Inspiring stories of everyday Indians

There are many people in rural India who are doing extraordinary things which force us to dismantle stereotypes and reflect on how we think about gender, viruses, biodiversity, language and culture. Meet the people whose life stories will continue to inspire us long after we finish reading. 

Curated by Riya Behl

Small farmer, big heart, miracle bike

by Aparna Karthikeyan
Chandra Subramanian is a farmer and a single mother. She cultivates and sells vegetables that she grows on her 4 acres of land. This story explores her daily life, joys and struggles.
Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu

In Ladakh: a shot in the arm at 11,000 feet

by Ritayan Mukherjee
Health workers in Leh rise above the natural landscape, harsh weather conditions, poor telecommunication networks, and a lack of proper healthcare facilities in battling the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Leh, Jammu and Kashmir

Krishnagiri's House of Uncommons

by Vishaka George
‘Model’ parliaments of students are common, but the one at Snehagram, in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district, is not. Its teenaged members run a round-the-year government under irreversibly tragic conditions.
Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu

Patraput's saviour of indigenous seeds

by Harinath Rao Nagulavancha
Kamala Pujhari shows us the process of seed conservation – an uphill task when many varieties of paddy in her village have vanished. Kamala, who is in her late 60s and from the Bhumia Adivasi community, received the Padma Shri in recognition of her work in 2019.
Koraput, Odisha

'Think and go slowly. You will get gold'

by Priti David
Ravi Viswanathan, the son of daily wage labourers in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, will soon be the first Alu Kurumba to earn a PhD degree with a thesis that documents his Adivasi community's endangered language.
The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu

Staffroom stories: in Palghar and Thane districts

by Chatura Rao
Hear the voices of four government school teachers who teach at zilla parishad schools in Palghar and Thane districts of Maharashtra. During the lockdown, they have continued teaching their students who are mostly first generation learners, children of daily wage workers and landless farmers.
Palghar, Maharashtra

Kali wants to dance

by Pratham Books
This book by Aparna Karthikeyan for Class 4 children (9-10 years old) is based on an article she wrote for the People’s Archive of Rural India. Titled ‘Kali: the dancer and his dreams’, it is the story of Kali Veerapadran, a Dalit boy from Kovalam village in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.
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