The 10 Best-Loved And Most Inspiring Stories of 2013!

We have had a most amazing year covering the most amazing stories anyone could ever come across! We have been inspired, impressed, shocked, gratified and elated. And what better way to end the year than on a positive high – by collecting and recollecting the best-loved stories of the year? So here we go:

1. Dharavi Diary – From Story Telling To Slum Innovation

Dharavi Diary

Dharavi Diary

Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world, has managed to carve out a unique identity for itself. The industrious residents of the slum have taken to recycling waste from across the country in order to eke out a living. Now, a unique initiative is helping them capitalize on their expertise and move up the value chain. Let’s take a look at what Dharavi Diary is doing. – Read article here.

2. TBI Heroes: Fighting for Freedom from the British to Freedom from Poverty

96-year old Sudhanhsu Biswas

96-year old Sudhanhsu Biswas

One of our writers had an opportunity to meet a 96-year old freedom fighter who changed his outlook on life and made him think deeply on what it is that makes heroes – ordinary men and women who make extraordinary sacrifices so that others around them can live better. Whether through love for his country or love for his fellow human beings, young and old, Mr, Sudhanshu Biswas teaches the values of compassion, perseverance and belief in one’s purpose. It was most heartening to know that as a result of our publishing this article, in 8 months the organization received donations of Rs.4.9 lacs, which they used for water supply and vocational training. – Read article here.

3. A Wedding With A Difference – That Made A Difference!

Thilak and Dhana, who decided to get married so they could adopt the non-affected baby girl of a HIV+ve mother.

Thilak and Dhana, who decided to get married so they could adopt the non-affected baby girl of a HIV+ve mother.

A story that shook the beliefs, and touched the hearts of millions of our readers. A story that has been shared 75,000 times so far and counting! A story of two people with exemplary courage, spirit and ideals. A story that shows, more than any Bollywood movie can, that true love has a higher purpose. That marriages can achieve a lot. Even more surprisingly, what mere weddings can achieve a lot! So read, learn and be amazed. – Read article here.

4. TBI Water Week: Back To Life – The Story Of A Lake

A dried up lake at Guntur was revived with great effort

A dried up lake at Guntur was revived with great effort

In the height of summer, we ran a successful campaign to spread awareness about water issues and ways in which people have addressed them. In concluding our Water Week, we couldn’t think of a more apt story than one that filled our hearts with gladness, and an old, defunct lake with water! Read how the efforts of an Environmental outfit, together with the co-operation and willingness of the villagers, revived a lake thought to be dead, and turned around the fortunes of a small region. – Read article here.

5. TBI Uttarakhand Diaries – Hope Floats On NGOs And Volunteers

A mountaineer talking to the villagers of New Didasari giving them some hope and courage

A mountaineer talking to the villagers of New Didasari giving them some hope and courage

In June 2013, one of the worst natural disasters to strike India left us stunned and heavy hearted. Thousands of people died, while millions lost their homes, possessions and livelihoods. The state of Uttarakhand was worst hit by the floods and landslides. While the state rescue operations concentrated largely on pilgrims and tourists, our reporters trekked with a few organizations and individuals to some of the remotest areas cut off from any communication and provided the villagers with basic relief material. – Read article here.

6. Community Catalysts – Harnessing The Power Of Gated Communities

100% voter registration, waste segregation, composting, road repair - are some of the things achieved by Community Catalysts team

100% voter registration, waste segregation, composting, road repair – are some of the things achieved by Community Catalysts team

Our effort is to always show how change can be brought about by ordinary people like you and me, and not necessarily by people in positions of power or influence. Change is possible only if each of us accepts our responsibilities and it gets even better when your entire community is willing to support and stand by you. Read what can be achieved when a community comes together. – Read article here.

7. TBI Heroes: Abdul Kareem – The Man Who Planted a Forest

Abdul Kareem in his wonderful creation

Abdul Kareem in his wonderful creation

Jean Giono’s 1953 story, ‘The Man Who Planted Trees’ tells the tale of a shepherd named Elzeard Bouffier, who planted trees all along an Alpine Valley to recreate a desolate forest. Whether Bouffier ever existed in reality or not, we may never know. But in Kasargod district of Kerala, there lives a man in flesh and blood who actually did this – a man who bought 32 acres of barren land and planted a forest there – all by himself. – Read article here.

8. TBI Inspirations: An Incredible Journey From Jharkhand To Spain For This All-Girls Football Team

On July 13, 18 tribal girls from Ormanjhi village in Jharkhand cheered in traditional attire after being placed third in the Gasteiz Cup in Spain (Photo Courtesy: The Hindu)

On July 13, 18 tribal girls from Ormanjhi village in Jharkhand cheered in traditional attire after being placed third in the Gasteiz Cup in Spain (Photo Courtesy: The Hindu)

In July 2013, a lot of our readers wrote to us to tell us about this bunch of girls from Jharkhand who were creating waves in social media. When we dug deeper, we were amazed with what we found – two weeks ago a group of teenage girls from a village on the outskirts of Ranchi in Jharkhand had achieved something that sportspersons with the best facilities and support in cities often aspire for but don’t always succeed. – Read article here.

9. Aravali Institute of Management: The Story Of Breathing Life Into A Barren Land

Varun Arya - the man behind the transformation

Varun Arya – the man behind the transformation

This is a story of fighting huge odds stacked against you. This is a story of sheer grit and perseverance. This is a story of putting Science and Technology to good use. This is a story of overcoming obstacles like corruption and red tape without compromising on your ethics. This is a story of transforming 95 acres of the ‘worst land in Rajasthan’ into a green campus of an educational institute. – Read article here.

10. The Incredible Journey of India’s Star Badminton Player & Coach – Pullela Gopichand

Coach Pullela Gopichand with Saina Nehwal after winning the Olympic medal

Coach Pullela Gopichand with Saina Nehwal after winning the Olympic medal (Image Courtesy: http://media.indiatimes.in/)

We were urged to publish more articles on Sports. And we decided to just that! In the first of the series, our sports correspondent Manish Kalra profiled the incredible life of Badminton superstar Pullela Gopichand, who is an inspirational figure, not just for his outstanding talent but also his remarkable sense of ethics. – Read article here.

The Better India wishes all readers a highly inspired new year ahead.
And thank you for all the love!

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