Simplify your life to amplify your future- Vikram Agnihotri

Vikram Agnihotri lost his both arms to electrocution at the age of seven after touching a high voltage wire. After the amputation with help of his family especially his mother he trained his legs to do everything that he could have done with his hands- right from writing, shaving to eating and using laptop.

“I give all the credit for my recovery and rehabilitation to my family, especially my mother. Who never gave up on me and always motivated me to get back to activities like swimming, skates, and football

He studied in regular school, completed his master’s degree and is now a motivational speaker who also runs a gas agency.

Vikram decided to learn driving and searched for driving schools but to his surprise there were no schools or training centers that offered diving license for hand amputees. So he confidently sat behind the wheel of an automatic shift gear and taught himself how to drive.

After years of pursuance and follow up the Motor Vehicles Act was amended and Vikram was the first double amputee to get a permanent driving license in India. He proudly shares “The amendment in the law will benefit millions of disabled people trying to get driver’s license”

Vikram is the first differently abled person to be part of desert storm motor rally India. He has driven more than 90,000 kms in past few years and his achievements have been recognized by Limca Book of Records.

Also what’s your excuse for not voting because Agnihotri has also inspired millions of voters across India and got inked on foot after voting?

Vikram Agnihotri getting inked after casting his vote

Vikram has a great keenness for life; he is also a motivational speaker and aims to empower people with disabilities. He started an NGO called WIL (Winners in life) to support physically disabled people and His dream is to set up an institute for the physically challenged offering skill development and sports academy with counselling and vocational training.

Clearly Vikram is instilled with lot of qualities, His strong willed attitude and never say die spirit is an inspiring one!

(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)

This year fathers day is not the same for all daughters – Shalini Bharadwaj

This year many daughters lost their father and i am one of them so this year fathers day comes with loneliness because i lost my hero due to deadly covid..

I had never seen my father, 1 month before my birth, he died in a road accident.
But god sent one special person for me when i was 3 years old when he enetered in my life.

I called him bhaiya but he was more than father for me..his unconditional love taught me that heart relation is more than blood relation..

He taught me every lesson of life ..he fullfilled all my demands and gave me everything that i wanted.

He was my bestfriend, my teacher, guardian, brother , my partner in crime, shoping partner, my photographer …I found every relationship in One person…he was pure soul and most helpful person i ever met hard working , most intelligent person,successful business man and my inspiration ….

But one day covid changed my life completely. Me and my family tried a lot till the end but we could not save him, in the end he left us all alone.

when he was in critical condition i huged him and he told me beta that you are my strength, you stay with me because you are my courage.

He was fighter😢but this guilt will always be in my heart that I couldn’t save him.

Now without him i am losing myself ..its very painfull to imagine my life without my hero my life is incomplete .. i miss him every second.

“I am alone without u ..i need you …you will always live in my heart ….you never died for me …missing u badly …happy fathers day please come back 😢

(Story edited by Raavya Sarda)

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Father Daughter – Two words, one relationship, packaged with countless expressions, emotions and moments – Saheb Sahani

When Imaana was born, I asked myself, ‘What kind of a father do I want to be?’

She is 3 1/2 yrs old now and I still haven’t tried to attempt to answer the question I asked myself at the time of her birth.

You know why? Cos I have realised fatherhood isn’t about following a set template. It isn’t about promising the world and the moon and the stars. It’s about learning and evolving on the job (sure, you will end up looking foolish and stupid on occasions but hey that’s fun too). It’s about staying realistic and taking each day as it comes. It’s about playing a joker and being crazy.
It’s about helping your child find purpose in life. If you can do all that, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
So, instead of asking yourself what kind of a father you want to be, ask yourself what you want to achieve (both you and your kid) on this journey of fatherhood.

Naughty toddler Imaana Sahani

Here’s what we have achieved so far – When she breaks into bouts of laughter, I start laughing too. When she starts dancing, I join in too. When she’s hurting, I am hurting too. If Baby shark is her favourite song, heck it damn well play on repeat the whole day long on my music playlist too.

I have been schooled too. When I have overstretched myself at work, my daughter’s held my hand and told me, ‘Papa you did good. Now come play with me!’

When she thinks I ain’t paying enough attention she demands it by shouting out my full name. There’s no ignoring that command!

Yeah that’s love. But above all, we are connected for life.

( Story Shared by – Saheb Sahani)

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Moping and cleaning the school floor, principal Girish Bavaliya teaching humanity lessons.

Teaching has always been my passion and I believe students should first trust their teacher in order to have a healthy learning atmosphere.

I worked as a government school teacher for 13 years and after clearing all my state exams I was appointed as the principal of Acharya Shri Vadod primary school in Rajkot district.

I reach at school every day one hour before time to check out cleanliness of school.

I clean and mop the premises before the school starts every day.

Because I strongly believe Humility is the characteristic of a strong leader so don’t think that my school is in poor condition or has no funds for school sanitation.

The school does receives ample funds from panchayat but I believe that money we get can be used for much better use for school development and that’s why I use this sanitation grant money to create other facilities for school and children.

According to me students should be given a chance to be their own mentors and to do this I state rules and guidelines without acting as an inspector upon everyone.

As a principals its my responsibility to secure safe learning environment for students where basic needs are met.

I want to teach guide and most of all I want to make a difference!

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(Written by Raavya Sarda)

My aim is to rehabilitate prisoners and give them hope to live their lives with dignity in future – Divej Mehta

I was pursuing my MBA in Singapore when I came across this concept of Inmates working in Indian prisons for various industries producing pickles, furniture or incense sticks.

