News from India : of positive action, steely endeavour and quiet triumphs ~ news that is little known
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I stopped updating GoodNewsIndia in 2006 when the question arose in my mind if publishing 'good' stories about India by itself was good enough as one's work. I have narrated my thoughts in greater detail in this article Thus began work to restore a parcel of abandoned land near Chennai, christened pointReturn.

Fourteen years on, I am comforted the land is responding to the efforts put in. After several new starts, pointReturn is now set to be a land that harvests about 4 million litres of water year and host to a forested area of 5 acres. As a safeguard against drift into unintended directions, a school is coming up for rural children.

-D V Sridharan
Jun 10, 2020

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Selected Stories

Warrior against odds:
Umendra Dutt’s poorly funded, lean staffed team is quietly and gamely trying to turn farmers to natural agriculture in a Punjab that is losing rural folk to cancerous water. It’s an unequal battle but it’s steadily being fought.

Keeper of seeds:
Dr Debal Deb believes that unless India’s elite gives up its ‘developmentality’ and sits listening at the feet of our eco-system people, it will not learn how much the environment matters to our well-being

Clothier to the poor:
Since 1998, Anshu Gupta’s Goonj has innovated in many ways to deepen our superficial awareness of the importance of clothes for the poor

A rare and enviable school:
The free school for the poor he founded in 1894, is an equal legacy of Henry Steel Olcott to the Theosphical Society that he co-founded and promoted

Making the foot run:
Not many know that top bureaucrat D R Mehta’s 30 year long commitment and leadership are what revived the famed Jaipur foot from slumber and taken it to a third of a million people round the world

Raging into the night:
The creation of Yusuf Meherally Centre near Mumbai is only a part of Mangla Behn and Dr G G Parikh’s 62 year commitment to India. Their smiles belie their fire.

A magic wand to zap plastics:
Alka Zadgaonkar conjures up a way to end waste plastics menace by creating value for collectors and processors

A U-Turn at B-School:
M P Vasimalai’s rural upbringing made him turn back to rural India, soon as he graduated from IIM-A

Reality catches up with GNI’s Publisher:
Having published GoodNewsIndia since 2000, it was hard to overlook MGM Beach Resort’s ways in my own backyard.

The road from Marx turns right at Gandhi:
Mary and Bablu didn’t settle at Timbaktu to retire, but to begin again with the conviction that nature is what really matters.

Dreams come true in Ratnagiri:
An unlikely team of clerks in government offices in Mumbai are reaching out to rural school children in Ratnagiri district

Battling for governance :
Parivartan’s unknown little Indians like Santosh, have fought to clear the thickets to form tracks to good governance.

The Ganga in the sky:
Residents and establishments in Tamil Nadu have taken to rain water harvesting and water recycling proving that local action can alleviate shortages.

The two-pit privy man:
Perfecting a simple sanitation solution and getting it to revolutionise Indian society has taken 35 years of Dr Bindeshwar Pathak’s life

Young voices rising:
Nandana Reddy and Damu Acharya have approached the issue of India’s working children by creating activists from children’s own ranks.

Minimalism in service:
Dada Lakhiani is a role model for everyone who is sitting out for the right time, funds and opportunity to do something for India.

Staring down droughts:
Amidst the gloom of droughts and suicides, we have this transformation of farmers who will look a drought in its eye.

A Gandhi education pays off:
Cherkady Ramachandra Rao, now 86, lost his parents when 2, found Gandhi when 7, and has not been lost ever since.

Inside China’s anti-poverty success:
Does China’s economic performance show-up India, or are there some unique merits in our system that we do not value sufficiently?

Beyond even his dreams:
When J Krishnamurthy spotted that banyan tree in 1925, it is doubtful if he envisioned how it might change the grim landscape and lives around it.

Enfolding the lost ones in Goa:
Bernadette D’Souza and Gregory D’Costa strive for the dignity of immigrants who built today’s shining Goa - and, are abandoned on its streets to their own devices.

Jim Garthe’s innovation:
The pioneering work of Jim Garthe at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, in converting plastic waste into an energy resource has a great significance for India’s environment.

Help for puzzled visitors:
Caring for autistic and special children in India, has been entirely mothers’ and private citizens’ effort, as typified by Shristi Special Academy in Bangalore.

World standard toilets:
Since 1999, Fuad Lokhandwala has been demonstrating in New Delhi that building and running toilets to world standards is possible along sound commercial lines.

The new Indian rope-trick :
In the decade since it opened its economy, India has survived early shocks and has now assimilated with elan the tricks of making good profits in world markets.

A daughter returns:
Anuradha Bakhshi’s sense of debt to India is over-imagined considering how little she has taken from this land but therein lies a lesson for many of us who have drawn much.

Digging deep into Sanskrit:
Prof. Lakshmi Thathachar at Melkote is a teacher, ecologist, animal breeder, computer adept and a champion of Sanskrit as an unmined knowledge source.

Where water flows in veins:
The Smile Index of children and adults here, proves that the networked farm pond idea pioneered by BAIF’s branch in Tiptur, Karnataka is a success worth replication.

Biodiesel goes from lab to land:
Prof Shrinivasa’s SuTRA has proved to India’s tribal people that biodiesel is the best way to electrify their homes. And they are making a revolution of it.

After micro credit, it’s micro capital, now:
Aavishkaar is a pioneer attempt by India’s overseas professionals to bring venture capitalism to socially, environmentally relevant small businesses.

A Marathon man in village-India:
The success of Rangaswamy Elango at Kuthambakkam village justifies the hope that Gram Swaraj will yet bloom all across India.

A soldier’s march into peace:
Anna Hazare’s work with Ralegan Siddhi has thrown up a model for all round development of India’s villages.

This postman delivered more than mail:
This vintage classic from the 1930s should give us heart because it shows service to fellowman is intrinsic to Indian way of life.

Bridges to mainstream life:
Girish Bharadwaj’s foot bridges for isolated villages are transforming communities—and are aesthetic as well

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