Top 10 Unsung Hero of India Whom The Nation Owes a Lot are: –
Mr. Vashishtha Narayan Singh, the Great Mathematician who Challenged the Theory of the Great, Sir Albert Einstein has been one of the most unfortunate geniuses ever to be born on this planet. He was born in Basantpur a small village of Bhojpur district in Bihar. He suffered from schizophrenia and went missing and was traced after a few years on which his treatment started. After his PhD, he joined NASA and worked on space theory there. He returned back to India to join Indian Statistical Institute – Kolkota in teaching profession and continued teaching at Indian Institute of Technology – Kanpur, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research – Bombay and Bhupendra Narayan Mandal University in Madhepura, Bihar as a visiting faculty. This genius has never seen the respect, recognition and love that he deserves and is living his life in penury with no support. He definitely deserved greatness and care.
The Forgotten Stationmaster Who Saved Countless Lives During the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. It was in year 2nd December 1984 when Bhopal was hit by catastrophe. Accident at Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal has released a highly toxic methyl isocyanate gas resulting in citizens exposed to the deadly poisonous gas cloud leaving thousands dead, breathless, blind and in agonizing pain. During the tragedy, a heroic stationmaster, deputy station superintendent Ghulam Dastagir, risked his own life to save many others who were travelling to the disaster when his call prevented the trains movement to and fro to Bhopal Station to fall prey otherwise the casualties through the catastrophe would have been much higher. The legend was in his office for some pending work till 1 am and suddenly thought to check Gorakhpur Mumbai Express when he felt eyes burn and queer itching sensation in his throat on the platform. Unaware of the reality that twenty three of his railway colleagues, including his boss, station superintendent Harish Dhurve, had already died, and his sudden worsening health and years of experience, he visualized that something was very wrong. Although he was not able to understand what exactly was going on, he immediately alerted the nearby stations to suspend all train traffic to Bhopal. The packed Gorakhpur – Kanpur Express train was already standing on a platform whose departure was 20 minutes away. He immediately ordered to flag off the train departure, although his colleagues were opposed to the idea, breaking all rules and without taking permission from any of his seniors. He even stayed on duty to help the victims with multiple ailments due to exposure. However, he lived rest of his life visiting hospitals. The catastrophe killed one of his sons and other developed a lifelong skin infection.
Zanjeer, the brave Labrador, the sniffer dogs, who saved thousands of lives in the 1993 Mumbai blasts when a series of twelve bombs tore apart the city leaving scores of death and many more scores of injured. The heroic canine detected over thirty three tons of RDX explosives, more than six hundred detonators, almost two hundred and fifty hand grenades and more than six thousands live ammunitions and even averted three more bombs from blasting saving uncountable. Zanjeer died at the age of 8 years due to bone cancer and was buried with full state honors. The country can never forget the implacable duty of the sniffer.
An outcast landless labourer by profession, Dashrath Manjhi used to trek across an entire mountain every day for work on the treacherous terrain, which led many accidents. Resident of Atri block of Gaya, Bihar, a three hundred foot tall mountain loomed between them and all the basic facilities that they had always longed for. They had no road. His wife would trek daily for hours for his food beating harsh sun. One day, she slipped off the terrain on loose rock and slid down several feet injuring her leg and somehow managed to reach her husband but empty handed. On see this; he started to tear apart the mountain to solve the daily problem himself with mere a hammer, a chisel and crowbars by selling his goat. He would start early morning, chip the mountain for a few hours and then work on the fields and come back to work on mountain again. Once his wife fell ill with doctor on just opposite side of the hill but the road leading to it was some seventy five kilometers long. Unable to withstand the journey she passed away. After almost ten years of hardship, he cracked an opening through the mountain. People started calling him ‘BABA’. After nearly twenty two years of his hardship, the landless common so called untouchable laborer had broken the mountain for a road of three hundred and sixty feet long and thirty feet wide shortening the seventy five kilometers distance to mere five kilometers. People for sixty villages use this road. He even knocked the government doors to for tarred road. He walked along the railway line all the way to new delhi to submit a petition for his road, hospital, school and water for all people. In 2006, he went to meet then Bihar Chief Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar’s ‘Janta Durbar’ on which the minister got up and offered ‘Baba’ his chair a rare honor for his social status. The government rewarded his efforts with a plot of land which Manjhi promptly donated it back for hospital. Forest official call his work illegal but he proved messiah for whole region. In 2007, the conqueror of mountain lost his battle with cancer. After his death, his efforts could not muster much attention as electricity poles are there but no electricity, tube well is there but no water, little education, no money to pay for doctor for getting the necessary treatment and poverty for people to fight with.
Abdul Kareem from Kasargod, Kerala bought 32 acres of barren land and planted a forest there all by himself starting from a five acre patch when he was termed as laughing stock of everyone but he did not give up as it has only a dried up well. He started watering by carrying cans on his two-wheeler. Soon plantation started and birds would fly in flocks bringing seeds of umpteen varieties. Soon other forms of life developed with good ecosystem and soon he expanded his idea into another twenty seven acres. The forest has brought about amazing changes to the surroundings. Visitors are allowed with strict regulations banning everything that is detrimental to the ecosystem.
