EDITORS: Following is a series of special features that seek to bring unique and extraordinary stories of ordinary people, groups and communities from across a diverse, plural and inclusive India made possible by a collaboration between IANS and the Frank Islam Foundation based in Washington.
Midwifing change: How maternity deaths were reduced to zero in remote tribal hamlets (IANS Special Series) (12:56)
By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, Aug 19 (IANS) The scenic beauty of Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh is in stark contrast to the lives of indigenous tribespeople inhabiting the region. Living in virtual destitution, these tribals -- like their counterparts scattered in remote locations across the rest of India -- lack access to basic amenities like safe drinking water, healthcare and education. Till a few years ago, some of these habitations were not even covered in the national census and nobody knew they even existed.
Angels of hope: They make the poor and helpless aware of their rights (IANS Special Series) (12:10)
By Mudita Girotra
New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) When Rambabu, a 27-year-old who worked in a ration shop in Patna, got to know he was suffering from brain tumor, he was devastated. But his nightmare was compounded when he travelled over a thousand kilometres in that condition to New Delhi for treatment only to find there was a waiting period of six months at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) referral hospital.
In Kashmir's hate-and-violence narrative, a silver lining of goodwill and amity (IANS Special Series) (13:14)
By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, Aug 5 (IANS) Rajnath, 72, a retired school headmaster, continues to live in his ancestral home in north Kashmir's Manigam village. The turmoil of the 1990s saw most members of his minority Kashmiri Pandit community leave the village, but Rajnath stayed back in the village he was born in, with his wife and daughter.
How tribal women of Kanha are driving their own destiny (IANS Special Series) (14:18)
By Kushagra Dixit
Mukki (Madhya Pradesh), July 29 (IANS) Mukki zone in the famous Kanha National Park had been known throughout its recorded history to have been ruled by tigresses, rather than tigers. True to this legacy, tribal women of the Mukki zone are breaking conventional chains by taking over men-dominated jobs in the region. These women now drive, guide tourists, guard the forest that traditionally gave them sustenance and are coming forward to shoulder bigger responsibilities.
How a tiny state is battling joblessness through entrepreneurship (IANS Special Series) (12:24)
By Sarwar Kashani
Gangtok, July 22 (IANS) Sikkim has many distinctions that give the tiny state nestled in the Himalayas between India and China a larger-than-life profile. It is the only organic state in India, is litter- and defecation-free, has high literacy and has the best working conditions for women. But the challenge of unemployment it faces is huge which has made many embrace entrepreneurship to not just generate jobs for themselves but to provide employment to the state's aspirational youth.
How a woman grenade blast survivor overcame disability to inspire change (IANS Special Series) (12:18)
By Bhavana Akella
Bengaluru, July 15 (IANS) Malvika Iyer was a charming 13-year-old girl in 2002 when a grenade accidentally blew up in her hands, ripping her forearm and paralysing her legs, in Bikaner, Rajasthan, where she lived with her parents. An accident that could have ended her life completely changed her perspective, and even though it took years for her to overcome the trauma, she came out stronger and not only found a way to get her life back on track, but also became a harbinger of change for the disabled.
Breaking faith barriers, Shia Muslim artists create Hindu wedding mandaps (IANS Special Series) (12:16)
By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, July 8 (IANS) For centuries, their creations have been used in sombre processions to commemorate and reconstruct the narrative of the 7th century Battle of Karbala in Islamic history. But now, these artists, mostly Shia Muslims, make Hindu wedding mandaps, replicating the design of the shrine of Prophet's grandson Imam Hussain Ali, who was killed in that war.
American father-daughter duo bring 'technological difference' to remote Arunachal village (IANS Special Series) (12:34)
By Saket Suman
Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh), July 1 (IANS) National Geographic explorer Mike Libecki and his 14-year-old daughter Lilliana are essentially travellers who have been to several remote corners of the world. But it is not just the high-ranging mountains or far-flung seas that have a distinct pull for the American father-daughter duo; in fact, most of their travels are humanitarian- and- philanthropy-based expeditions.
An equal-opportunity school sets a sterling example in social integration (IANS Special Series) (14:10)
By Mohit Dubey
Lucknow, June 24 (IANS) Much before the Indian parliament promulgated the Right to Education Act (RTE) in 2009 that guaranteed education to all a committed local teacher had already pioneered the idea of making school access a reality for hundreds of underprivileged children, irrespective of their social status or economic background.