2017 was a key year for India in terms of innovation, movement building, arts and cinema, business, politics, and more. We saw a lot of young leaders and changemakers who raised their voices, spoke truth to power, and whose ideas led to shaping mindsets and moving us forward.
Here’s a look at 10 such changemakers, with a quick look at their stories:
- Gurmehar Kaur: A fiery 19-year-old, Gurmehar Kaur fiercely advocated for peace between communities, countries and societies, and became an inspiration for thousands. She fought for her rights in the face of intense cyber bullying and name-calling and ended the year by speaking at TED, hosted by Shah Rukh Khan. Her book ‘Small Acts of Freedom’ releases this weekend at the Jaipur Lit Fest.
- Rifath Sharook: A genius 18-year-old, Sharook created history by designing and developing the world’s lightest satellite. While satellites usually weigh over 1,000 or 3,000 kgs, this satellite called ‘Kalamsat’ weighs just 64 grams! With this, Sharook ensured India broke a global space record as well!
- Kidambi Srikanth: The badminton player “became the only Indian to win four Super Series events in a calendar year and only the fourth male shuttler to achieve the feat,” as written in OPEN Magazine.
- Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh: Three pilots who became the first female pilots in India’s history, commissioned to fly fighter jets. They have created history, and set the stage for many more women to join them!
- Anjali Ameer: The first trans person to play a role in a mainstream Indian film, Anjali’s achievements scripted a new chapter for trans rights and recognition in India. She starred in the Tamil film ‘Peranbu’, with superstar actor Mammootty.
- Team Panthera: A 15-women team aged 18-21, this amazing bunch of innovators created Iris 2.0 an energy-efficient three-wheeled vehicle and won honours at the Eco Shell Marathon in Singapore.
- Jabna Chauhan: India’s youngest sarpanch, 22-year-old Jabna of Tharjun in Himachal Pradesh led a drive to make her district alcohol-free, and took strong initiatives to push the Swachh Bharat movement forward. She was honoured by the state CM as the best sarpanch as well!
- Ramkrishna Ahirwar: A 14-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, Ramkrishna created a solar-powered umbrella for his father to walk long distances in the monsoon, without carrying a torch or anything else. This umbrella can also charge phones and been nationally acclaimed!