It’s not only those who are famous who inspire us. Heroes often emerge from the least likely places, and India’s slums are no exception. Here are some stories of people who made us swell up with pride.
Hailing from a Mumbai slum, Vikas found the magic of the internet and began managing two YouTube channels. One of his YouTube channels is called Mad About Tech. Through this channel, Vikas tells people how to use their laptops and phones and offers everyday solutions to those struggling with technology.
A resident of a slum in Delhi and the son of a rickshaw-puller and a house help, Nisar Ahmad is ready to train at one of the most prestigious clubs in the world. Home to athlete superstar, Usain Bolt, Racers Track Club will host 14 budding athletes for a month-long training session.
Hailing from a 10 X 10 house in the slums of Filterpada in Powai, Mumbai, Prathamesh Hirve became one out of the nine people selected by ISRO from among 16,000 applicants. This was Hirve’s second attempt after he failed to qualify the first time. But 10 years of hard work paid off and he didn’t let his failures defeat him.
The co-founders of ‘Red Boys Foundation’, Shaikh and Khan were on a mission to address and abolish one of the biggest issues existing in Mumbai slums – illiteracy, alcoholism and drug abuse. Not only do these guys rehabilitate drug addicts but also create awareness in municipal schools.
Thanks to her teacher, Anjali didi, a slum dweller in Mumbai realised her dreams and journeyed from the slums to the silver screen. Apart from helping her mother and working part-time jobs, the girl finished her education, went to St Xavier’s College, and got a job at Future East films. She now works with Education World.
- Priyanka Patil, who ventured out of a slum to study at a US university
Patil, who lived in a Pune slum, found her opportunity in a ‘Teach for India’ initiative that helped her realise her potential and fulfill her dreams. Her hard work took her overseas and she got admission into a US university, reports Khaleej Times.
People living in a Punjabi Bagh slum, came out of their shanties with hammers and bricks to save accident victims. They forced open a car, which fell from the flyover in which several people were trapped. They refused to play spectators and decided to save lives. They loaded the victims on their cycle carts and pedaled them up the flyover so that they could be taken to the hospital.
Of 2,250 children, ten Indian kids were hand-picked from School Football Championship of 2015 to train at Crystal Palace Football Club in the UK. The kids came hailed from slums in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune.
Chandan Nayak, an 11-year-old living in the Sabar Sahi slums of Odisha’s capital made our country proud by grabbing a chance to train with the Bayern Munich Academy in Germany. Nayak travelled all the way to Pune where he qualified for and won an all level competition headed by Sunil Chettri, professional Indian footballer and skipper for the national team.
Chowrasia, who grew up in Kolkata slums with seven siblings and his parents, now owns three houses in Kolkata and is one of India’s most successful golfers. His journey from living in a servant’s quarter to the Rio Olympics is an inspiration.
Residing in one of Mumbai slums, this girl doesn’t like when people talk to her in Hindi just because she is from Dharavi. Whenever they speak to her in Hindi, she replies in English because she goes to school and is educated. With a dream to write a book and sell it around the world, she thinks “that even though we grow up in a slum, we can be educated, speak English and make a mark for ourselves”, reports Humans of Bombay.
humans of bombay
These examples show how an opportunity can be realised into a dream with hard work and determination. With a heart full of hope, there is nothing that can’t be achieved.