Over a quarter of a century ago my dear friend and mentor D.V. Sridharan launched a website called GoodNewsIndia! The tagline was; News from India: of positive action, steely endeavour and quiet triumphs ~ news that is little known. DV went scouring the land for stories that felt good. It was a privilege to have been one of his stories!
In 2012, DV stopped updating his site. In a ‘farewell’ message that sits quietly on the homepage he writes: It is a changed India today. I no longer retain my early confidence that a sustained economic boom will be like the tide that raises all the boats. Indeed, I am certain today, that it will not. I further believe that a ‘modern’ economy cannot create true wealth, let alone one shared with all. On the other hand, it can be destructive of what wealth we inherited and still possess. The true wealth of any nation is in fertile soil, abundant water, clean air, safe food and its people educated for independent action and free to practice it. I shall go searching for people who are trying to make India wealthy in this manner.
I feel saddened at reading his words and yet what he says is so incredibly true. Over the years the ‘bad’ stories have overtaken and drowned the ‘good’ ones. All we hear or see are tales of rape, abuse, intolerance, rage and so much more.
Yet we cannot meekly accept that all is lost. It is time once again to set out in search of feel good stories and blast them loud and clear. This is what I intend to do in this post and in those to come.
Meet Abhyas who cracked the IIT entrance exam! His family makes samosas but he beat all odds and hopes to fulfil his dream of becoming a scientist and makes his parents happy. Just reading his story brings a huge smile on my face.
And how can we forget Anand Kumar who runs Super 30. His mission is to pick 30 underprivileged kids every year since 2003 and helps crack the daunting IIT JEE! This year too he has made this possible for 30 more.
Have you heard of Harakchand Sawla? I presume not. For the past 30 years he has been serving food and giving medicine to poor cancer patients in Mumbai.
There are so many such stories if we just bother to look for them.
Gazi Jalaluddin is a yellow cab driver in the Sunderbans. He could never finish school dur to poverty but this 65 year old runs two schools and an orphanage! His story warms your heart.
There are many such stories, such incredible humane and compassionate people. They deserve to be found and applauded. Their tales of courage and determination should be taught to children who so desperately need role models.