Do you know Chandra Shekhar Azad, Tatya Tope, Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Lata Mangeshkar, B R Ambedkar or Shivraj Singh Chauhan? Obviously, you do. But do you know what's common in these people? They are all from Madhya Pradesh, India. There were either born in Madhya Pradesh or have lived in the state for long.
We remember all of the above-listed people as they have done a lot for the society and the country. But the people I am going to tell you about have contributed greatly to the society. But they remain unsung heroes.
They have sacrificed their lives in order to work for the welfare of people. Read about these people who have brought changes for the people near them without expecting anything in return.
It has been 32 years since December 1984 when the biggest industrial accident, The Bhopal Gas Tragedy, struck. But for the people who have lost their loved ones, it's just like yesterday.
Nearly 3,000 people died as toxic gas called methyl isocyanate leaked from Union Carbide factory. Ghulam Dastagir, a deputy station superintendent of Bhopal junction, wearing a wet handkerchief, saved hundreds of lives that day. When he realised something was wrong, he coordinated with his seniors (most of them were already dead) and stopped trains from coming to the city.
He ran from one station to another arranging medical treatment while his wife and four sons were struggling to live.
Ghulam lost his one son that day and another son suffered from severe skin ailments. He got a painful lump in his throat and because of the complications, he passed away in 2003.
Parikipandla Narahari is the Revenue Secretary in Government of Madhya Pradesh. As Gwalior District Collector, he made it a 95% barrier-free city in two years. He helped people with disabilities, senior citizens and women to easily access public space by building ramps and railings at most common places.
Indore was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) in 2016 in which Narahari played a key role.
Also, P Narahari and his fellow friend Mrs. P. Jehangir's book Who Owns Mhow? has become quite famous for the place's social, political, geographical and topological insightful details.
Along with Indore Municipal commissioner Manish Singh and Indore Mayor Malini Gaud, P Narahari made sure to make Indore The Cleanest City in India under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. as Indore District Collector, he focused on health, education and smart cities mission. He has received 1 award for his contributions to the society. Narahari has written two books, Who Owns Mhow? and The Making of Ladli Laxmi Yojna. It was Ladli Laxmi Yojna that inspired Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana.
A couple from Neemuch is working hard for the rights of the girl child. Hari Narayan Meena, a 2004 batch IRS officer with his wife Dr Hemlata Meena, a lecturer at PG colleges in Rajasthan, have made people aware of the decreasing number of birth of girl child. They started a campaign on March 15, 2016, to promote the education for girls.
In the campaign, they posted the slogan stickers 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' (Save girl child, Educate girls) on the trucks that travel across the country.
Till now, they have convinced 15,000 truck drivers that pass through Neemuch to carry the slogan. They have the plan to prevent gender-biased, sex and selective abortions. They want to protect girl child and ensure education to them.
After campaign on trucks, Meenas have now shot a letter to Railway Minister for asking permission to run the campaign on train coaches as well.
Nirmala Buch is the President of NGO - Mahila Chetna Manch, Bhopal. She served as former Madhya Pradesh chief secretary. Her Mahila Chetna Manch is a forum for women awareness, which was established in 1984. It operates in 1200 villages in 13 districts of Madhya Pradesh.
She has widely travelled and represented India in various world conferences on issues of women. She has written on issues like governance, public administration, the functioning of Panchayati Raj and empowerment of women.
She has launched projects for welfare and development of women. Nirmala Buch's major area of interest is women's economic independence, education, health and nutrition.
Ramvati from Patara is an RJ at the Radio Dhadkan 107.8FM in Shivpuri. Sambhav is an NGO that runs the station after it got funded by UNESCO. On the radio, the programmes like maternal health and livelihoods are broadcast in local languages for spreading education. The Sambhav Community Radio is working with 189 tribal communities with a population of 3 lakh.
"Radio transformed me from an ordinary housewife into a village celebrity. If it weren't for the radio, I would have remained behind my veil and sat at home," Ramvati says.
A short documentary on Ramwati got the third prize at UNESCO-CEMCA video competition.
She believes that change is not possible without education. And so she works to make more and more people aware about women rights, child rights and girl child education.
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