Tonnes of stories in 2019 grabbed headlines, many went viral. Each one made its own impression on people—some made us cry, some served as a wake-up call and most rekindled our hopes in humanity.
The Better India (TBI) covered numerous stories of changemakers; people who proved that small acts of kindness can bring a huge change.
The year is nearing its end and a brand new decade is knocking on the doors. And what better way to usher in the new year by revisiting the stories of change, of a better and more inclusive world.
Here are 10 inspiring and heartwarming stories covered by TBI in 2019:
1) With Re. 1 Idli & Rs 2.50 Dosa, This Grandma Has Fed Thousands of The Needy!
One video and 80-year-old Kamalathal Paati and her Re 1 steaming idlis set social media circles abuzz.
The octogenarian from Coimbatore’s Vadivelampalayam feeds hundreds of daily wage labourers and needy people every day.
Paati has been preparing idli for the last three decades. Around a decade ago, she changed the price of her idlis to meet rising costs; so now the 50 paise idlis are sold at Re. 1.
Once the video went viral, she earned loads of love and appreciation from netizens. Not only that, Bharat Petroleum (Coimbatore) also gifted her with a free gas cylinder, and stove.
2) Kerala Policewoman Shaves Head, Donates Waist-Length Hair For Children With Cancer
Going beyond the call of duty has always been Aparna Lavakumar’s forte and she proved it once again in September by going bald for a cause. The Senior Civil Police Officer (SCPO) in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur, donated her long and thick black hair to a non-profit organisation for cancer patients.
“Going bald can be severely traumatic for children with cancer, who are already battling for life at such a young age. I wanted to support them by proving that baldness is not a matter of shame,” she tells TBI.
Aparna took the decision after she met a class five boy in a school. She saw how the boy, who had been diagnosed with cancer, was not comfortable with his baldness.
Kudos to Aparna for setting an example for everyone!
3) Kanpur Tea-Seller Uses 80% Income to Educate 40 Needy Kids, Inspires VVS Laxman!
Being a tea vendor, Mohammad Mahboob Malik tries to save Rs 500 every day so that 40 children in his neighbourhood of Sharda Nagar in Kanpur can study without worrying about the finances.
Every month, the 29-year-old donates 80 per cent of his salary to meet the expenses of a school he has established with the help of an NGO. The expenses include salaries of teachers and items like uniforms, shoes, socks, bags and other stationery! The students receive an education in the school free of cost.
Seeing his selfless act, former cricketer VVS Laxman tweeted about his efforts.
This certainly was one of the well-deserved social media posts that went viral this year.
4) ‘Proud of My Boy Who Scored 60%’: Delhi Mom’s Viral Post Wins Hearts For Right Reasons!
When her son scored 60 per cent in CBSE class ten, Vandana Sufia took to social media to share her pride in her son and her happiness.
Little did she know that her post would go viral with more than 8,000 re-shares and close to 20,000 likes.
At a time when children are forced to meet unreasonable expectations in the field of academics, Vandana’s announcement came as a breath of fresh air smelling of change.
Here’s what she wrote:
“Super proud of my boy who scored a 60% in Class 10 board exams. Yes, it is not a 90, but that doesn’t change how I feel. Simply because I have seen him struggle with certain subjects almost to the point of giving up, and then deciding to give his all in the last month-and-a-half to finally make it through! Here’s to you. And others like you – fish asked to climb trees. Chart your own course in the big, wide ocean, my love. And keep your innate goodness, curiosity and wisdom alive. And of course, your wicked sense of humour!”
5) Mumbai Couple Sets Up Breakfast Stall at 5 AM Daily, Reason Will Win Your Heart!
In September, a new breakfast stall serving delicacies like poha, sabudana, upma, khichi, Idli-chutney and parathas came up near Kandivali station in Mumbai.
A few days later, the couple and owners of the stall Ashwini Shenoy and Ankush Nilesh Shah, saw a rise in the number of customers. While the food was scrumptious, what led to this rise was the couple’s motive.
