12 Heroes Who Are Re-Defining The Thought Leadership In India

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12 Heroes Who Are Re-Defining The Thought Leadership In India

India has inspired the whole world, but unfortunately, we've always failed at crucial times to recognize the immense talent and capabilities that lie within. India brings the burden of three centuries of British colonization, along with a load of its own often rephrased and redefined history. Britishers ruined our people. We're being oppressed to the limits by the western culture that we could neither remain purely Indian, nor Western.

Today, on 68th Republic Day of India, let's initiate a campaign! A campaign that we'll embrace our nation, as it is said, "No nation is perfect, it's people, who make it perfect."

How long we'll look for inspiration in the outside world to lead us? Especially, when we know that we have everything we need.

It's a high-time, and you may believe it or not, but we're all born leaders; even as a 'sperm,' we were the leaders. I have decided that at least I am not going to follow because I'm born to lead.

Have a look at these amazing unsung heroes who showcased their true potential, and have re-defined thought leadership in India.
Let's have a look!

1. Sonam Wangchuk

Sonam Wangchuk

"If parents are keen about their children becoming knowledgeable, sitting cooped up in a classroom with textbooks will never help."

There's huge possibility that a lot of you may not know this man, and to describe him in the easiest way possible, I'd say that he's the inspiration behind actor Aamir Khan's film '3 Idiots' and most precisely, he's the real 'Phunsukh Wangdu'.

Sonam Wangchuk, an engineer by education, started the Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) with a novel syllabus that intends at transforming the educational system in the place.

It all began with an idea for Sonam, and today he is leading a legacy that will remain on Ladakh for many generations to come.


2. Deepak Ramola

Deepak Ramola

Deepak is an educationist, a poet, actor, lyricist and a gold medalist from the University of Mumbai. As a writer, Deepak has worked on eight feature films. As his debut film remains 'Manjhi, The Mountain Man,' along with 'Time Out' and 'Wazir' in 2016.

Deepak Ramola is the Founder & Artistic Director of Project FUEL.

FUEL stands for: Forward the Understanding of Every Life Lesson. He started Project FUEL at the age of 17, and from sufferers of human trafficking in Nepal to emigrants in Europe to middle school kids in Afghanistan. Deepak has been able to help more than 60,000 people all over the world.

3. Akkai Padmashali

Akkai Padmashali

Akkai Padmashali's story is nothing less than a phoenix growing from the ashes. It is not wrongly said, "If you want something with all your compassion, then the whole universe conspires to give it to you."

Akkai, born as Jagdish- always knew he was a female, but he questioned when that girl was going to come out like a free bird. Born in an average middle-class upbringing, a fight for his gender integrity and social approval led him into 'sex work'. Today, she– a male to female transgender– has renamed herself as 'Akkai Padmashali' and is a human rights activist in Indian society.

Pity, that we're tolerably much aware of transgender human rights regulation in West, but remain unaware of this unsung story of our own nation.

4. Sheetal Jain

Sheetal Jain

A girl who had already dealt with hunger, physical abuse, and cultural ostracization by the time she hit her youth. The Maharashtra state government passed a law (ten years ago) banning Mumbai's dance bars for being 'a bad influence on society'. As a result to which, thousandfold of women with no other means of sustenance found themselves on the road. Amongst them was Sheetal's mom.

A 21-year-old drummer, Sheetal Jain, with talent and desire so strong that she won a scholarship to the US Drum School.

Isn't it inspiring? While most of us who have got everything in life are least satisfied, a girl in our society who was born in a place where she was destined to lead a messy life has become the most successful teen female drummer of our nation?

In the same way, there are many unsung stories of Indian heroes...

Arunima Sinha

Like Arunima Sinha, the first female from India, an amputee to escalate Mount Everest. But, not many people know that Arunima wasn't born this way. Instead, she was a national level volleyball athlete who was pushed from a speeding train by robbers in 2011 while she was opposing them.

6. Anurag Kashyap

Anurag Kashyap

A self-made Bollywood director, film-maker, and a writer, Anurag Kashyap, who was destined to become a scientist has re-defined the 'thought leadership' just perfectly than anyone else. In an interview he shares, "Before graduating from a top college in Delhi, I was planning to be a scientist. But then suddenly I decided to go to Mumbai, and all I had was a bag full of books and clothes, though I knew no one in the city."

