21-year-old engineer, Parveen Kaur, was elected as the sarpanch of Kakrala-Kuchia village located in the Kaithal district of Haryana, becoming the youngest sarpanch in Haryana. After she took up the role, she set up CCTV cameras for women’s security, water coolers, solar lights and a library in the Panchayat Ghar for children up to Class 8.
19-year-old Maitri Patel from Surat created history by becoming the youngest commercial pilot in India. Having an encouraging father, she set out to achieve her goals after finishing Class 12, and left for the US to undergo the training programme, finishing the 18-month course in 12 months. She now aims to fly for Boeing aircraft and will train for it.
Malayali poet Sugathakumari, affectionately called Teacher, was at the forefront of the fight to save the Silent Valley in the 1970s. Her poem 'Marathinu Stuthi (Ode to a Tree)' became a symbol of the protests and gained immense significance for the intellectual community. After a decade, the campaign tasted victory and the rainforest was left alone.
74-year-old Uzramma is in an attempt to revive malkha, an amalgamation of mulmul and khadi. The sustainable cotton handloom fabric has a legacy that goes back 3000 years. She has been trying to reinstate the autonomy of the country’s small growers, ginners, spinners, dyers, and weavers for the past 20 years by reviving the environment-friendly industry.
Social entrepreneur, Sujata Pawar has been empowering waste-pickers and promoting sustainable menstrual practices to save the planet. Her enterprise, Avni specialises in innovative feminine care products that are eco-friendly and healthy. She also found a way to protect waste-pickers from disease-causing microorganisms like Salmonella, E Coli, and HIV.
Amrita Chengappa left Lucknow and moved to a small village in Uttarakhand in search of a simpler life. She wanted to change nothing but integrate the sustainable ways of mountain life into their everyday activities. Today, she and her husband sell a vast range of organic products, including candles, natural cosmetics, seasonings, honey, and salt lamps.