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.
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.
How India's sports stars overcame tough personal odds to achieve success (IANS Special Series) (16:36)
By Ajeyo Basu
New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Ever since she was a kid, Hima Das woke up every morning before the crack of dawn and would go to the local grazing ground in a remote Assam village. With no proper gear or even a playground, she practiced running at this grazing ground, around 50 metres from her house, before the villagers let their cattle loose post sunrise.
A hijab-wearing Muslim bodybuilder breaks stereotypes in India (IANS Special Series) (12:08)
By Sanu George
Vadakara (Kerala), Sep 9 (IANS) When 23-year-old Majiziya Bhanu took to the stage to compete in the women's segment of the Mr Kerala competition in Kochi earlier this year, all eyes were on her -- never before had a bodybuilder wearing a hijab (Muslim head scarf) participated in the event. Proving that hijab is no hurdle for her or any other woman, she went on to win the competition.
How Delhi schools are revolutionising education, one teacher at a time (IANS Special Series) (12:50)
By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) When Roshan Lal, a 40-year-old rickshawpuller, got his son Rakesh admitted to a government school in Delhi, all he wanted for him was to get a decent education. Since he could not afford to pay for a private school, all that was on his mind was that "government school mein kuch toh seekh hi lega" (at least, he would learn something there).
This smart village empowers differently-abled to stand on their own (IANS Special Series) (12:00)
By Archana Sharma
Udaipur, Aug 26 (IANS) In a small village near this famous lake city in Rajasthan, thousands of physically challenged people are given a fresh lease of life. Not only do they receive corrective surgeries free of cost but, during the course of their treatment, they are also imparted training to repair computers and mobiles or learn the art of stitching to ensure they become self-reliant.
Midwifing change: How maternity deaths were reduced to zero in remote tribal hamlets (IANS Special Series) (12:56)
By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, Aug 19 (IANS) The scenic beauty of Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh is in stark contrast to the lives of indigenous tribespeople inhabiting the region. Living in virtual destitution, these tribals -- like their counterparts scattered in remote locations across the rest of India -- lack access to basic amenities like safe drinking water, healthcare and education. Till a few years ago, some of these habitations were not even covered in the national census and nobody knew they even existed.
Angels of hope: They make the poor and helpless aware of their rights (IANS Special Series) (12:10)
By Mudita Girotra
New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) When Rambabu, a 27-year-old who worked in a ration shop in Patna, got to know he was suffering from brain tumor, he was devastated. But his nightmare was compounded when he travelled over a thousand kilometres in that condition to New Delhi for treatment only to find there was a waiting period of six months at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) referral hospital.
In Kashmir's hate-and-violence narrative, a silver lining of goodwill and amity (IANS Special Series) (13:14)
By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, Aug 5 (IANS) Rajnath, 72, a retired school headmaster, continues to live in his ancestral home in north Kashmir's Manigam village. The turmoil of the 1990s saw most members of his minority Kashmiri Pandit community leave the village, but Rajnath stayed back in the village he was born in, with his wife and daughter.
How tribal women of Kanha are driving their own destiny (IANS Special Series) (14:18)
By Kushagra Dixit
Mukki (Madhya Pradesh), July 29 (IANS) Mukki zone in the famous Kanha National Park had been known throughout its recorded history to have been ruled by tigresses, rather than tigers. True to this legacy, tribal women of the Mukki zone are breaking conventional chains by taking over men-dominated jobs in the region. These women now drive, guide tourists, guard the forest that traditionally gave them sustenance and are coming forward to shoulder bigger responsibilities.