‘Heroes’ – when we hear this word, we most likely picture something or someone, extraordinary or larger than life. But the truth remains that most heroes we actually come across in our lives are regular people, just like you and me, who have accomplished remarkable things that make our society a better and a kinder place to live in. More often than not, these everyday heroes go unrecognised and unappreciated. Here’s looking at such heroes who deserve far more appreciation and encouragement than they have received so far.
Dr. Gopi Nallaiyan, a doctor with a big heart
Realising that thousands of infants die every year of Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) owing to lack of affordable treatment, Dr Gopi Nallaiyan decided to do something about it. He and his wife Hemapriya quit their well-paying jobs and founded the Little Moppet Heart Foundation in Tamil Nadu in 2016. CHD is characterised by a problem in the structure of the heart that is present right from birth. The NGO works towards extending financial and medical assistance to underprivileged children suffering from CHD. By way of health camps and awareness campaigns, Little Moppet Heart Foundation works towards giving every child a shot at a healthy future.
Kunjal Sehgal, a CA who is now a teacher
It’s not every day that a chartered account, working with a bank, gives it all up to pursue social work. But that’s exactly what Delhi-based Kunjal Sehgal did. She gave up her job, defied convention and founded Adhiyagya. This NGO is committed to improving the lives of underprivileged children by providing good education.
Sahib Sarna, a man with a different vision
Echoes Café in Delhi’s Satya Niketan Area is like any other modern-day eatery, but for the fact that it employs the differently-abled. When Sahib Sarna and his friends decided to pursue their entrepreneurial passion in 2015, they were very sure that they wanted to contribute to the society alongside. Once the management at Echoes Café hires the differently-abled persons, they train them and provide on-the-job training. Sahib and his friends’ venture is not only helping the differently-abled integrate with mainstream society, but also inspiring other organisations to follow suit.
Alok Dixit, a saviour of the survivors
Alok Dixit is one of the founders of Sheroes Café that employs survivors of acid-attacks. This one-of-its-kind café first opened in Agra and then subsequently in Lucknow. Alok is also a founding member of Chhanv Foundation that works towards rehabilitating acid-attack survivors and is a key mind behind the campaign #StopAcidAttacks.
Gour Hari Das, a forgotten freedom fighter
While these are modern-day unsung heroes, there is one such unsung hero from India’s freedom movement, Gour Hari Das. He was one of the youngest freedom fighters in the movement and was applauded by Gandhi himself. However, despite his contribution, various systems in India failed to recognise him as a freedom fighter. Das had to fight corrupt bureaucracies and apathetic systems for over 32 years to prove his identity as a freedom fighter.
To make sure that Gour Hari Das’ story of struggle and triumph is heard, Star Gold Select HD, a new movie channel that is known to showcase only select films from Indian cinema, is premiering the movie ‘Gour Hari Dastaan’ on 8 April, Saturday at 9 pm. This moving film, directed by the talented Ananth Mahadevan and with Vinay Pathak in the lead role, makes for a movie, worthy of your time. Konkona Sen Sharma, who plays Das’ devoted wife and Ranvir Shorey, a journalist who follows Das’ story, offer delightfully nuanced performances.
Catch this film on 8 April, Saturday at 9 pm only on Star Gold Select HD.