This article has been published in partnership with TEDxGateway
Sometimes all the motivation you need is a story of perseverance, determination and passion. In fact, many of us have probably experienced this first-hand, when a stranger’s inspiring story has pushed us to do better.
The 10th edition of India’s Largest Ideas Platform, TEDxGateway will be held on 2nd December, 2018 — an event where a group of interesting and impactful speakers and attendees from vastly different fields will get together to draw inspiration from the most unlikely places.
Among all the amazing people scheduled to speak that day, here are five speakers you must look out for:
1. Dr Binish Desai
Fondly known as the Waste Warrior and Recycle Man of India, Dr. Binish Desai’s journey as an innovator started when he was a child. An incident from when he was 11, is a testament to this.
When a piece of chewing gum got stuck to his pants, he promptly removed it with a piece of paper and wrapped the gum in it. He put the wrapper in his pocket so that he could throw it in the dustbin, but forgot all about it till the end of the day.
When he finally took the piece of paper from his pockets, the gum was stuck to it and hardened into a thick block. This accidental discovery led Dr. Desai into designing P-block bricks.
You can read in detail about the fascinating journey of 24-year-old Dr. Desai here.
2. Dnyaneshwar Bodke
Dnyaneshwar Bodke is a crusader of scientific farming in India, but at one point in his life, he was living with his sister and her husband, tending to their cattle in the jungle in exchange for basic food and shelter.
The far-sighted farmer learned to type so he could secure another job and continue learning. He went on to become an interior designer, working for companies like Domino’s Pizza, Venky’s and a few pubs in Pune.
However, he could never entirely forget his fellow farmers in Maharashtra, who were mortgaging their lands so they could feed their families. He started a club, called the Abhinav Farmers Club to help underprivileged farmers, by encouraging them to specialise in floriculture and exotic vegetables. Today, he has helped thousands of farmers across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan!
3. Gitanjali Rao
Inspired by the water crisis in Michigan, 12-year-old Gitanjali Rao from Colorado, USA, invented a cheap yet effective way to detect lead in drinking water. Lead, as you might be aware, is a very harmful toxin, even when present in small quantities. The residents of Michigan were advised to use only boiled or filtered water for drinking and even cleaning and bathing.
The young scientist developed Tethys, a low-cost solution to detect the toxin in drinking water. “My solution uses carbon nanotubes to detect lead in water faster than any other current techniques. It has a carbon nanotube sensor, to which special atoms are added that react to lead,” Gitanjali told CNN.
For this brilliant device that would help thousands of common people, potentially even saving lives, Gitanjali was named America’s Top Young Scientist of 2017 by the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and featured in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List for the year 2019.
Meet the young prodigy and get inspired by her at TEDxGateway this December.
4. Shri Raghu Rai
A protégé of French Humanist photographer and the co-founder of Magnum photos, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Raghunath Rai Chowdhry is a critically acclaimed photographer. He is a two-time jury member of UNESCO’s International Photo Contest and a three-time jury member of the World Press Photo Contest.
He was one of the first photographers who captured the aftermath of the gas leak from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal in December 1984, and his work in this regard is an integral part of his abundant list of accomplishments. He has exhibited these photos in his tours to America, Europe and South East Asia, with the aim to spread awareness and help the victims, many of whom are still uncompensated. In his books he has documented pieces about the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Diaspora, Mother Teresa, and many others, Rai studied the personalities closely, capturing the very essence of their characteristics and bringing them alive in his photographic volumes.
In 1972, Raghu Rai was awarded the Padma Shri, and in 1992, he received the ‘Photographer of the Year’ award in the USA. In the same year, he did the cover story on the Human Management of Wildlife in India for National Geographic. In his long career, Shri Raghu Rai has extensively covered the humanitarian side of India and is recognised all over the globe for it.
5. Harssh A Poddar
How often do you meet a person who has inspired over 42,000 young leaders to fight against crime and terror? IPS officer, Harssh Poddar, is an Oxford graduate and a former lawyer who returned to India from the UK to be a civil servant.
As an IPS officer, he introduced innovative policies in the schools of Maharashtra to include students in learning what part stakeholders such as the government, the police department and the civic society play against crime.
What started as an activity in the schools of Aurangabad, was soon replicated by the Maharashtra police all across the state, inspiring over 42,000 students to join the fight against crime.
You can read in detail about the inspiring story and initiatives of the IPS officer here.
This December, TEDxGateway offers you the chance to meet such accomplished people and know about what inspires them, what keeps them going through tough times and how a single person is enough to make a huge difference.
TBI readers can book passes @10% discount using ‘TBI10’ on this link
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)