For a Better World: From ‘Me’ to ‘We’
These inspiring stories are based on material taken from www.thebetterindia.com–a wonderful repository of positive news from across India.
Donate Blood and Save a Life
Every hour, hundreds of people across the world require blood for medical procedures. ‘Friends2support’, popularly known as F2S, enables voluntary blood donors and those in need of blood to come on a common platform, through its website www.friends2support.org. A person in need can visit the website to search for a suitable donor based on blood group, city or town. Five friends, all software engineers, launched F2S in Hyderabad in 2005.
F2S is now India’s largest blood donor database, and through it, you can get a voluntary blood donor within hours at zero cost. F2S reports that approximately 300 people are donating blood every day through the website.
Cycle That Rides on Water!
In his 60s, Mohammed Saidullah is from a village in Bihar. He has studied till the tenth standard and has numerous inventions to his credit, all of which he has named after his late wife, Noor.
In 1975, there was a massive flood in Bihar, which lasted for about three weeks. Saidullah had to cross the Ganga to get provisions. To cross the river, he used a boat, and in the city, he used a bicycle. It then struck him that if he could make the bicycle float on water as well as move on land, it would save money. Within three days, he developed such a bicycle, which he christened as “Noor Bicycle”. Using this cycle, he crossed the Ganga, from Pahelaghat to Mahendrughat! Initially he spent Rs.6000 on the development of the floating bicycle. But now he says he will be able to make it at a cost of Rs. 3000!
16 Year-Old’s Invention
16 year-old Arsh Shah Dilbagi from Delhi invented TALK, an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device that helps people with developmental disabilities and speech impairments to communicate in a normal form of speech. It is the only such device in the world that uses breath as the way of interaction. The technology uses variations in a person’s breath and helps him or her dictate letters. The device, which is so compact that it can fit into one’s pocket, has nine different voices for different genders and age groups. The user has to place the sensor under the nose and make shorter and longer exhales to send dots and dashes, which later get converted into words and phrases. Dilbagi has pledged to give away one free device to someone in need for every 3 devices sold.
Mother of Orphans
68-year-old Sindhutai Sapkal from Maharashtra is commonly referred to as “Mother of Orphans”. Being an unwanted child, she could not continue her studies after the fourth grade because of family responsibilities. She was married off when she was 10, to a 30-year old man. Her abusive husband beat her up and threw her out of the house when she was 20 years old and nine-months pregnant. She gave birth to a baby girl in a cow shelter outside their house the same day and walked a few kms in that condition to her mother’s place, who refused to give her shelter. She thought of committing suicide, but gave up the thought and started begging at railway platforms for food to look after her daughter.
As Sindhutai spent more time begging, she realized that there were many orphans and children abandoned by their parents. Having faced immense difficulties herself, she could feel their pain and decided to adopt them. She started begging more earnestly in order to feed the many children that she had adopted. Gradually, she emerged as the “Mother of Orphans”.
Till date, Sindhutai has adopted and nurtured over 1,400 orphans, helping them get an education and supporting them to settle down in life. Some of them are now lawyers, doctors and engineers. For her courage and compassion she has received over 500 awards, including The National Award for Iconic Mother from the President of India. She has used the money she has received from these awards to construct homes for her many children.