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 aristocrat's art collection became a national treasure (IANS Special Series) (11:52)
By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, Jan 20 (IANS) In this city of Charminar and Golconda Fort, of pearls and palaces, Salar Jung Museum stands tall as it boasts of the largest one-man collection of antiques and art treasures in the world.
A school that challenged the claustrophobic orthodoxy of 'purdah' (IANS Special Series) (15:46)
By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Jan 13 (IANS) Located in the heart of the capital of Rajasthan, this all-girls school, started by an erstwhile queen, began a silent revolution in 1943 when the region was steeped in the claustrophobic orthodoxy of the Ã¯Â¿Â½purdah' system for women.
We want capital punishment for Ram Rahim: Chhatrapati's son (17:10)
Panchkula (Haryana), Jan 11 (IANS) The son of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, who was murdered by aides of convicted Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in 2002, on Friday demanded capital punishment for the disgraced self-styled godman.
Woman acid attack survivor turns saviour for burn victims (IANS Special Series) (14:58)
By Bhavana Akella
Bengaluru, Jan 6 (IANS) Even 12 years after she survived an acid attack by a jilted lover during a train journey to Delhi from her hometown Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in April 2006, Pragya Singh remains a beacon of hope for scores of such burn victims. The 35-year-old gritty Pragya has helped about 200 women victims of acid attacks undergo 300 surgeries for free and gave them not just legal and financial aid but also a job to rebuild their lives.
How an all-women driving school is giving wings to women (IANS Special Series) (10:18)
By Brij Khandelwal
Mathura/Agra, Dec 30 (IANS) On any busy traffic crossing in the historic Mughal city of Agra, one would be surprised to see the number of women on two-wheelers. Not only young girls, but more and more middle-aged women, including housewives, are now seen enjoying their new-found freedom of mobility, a stark contrast from a few years ago.
Fighting hunger: This NGO feeds 1.9 million children every day (IANS Special Series) (12:50)
By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Dec 23 (IANS) In a country with the largest number of malnourished children in the world, the need of the hour is not small steps but giant leaps. And that giant leap is exactly what a Bengaluru-based NGO aspires to take, aiming to feed 50 lakh (five million) children every day in schools across the nation by 2020.
Breaking the glass ceiling in a male world: How an all-women construction group built a Kerala house (IANS Special Series) (12:58)
By Sanu George
Thodupuzha (Kerala), Dec 16 (IANS) In a small, tucked-away village in Kerala stands a 475-square feet house which is known across the region not because of who owns it, but because of those who built it. And it's not a building constructed by some famous architect but by a group of 20 daily-wage workers -- all of them women.
How their jewellery-making skill is empowering women of the forest (IANS Special Series) (12:10)
By Kushagra Dixit
Bandha Tola (Kanha Tiger Reserve), Dec 2 (IANS) Dependent on the forest for their day-to-day needs, women of Bandha Tola faced an uncertain future when their whole village, along with hundreds of other such Baiga tribal villages, was moved out of their traditional habitat in the jungles of this famous tiger reserve in central India's Madhya Pradesh state. But today they feel empowered and foresee a bright future for their forest-dependent tribe and cherish the fact that, despite being relocated, their culture and traditions are alive and flourishing.
A philanthropist's mission: Giving dignity to the homeless and abandoned (IANS Special Series) (13:00)
By Mudita Girotra
Gurugram, Nov 25 (IANS) When his single mother could not take care of the mentally-challenged boy Rinku, she brought him to a homeless shelter in Bhandwari village on the outskirts of bustling Gurugram (formerly Gurgaon), one of India's fastest-growing cities and home to scores of multinational companies in glittering glass and steel towers. When the six-month pregnant Sarita Devi was abandoned by her husband, she was also sent to this open-to-all shelter by a court.