Sindhutai Sapkal, often referred to as ‘Mother of Orphans’, full of energy and passion, has seen all possible hardship of life starting from being an unwanted child, followed by an abusive husband who abandoned her when she was nine months pregnant. She emerged stronger with every difficulty and adversity she faced and became a ‘mother’ to over 1400 homeless children when she herself was in a hand-to-mouth situation. She gave birth to a baby girl in a cow shelter outside their house the same day and walked a few kilometres in that condition to her mother’s place, who refused to give shelter to her. She cut the umbilical cord with a sharp edged stone lying nearby. She started begging for life when she realized many more similar unfortunate orphans and children might be facing much more hardship. She decided to adopt them and started begging more earnestly in order to feed many more and sooner she started adopting every orphan she came across.Till date she continues to fight for the next meal. She does not take support from anyone but still gives speeches to earn her daily bread and butter. Whatever amount she received as awards, she used it to construct homes for her children.
Rajesh Naik has transformed 120 acres of barren land into a self-sufficient lush green organic farm through his persistent efforts, constant optimism and hard work near Mangalore, Karnataka. The land was barren lacking water and the hard laterite rock was making it very difficult for holding water for the vegetation. He has developed a 50 feet lake on two acres of land generating more than 40 thousand litres of water which is used for irrigating the farm. Besides growing fruits and vegetables, he has also started a diary farm that has around more than 200 cows supplying approximately 1000 litres of milk that is regularly taken up by the Karnataka Milk Federation. The peculiarity of the farm is its self sufficiency in every aspect including manure production from cow dung, pesticides from cow urine with other local herbal products, grass for cattle from the farm as well as electricity generated for the farm through the fermentation of cow dung and cow urine generating enough methane to run 60 KV generator, biogas is also used for cooking. The biogas is also used for cooking. The slurry generated is used in the fields and is rich in minerals and calcium.
A Sub-Divisional Magistrate Arvind Kumar, IAS Cadre, of Balia, Bihar who thought on his feet and acted quickly, was able to save hundreds of villagers from drowning in the Balia district of UP when over 2 million people from over 1,000 villages in Bihar have been affected by devastating floods with adjoining rivers the Ganga and Ghagra flowing above danger mark, forcing 1.7 lakh people to take shelter in 179 relief camps set up in various affected areas. A ring dam, years old, on Ganga was under ongoing repairs when the building force of water scared the villagers into abandoning the work in anticipation of the dam collapse. He reached the spot at 2 am anaouncing the villagers to reach higher ground for safety. He took the local boatmen to help rescue the villagers with expenses from his pocket for the purpose. With no willing help available, he started to lift the geo bags lying at the construction site near the dam where needed in such a way to prevent water from entering the village. Soon help started pouring in from the workers and other people. Soon around 400 people joined hands to save the 3.5 km long dam. Once the situation improved, he called the National Disaster Response Force team at some 8 kms away who responded quickly and took over the rescue effort of evacuating villagers. Many strong villagers however continued with the work and which kept the structure intact for more than one and a half days before collapsing due to already damage from other side.
Hajabba or popularly known as ‘Akshara Santa’ or ‘Saint of Letters’ hailing from a small village in Harekala near Mangaluru sold oranges to build a school in his village for the poor children. He has never been to school himself and poverty pushed him into orange selling when he encountered a foreign tourist asking him the rate of his oranges. He couldn’t understand the language and hence they left. He felt very humiliated and bowed that none should suffer the same fate. Thereafter, he started saving pennies from his daily sales for the erection of the school where every poor can have access to education. Soon he started asking for public support and support from rich ones and made the unthinkable a possibility.
Chewang Norphel a retired civil engineer often referred to as Ice Man of India, creates artificial glaciers to meet the water needs of Ladakh in the cold, dry and infertile mountain regions with very low average rainfall although the region is one of the most attractive tourists spot due to its exquisite scenic beauty. Majority of the population depends on farming where the main source of water is the irrigation water that comes from the melting of snow and glaciers. Since the glaciers are receding quickly, the hardship for adequate water increases considerably although a lot of water is wasted in winter due to extreme cold climatic condition where farming is impossible. He came across the idea by looking at water dripping from a tap which was kept open so as to avoid the water from freezing in winter and bursting the tap. The water gradually froze into the shape of an ice sheet as it came in touch with the ground and made a pool. He thought that water from natural glaciers which melt down due to high temperatures in summer and goes down as waste can be stored in summer so that it can form a glacier in winter and this would melt in spring and provide water to the villagers for farming at right time since artificial glaciers melt early due to its lower altitude and their proximity to the villages nearby would give them easy access to the water. He made diversion channel with a mild grade to divert the water from main stream with lower speed to small catchment areas, generally a shadow area to keep the water frozen in winters. The width of the low cost model glacier made from locally sourced material ranges generally from fifty to two hundred feet with a depth range of two to seven feet. He has already built several artificial glaciers. His efforts have given a new direction to the agricultural production in the region.