At a point of time in life - and age - where most of us would think about a job security, he chose to struggle and follow his dreams. Who says we need to look at the West for inspiration?

7. Anshulika Dubey

Anshulika Dubey

And this list of these heroes from India who're an inspiration for Indian teens and youth would never end.

A crowdfunding platform launched in 2011, is founded by Anshulika Dubey, along with her partner Priyanka Agarwal. Only five years down the line, and it is already named as India's most successful crowdfunding platform for independent creative artists. It is a reward-based crowdfunding website which is being used by creative artists to gather funds for their designs from their fans and followers.

8. Jeeveshu Ahluwalia

Jeeveshu Ahluwalia

This guy, Jeeveshu Ahluwalia, I bet you'd cross this man on the road and wouldn't even recognize that this guy has made you laugh out loud. When a pizza hut delivery guy in our nation becomes one of the finest stand-up comedians, won't you love to hear what he has to say to make you smile?

9. Sofia Ashraf

Sofia Ashraf

Sofia Ashraf is an Indian Tamil rapper and vocalist. Her lyrics address the carelessness of organizations that fails to clean up the industrial hazard.

Sofia's 2008 song "Don't Work for Dow" criticizes Dow's failure to remunerate martyr of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy in India.

In 2015 she published 'Kodaikanal Won't', a song addressing mercury contamination in Kodaikanal from a thermometer plant owned by Unilever, a multinational consumer goods company. In June 2016, she released 'Dow vs. Bhopal: a Toxic Rap Battle'.

While most of us know Eminem's lyrics by heart, how many of us have cared to listen to Indian Raptivist, Sofia Ashraf's rap song that addresses the social cause?

10. Ankur Warikoo

Ankur Warikoo

Ankur Warikoo is an Internet businessperson and Angel Investor based in India. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Nearbuy (previously known as Groupon India). He was earlier an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Rocket Internet, Management Consultant at A.T. Kearney, and Co-founder at Accentium Web. 

How many of you know about one of the most successful Indian, Warikoo, who holds an MBA degree from Indian School of Business is also an MS from Michigan State University and a BS from Hindu College, Delhi University?

11. Sheelika Ravishankar

Sheelika Ravishankar

Technology startups are perceived as they face many challenges, but possibly none have to defeat as many as Indian-based space startup.

Team Indus comprises of 85 engineers and 15 ex-scientists from the Indian Space Research Organization who are fighting in the US$30 million Lunar XPRIZE contest sponsored by Google.

To win the much-anticipated first prize (US$20 million), the organization must build a spaceship from scratch, and the aim is to land it on the moon in December 2017, then drive it 500 meters and send pictures back to the earth. Fifteen other teams from all over the world, including the U.S., Israel, Japan, Malaysia are also competing for the prize.

Isn't it amazing that a woman, Sheelika Ravishankar, is leading the team India in such a massive global competition?

12. Ritu Karidhal

Ritu Karidhal

And last, but not the least, Ritu Karidhal who has not only launched Mangalyaan from ISRO for India but in our so-called 'male dominant' society has played a pivotal role in it's making. Though she has made some sacrifices in her social life, Ritu has positively completed the task of a mother, wife and a scientist.

Talking about unsung heroes, how can we forget a start-up, Josh Talks.

Josh Talks

We have always looked at the western world for inspiration, forgetting India, which is a storehouse of powerful stories, ideas & people.

Imagine, a platform - where you get to see these 12 Indian heroes who re-defined thought leadership in India?

Well, 12 is just a beginning number for this start-up from India- JOSH TALKS - which is launching a website on 68th Republic Day of India with the goal to showcase the real potential of India.

"Through our events, we could only reach out to a selected people, but now with Josh Talks, we want to reach out to the widest possible audience," says Shobhit.

"Also, what sets us apart is, that we don't want to restrict ourselves to the 5% of India who are mobile internet users, but want to go to Tier 2 - 3 - 4 cities on the ground and get to the youth in all parts of the country," adds further Supriya Paul.

"We are launching a schools program to do Josh Talks Video Screenings in schools across the country and to make it a part of their curriculum. Schools only focus on traditional and conventional career options, viewing these videos, will expose the children to alternative paths like stand-up comedy, performing arts, space exploration and more," Supriya and Shobhit (Founders, Josh Talks).

For more details, click here.

That's all, folks!