They run the stall on behalf of Bhavnaben Patel, their house cook. The idea of the stall came up when Patel refused to take financial help from Ashwini and Ankush for the medical treatment of her severely ill husband.
“It would have been easier to accept financial aid from us, but she (Patel) just wanted more work to earn money and that won our hearts,” says Ashwini who sells Bhavnaben’s food at the stall from 5.30 AM to 9.30 AM.
Despite having full-time jobs, the couple lend a helping hand to Bhavnaben every day.
If this is not humanity, then I don’t know what is.
6) The 28-YO Auto Driver Who Raised Rs 1.5 Crore in 1 Month For Kerala’s Poor!
In December 2018, 28-year-old Sushanth Nilambur from Malappuram district of Kerala, started posting pictures and videos of people in urgent need of help.
His first video was for his brother who had met with an accident and was in urgent need of financial aid. The post led to Rs 2 lakhs being collected. In one month, Sushanth managed to raise Rs 1.5 crores for the needy in Kerala!
7) Seen the Pune Househelp’s Viral Visiting Card? Here’s The Story Behind It!
In a matter of ten minutes, life changed for Geeta Kale.
Kale works as a househelp. When she told one of employers—Dhanashree Shinde that another employer had laid her off, Shinde quickly got a visiting card made for Kale. Not only that, Shinde also circulated the image of the card on Whatsapp among her friends and acquaintances.
Consequently, Kale’s phone was flooded with calls a few days later. The back to back calls were from people who had seen Kale’s visiting card, something that is uncommon among househelps.
People were eager to hire Kale for services including cleaning vessels, mopping, sweeping and washing clothes.
“I remember the happiness I felt when we got the cards delivered. I gave Geeta a bunch and urged her to hand it over to the watchmen of the buildings where she worked and kept a few for myself,” says Dhanashree.
8) Mysuru Man Quits Job, Takes 70-YO Mom Touring on a Scooter!
In October this year, business tycoon Anand Mahindra requested the Twitterati to help him connect with Dakshina Murthy Krishna Kumar from Mysuru.
The business tycoon wanted to gift the lucky man a Mahindra KUV 100 NXT.
Because in 2018, Dakshina quit his banking job and took his mother on a pilgrimage across the temples in India on a scooter.
Mahindra was so moved by Dakshina’s love for his mother, that he decided to give him a car.
By the time the tweet went viral, the mother-son duo had covered around 48,000 KM on the scooter travelling to places like Nepal and Bhutan. They travelled during the day and stayed in dharamshalas or temples at night.
It is very rare to see such gestures by a son for his mother!
9) Twitter Reacts: Entire Flight Gives Hero’s Reception to ISRO Chief K Sivan!
One of the many ways in which the country thanked the ISRO chief K Sivan for his contributions was the loud applause on a flight in October this year.
Sivan was travelling economy class. As soon as he entered the flight, the crew started taking selfies. He not only obliged but was also kind enough to strike up a conversation.
In the viral video, Sivan can be seen smiling shyly at the overwhelming reception. It was heartwarming indeed, to see people’s love and respect for the eminent scientist.
10) Rs 17 lakh in 4 Days: How a Viral Social Media Post Saved a Starving Family in Kashmir
Four days after a video surfaced of a family starving to death in South Kashmir’s Hapatnaar village, citizens from across the country donated blankets, bedsheets and a total of Rs 17 lakhs.
Ranjan Jotshi, a government official from the Social Welfare Department is the man behind changing the deplorable situation of 78-year-old Mouzudin Bhat and his family of five.
“I visited them. The family’s condition was very pitiful. The children had not eaten food for the last three or four days. Mouzudin Bhat, the only male member of the family and a senior citizen, was disabled after breaking his right leg in a fall at a building site eight years ago. I’ve seen poverty in Kashmir before, but this is the first time I had seen people in this condition,” Jotshi told The Better India.
After buying kitchen essentials like bread, milk, vegetables, edible oil, atta and pulses on the day he met the Bhat family, Jotshi uploaded a video and bank details of the family online.
Government officials like Jotshi not only restore our faith in humanity but also remind us that the people in power carry a moral responsibility to serve those in need.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)