Recently, at the beginning of the week, Network18 group announced ‘Young Indian Leaders’ award in the national capital. As this was the debut year of this award ceremony, the general perception was that the winners, perhaps, could belong to the Indian cricket, politics or from Bollywood. And if not from these industries, then probably this time around after successful CWG, anticipation was that medal winners could dominate the list of the ‘Young Indian Leaders’ awards.
But, as the Emcee of the ceremony, in front of young audience included young MBA students, revealed the names of the ‘Young Indian Leaders’ on October 25, the unsolicited general perception ran out of steam. Surprisingly, Village Sarpanch, Social Worker, an IIM-alumnus-turns-Rickshaw-man was among the winners in the list of Network18’s Young Indian Leaders Award. Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of Infosys and now UID Chairman, felicitated all the young achievers.
From beginning to the end, the successful tales of the various winners was the talking point in the award evening. To hear the successful excursion of these achievers, exchange4media deciphers their life stories.
30 year old Chhavi Rajawat, a LSR graduate and MBA from IIMM Pune, decided to become a Sarpanch of his village in Rajasthan. “I hoped to apply my management and corporate skills to run my village,” Chhavi said. When asked, what do you miss a lot about the metro life when you are at your village? Chhavi replied innocently, “I miss nothing.”
A man who gave a symbol to Indian currency, D Udaya Kumar, found the opportunity given by Indian government as a lifetime break for him and invented a classic mix of Devanagiri and English script for Indian rupee symbol. “I put three months of hardship to give the symbol a final touch,” said Kumar.
Whereas, a steadfast girl Krushnaa Patil, while traveling in the Himalayas during vacations with family, decided to take mountaineering as a career and at the age of 19 conquered the new heights becoming the youngest women in India to climb the Mount Everest in 2009. “When girls achieve something that boys are supposed to, it feels cool from girls prospective,” asserted Patil.
Guwahati-born and Bangalore-based 32 year old tech researcher, Indrani Medhi, took the juggernaut of women achievers forward in the award ceremony. She got the award for her achievement of developing a design process to expand the impact of technology for all those who can not read. She is a software engineer at Microsoft Research India’s Bangalore lab.
The lone politician in the list of young achievers belongs to Jammu and Kashmir. 34 year old Aga Ruhullah is the youngest face in the Omar Abdullah’s cabinet and twice elected MLA from the Central Kashmir of Budgaon. He hails from the separatist family yet Ruhullah joined mainstream politics. He believed, “The only way for Kashmir’s prosperity is to be part of the system.” He also believes in refusing security and living in his village.
Popularly known as Rickshaw man, Irfan Alam belongs to Bihar. An IIM Ahmedabad alumnus founded a Sammaan foundation and came up with the idea of equipping rickshaw with music, magazines, newspapers, first-aid kits, refreshments and advertisements to help rickshaw pullers. Today more than 5, 00,000 rickshaws across India are registered with this foundation.
Another achiever of the award was 33 year old Sudarsan Pattnaik, a noted sand artist of India. He registered himself in Limca Book of World Records for recreating the highest sand Taj Mahal.
And last, but not the least, in the list of the young achievers of Network18 group was 33 year old passionate social activist Akhil Gogoi from Assam. With an aim of creating awareness and protecting against environmental damage and large scale corruption in the construction of dams, he runs Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti. Through this initiative he has exposed numerous cases of corruption in building dams in Assam. “I appeal to our Prime Minister and the government of India to stop the unnecessary dam projects in Assam,” said Gogoi.
This initiative of Network18 not only recognised the unsung young leaders of the country but also encouraged such young enthusiasts to take up the social cause for the inclusive growth of the country. Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN-IBN, IBN7 and IBN Lokmat and Asutosh, Managing Editor, IBN7 moderated the entire award ceremony.