father abandoned them. Rajasthan-based Kriti Bharti had been fighting ever since -- which eventually led her to battle for those who are are let down by their families and forced to get married as children.
Babar Ali's inspiring story: How a nine-year-old's zeal brought education to Bengal's poor (IANS Special Series) (12:14)
By Bhavana Akella
Murshidabad (West Bengal), Sep 30 (IANS) Walking home from school in a small town in West Bengal, a nine-year-old boy saw some of his friends work as rag-pickers. The thought that his companions were unable to study like him because they were poor so agonised the young Babar Ali that he decided to do something about it and bring school to those who could not afford it.
Matka Man: From London to Delhi on a thirst-quenching mission (IANS Special Series) (12:08)
By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) On a scorching summer day, the likes of which are plentiful in Delhi, what one needs most is a glass of water to quench one's thirst, more so for those who toil in the unbearable heat to earn their livelihoods. The hundreds of civic workers, rickshaw pullers, street vendors and road sweepers cannot afford to buy water several times a day from vending kiosks. To their rescue come the "matkas", or traditional earthen pitchers, installed at different parts of the city which seem to get magically filled up with water every single day.