Supporting Small Businesses, Helping Heroes, Transforming Lives: TBI’s Impact in 2022

You helped The Better India give wings to small businesses; together we helped those in need; we awarded changemakers and partnered with those who helped amplify that change - here's wrapping 2022 with a journey of impact.

‘2022’ has been an eventful year — from going back to cinema halls and enjoying roadside pani-puris after two years to binge-ing on midnight snacks and cheering our favourite teams in the world cup. While some of us resumed work from offices and finally met our colleagues after the pandemic-induced lockdowns, others ticked some places off their travel lists or visited family and friends to spend quality time.

Meanwhile, we at The Better India were doing what we love doing the most — getting to you inspiring stories of superheroes, changemakers and champions who were not afraid to try something new!

So, here’s a 2022 rewind of how you helped our champions flourish!

The time you gave wings to small businesses!

Asha Anuragini and Satyam Sundaram — a mother-son duo from Purnia, Bihar — started their eco-friendly bamboo business, but were unable to make the required profits. We featured their story, and because of the coverage, today their products are being sold across the country. What started as a roadside stall has now become a nationwide identity.

Nomiya Renjan started ‘Nomees Dhruvi’ in 2020, which sells herbal hair oil, aloe vera gel, henna powder and natural shampoo to customers across India and UAE. She tells us how her product sales skyrocketed on Amazon after we featured her story.

In Mumbai, a homely café named ‘Bambai Nazariya’ — started by Diego Miranda and Glenice D’Sa and run entirely by the trans community, saw increased footfall after being covered. Also, people around the globe offered their support and sent them good wishes.

A Kolkata-based entrepreneur Aakansha Modi launched ‘Roots & Herbs’ offering over 80 products — vegan, chemical-free, cruelty-free, and imbibing the knowledge of Ayurveda. After we featured her work, she says they received a lot of calls and new followers. She particularly mentions a call that she received from a lady entrepreneur who lost her husband to COVID last year and with that, her ability to focus on her own startup. So, after reading the story, she reached out requesting Aakanksha to be her mentor.

Self Help Group is run by Poonam Devi, a resident of Samaisa village in Lakhimpur Kheri, along with a team of 27 other women. They make fibre from banana stems while managing the banana crop waste effectively. They were in urgent need of some funds to ramp up their activities. And, after being featured in our story, SHG’s initiative was addressed in the government’s state-level meeting, and the funds were immediately released through the Block Development Officer of the area.

After we featured Kavita Shakya’s story, she along with 4–5 other members of their Silk Worm Farming Group were invited to Mysore by Karnataka’s silk farming division to train other women from surrounding villages.

Former flight attendant Yachika Chopra lost her job, after which she started ‘Circa’ — an artisanal pickle brand to fulfil her mother’s dream. After featuring her story, Yachika made a sale of about Rs 1 lakh and she says people started reaching out to her from everywhere!

The time you made someone in need, smile!

In the year 2004, inspired by a heart-wrenching incident in his life, Hare Ram started Narayan Seva Ashram to support girls abandoned by their parents and serve them as a father figure. Apart from providing them with food and shelter, he also took the responsibility for their education and marriage.

We posted a video on Hare Ram’s efforts, and with your help, we were able to raise more than Rs 30,000 for him. Once struggling to get even a month’s ration, now Hare Ram Pandey has enough to provide for these kids for the next six months. Further, some of you even promised to contribute monthly to keep his cause alive!

Kaajal Prajapati from Gujarat’s Mehsana district wanted to adorn a khaki uniform and join the police force. However, two years later, she faced a brutal acid assault right outside her college and her life changed forever. For the next five years, she was unable to see and her face was severely disfigured.

When we wrote her story, we requested our readers to come forward and support Kaajal in her upcoming surgeries. Within just a week, Kaajal received Rs 1 lakh from you all! With the funds, Kaajal is planning surgery that would restore the vision of her second eye.  Moreover, some IAS officers got in touch with her and proposed to support her with further studies. And regarding her dream of joining the police force, an IPS Officer from her district has promised to help her achieve it!

The time you helped changemakers covered by The Better India fight for the environment.

Through a video we covered on Prof Shantanu Bhowkmick and his innovative ways to recycle plastic waste, we aimed to raise awareness about his initiatives. The video was received by the SUDA — State Urban Development Agency and he was invited to a discussion with the authorities regarding recycling non-disposable waste into sustainable by-products. The authorities are now keen to implement the professor’s methods on a larger scale.

In Kerala, the Chavara Darsan CMI Public School is moving towards carbon neutrality with its eco-friendly initiative — growing a lush bamboo garden, organic vegetables, an aquaculture farm, a herbal garden and more on its campus. After our coverage, Eric Solheim — the former UN Under Secretary and the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme quoted our story on May 7th in his tweet, along with his congratulations for the carbon-neutral activities. The school’s initiative started getting more recognition and appreciation from various parts of the world since!

The time you helped us award changemakers for their invaluable contribution! 

Water is a commodity as precious as gold in India. We have 18% of the world’s population, but only 4% of its water resources, making our nation among the most water-stressed in the world. In fact, according to reports, 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water, and 75% of the country’s rivers and lakes are so polluted that they should not be used for drinking or bathing.

This is why, for over a decade, The Better India has been constantly shining the spotlight on India’s greatest #WaterWarriors. These are individuals who bring people together to solve water problems, seek solutions that are inclusive and equitable, go “above & beyond,” never give up, and inspire and help others to make a difference.

To honour them,  we launched the most prestigious, unbiased, merit-oriented award in the field of water — ‘India’s Water Warrior Awards’ — to recognise their invaluable contribution and inspire more such positive action across India.

Through the ‘Sustainable Tourism Awards’, we recognised the exemplary work done by individuals, institutions and corporates towards creating sustainable tourism across India. The winners were selected by a prestigious jury from different segments — including the hotel/hostel industry, travel agencies, technology companies, solo travellers and digital influencers.

The time we joined hands with brands to create an impact!

We, at The Better India, partner with a lot of like-minded brands to highlight some wonderful stories of change and resilience while also changing conversations and mindsets. Here are some partnerships we made in the year 2022.

Amazon India partnered with us to launch ‘Tools for Tomorrow’ — a series featuring compelling stories of social change and impact made in the lives of teachers, students and other enablers who have benefitted from the Amazon Future Engineer program. The program helped students from underrepresented communities to explore computer science through school curriculum and project-based learning, and use code to make music, program robots and solve problems.

We also partnered with ITC Fiama and MINDS Foundation to create affordable virtual clinics to cater to the growing gap in mental wellness and give Indians access to subsidised therapy. In collaboration with ITC, we are spreading awareness about prioritising mental well-being.

We also joined hands with Wingify to bring awareness about air pollution and how we can help to reduce it in Delhi and pan India. This awareness campaign will shift mindsets and actions, for even a single action is a milestone for curbing pollution. The campaign will rest the responsibility on each individual to reduce the carbon footprint we produce.

We also launched our second phase of School of Hope and Empowerment in partnership with Tata Communications in the state of Bihar. S.H.E is an initiative to inspire young girls in Bihar through a series of inspirational real-life stories of self-made women from the state. By creating a digital representation for these young women, S.H.E. is forging a way for their successful futures.

And with that, we, at The Better India, promise you more and more inspiring stories and initiatives in 2023; however, we need you to promise us that you’ll stay safe and take at least one action to make a positive difference in the brand-new year.

 
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