Deccan Herald honours 20 change-makers in 2020

The event brought together the changemakers, some of Karnataka’s brightest minds across various spheres of work

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 20, 2020 2:47 PM
DH Changemakers

DH Changemakers 20 in 2020 is an attempt to shine a light on initiatives of young leaders who embody the spirit of Karnataka. The event brought together the changemakers, some of Karnataka’s brightest minds across various spheres of work. In what was the culmination of five months of identifying and vetting people making key contributions to society, 22 individuals were lauded as part of the finale of Deccan Herald’s “20 changemakers to watch out for in the year 2020.”

The winners, selected out of 100 nominated artists, social activists, environmentalists, technologists and other achievers, were honoured before a packed house of 250 people at the St Joseph’s Institute of Management on Saturday night. Among the 22 winners were two pairs twin brothers forging a new path in music through the flute and two friends running an all-woman architectural agency employing sustainable heritage solutions in building design. All the winners had been featured in a special supplement published on January 1.

The editor of Deccan Herald, Sitaraman Shankar, described that the Changemakers series was an inherent component of the paper’s new mantra to do good, either through good journalism or by identifying and recognising people within society at the forefront of change.

“Every bit of good journalism depends on remarkable, real people with whom we interact on a daily basis. Today captures this very well. These are young men and women who typify the power of good. And they do it either as social workers or simply being remarkable by being themselves, by inspiring the people around them and by living their lives to the fullest. For us, these people are especially special, because they make their mark in our home state of Karnataka,” he said.

A panel discussion on how art can be used as a change-maker was also conducted at the event. The panel discussion was led by senior journalist Nina C George with Actor Kishore and singer MD Pallavi as panellists.

Sammilan Shetty, Founder of the butterfly park in Belvai, Udupi district, was awarded the Popular Choice Award. Arundhati Nag, veteran actress felicitated Shetty with the award.

Moved, humbled

For some winners who already hold celebrity status in their respective occupations, such as the 19-year- old rising cricket star, Devdutt Padikkal, acclaim is no stranger.

“I felt that my inclusion in the 20 Changemakers series is somehow more meaningful because it examined me not as an athlete, but as a person,” he said.

For some, their inclusion in the series had changed their own lives, they said. Among these was Vidhya Y, a 26-year-old blind person who found herself unemployable despite graduating with a Master of Science in Digital Society. She eventually started a firm to help other blind students with Braille-enabled content. “Today, as a result of that DH profile of me, I have had so many people reach out to me, asking to use our system,” she said.

For space inventor Rohan Ganapathy, his inclusion in “Changemakers” heralded a sense of validation in his work, even though he told DH that he felt that his work somehow diminished in comparison to those of the other winners. “I am humbled to be in their presence. I may be trying to solve space-age problems, but here they are changing things on the ground itself,” he said.

This is the second edition of the Changemakers series. Last year, the paper had run “19 Changemakers to watch out for in 2019.

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