Based on this concept of Industries Inside the prison, I submitted my proposal of collaborating with a private company to Tamil Nadu Government in 2013 which wasn’t approved and second proposal to Maharashtra state prison authorities to set up a foot wear making unit at Pune’s Yerwada Central.

The proposal was accepted and my footwear label called ‘Inmate’ – Bringing humanity to leather was launched which provided handcrafted traditionally modern Kolhapuris in 2018.

When I was setting up my brand I used to visit Yerwada every day. I realized how this business model could provide working skills to these inmates and earn a respectable income. But Let me tell you it was not an easy job to convince the prisoners to be workers. These prisoners have a past and would not trust anyone from outside. It was important to build that trust and gain confidence.

Divej counselling Inmates

It takes six to eight months to train them to produce high quality leather footwear. Most of the inmates are convicts who have at least more than five years to complete their sentence.

We started selling about 30 pairs a month in 2018 and today we sell around 2000 pairs a month.

Today not only these inmates have learned the skill of shoemaking but have mastered in it which will give them an opportunity to land jobs in the shoemaking business post their release.

They are paid daily wages as per the jail manual.

It’s a win- win situation for all of us. The Inmates are able to streamline their life with the wages earned. The Government is indirectly engaging the prisoners and we get a premium footwear product.

 We proudly call these Inmates ‘Believers’ because nothing is impossible for believers. They are doers and dreamers for their better future and currently we have 350 believers working with us across two states prison.

The Believers

I firmly believe that every prisoner deserves a second chance so my aim is not just rehabilitating inmates but their families too who were affected by their actions and provide them a better life in many different ways.

It’s an emotional feeling when the Inmates walk up to me and say that they can finally see a ray of hope for their future.

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(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)

I strongly feel with enough knowledge any fright can be reduced – Dr.Dhruv Dev

During my college days I used to host college festivals and many events

This gave me an opportunity to work as a host in the glamourous world with brands like VH1, Mtv and I am popularly known as mc- DD.

But my father always said that I should have a stable job and trust me fathers advice are always best.

So I completed my Physiotherapy course and got associated with the Indian railways team and Indian tennis circuit.

During Pandemic the situation around me was getting worst, people needed oxygen cylinders, beds, medicines and they were panicking with stress and anxiety. I was filled with such guilt as I was not able to help like many of my colleagues.

In my profession I work with individuals with long term or complex pain. It was important to empower people to manage pain condition at home amidst lockdown.

Also I believe preventing illness is important so I wanted to help people to get rid of this panic situation, I strongly feel with enough knowledge any fright can be reduced.

So I had to think out of the box to keep people active and spread awareness about pandemic in meaningful and different way.

I made informative reels with exercises for controlled coughing, breathlessness, lowering of SpO2, precautions to be taken that will help fight covid, Taking care of lungs when Covid positive.

Moreover with healthy use of technology preventive measures can be taken to educate people about covid and how they can manage at home. Because mild and moderate covid cases can be handeld at home.

Dr Dhruv sharing some breathing exercises

I believe adapting digital tools will improve the ability to care for patients in future. Digital health is creating new opportunities for health services. Just make sure that the information you receive is completely accurate and not unrealistic which will benefit your health.

Health care workers across our nation are fighting Coronavirus. Supporting each other and coping every day.

These are real people overcoming extraordinary challenges and saving lives so my aim right now is to reduce the enormous load on our health system.

I feel proud and happy that with the help of my profession I can make such a difference during these challenging times!

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(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)

Sahar Mansoor reminds people that nature should not be taken for granted.

I proudly call myself a climate optimist because I think my actions can peacefully influence the world towards changing their way of life and lead a sustainable lifestyle.

My scuba diving or hiking in mountains bought me closer to the nature and made me realize how I needed to rewire or re-engineer myself in this man made world. 

My Journey about zero waste started about five years ago. When I returned Bangalore to live with my mother, I started experimenting in my mums Kitchen. I used to make soaps using shikakai and reetha homemade products recommended by my grandmother like multani mitti for skin care, tried neem but didn’t like taste, started using my own cloth bag this way I started cutting down waste by finding sustainable solutions to my daily needs.

There was lot of research involved. I spent time with local waste pickers and watched them sort waste with their bare hands, which made me think about the environment and issues related to garbage.

I had to address this trash problem and wanted to stop being part of the problem.

I started my business venture Bare Necessities in year 2016, a social enterprise that produces zero waste personal and lifestyle products such as bamboo tooth brushes and stainless steel straws. Currently I have a 500 gms jar of all the trash produced in 4 years.

We also conduct many free workshops for government schools, online webinars. Where we raise awareness which leads to low waste lifestyles.

My book Bare Necessities co-authored by sustainability consultant Tim De Ridder addresses how to live a Zero waste life with easy DIYs and resources.

Bare Necessities by Sahar Mansoor and Tim De Ridder

Living an eco-friendly life becomes a habit or part of your lifestyle so it’s tough to explain people why I carry my own straw, cutlery or containers. Action speaks louder than words so I believe in being genuine with my actions.

I believe changing our lives to zero waste living cannot happen overnight. Take one step at a time, start with any small corner of your house may be a bathroom or a kitchen and gradually turn into enormous help for humankind.

We care about our future generation don’t we? So as millennials be mindful of the way we’re living. Do whatever you can to be part of solution and take care of our mama earth!

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(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)

I have never doubted my choices, though other people do all the time – Jayati Bhatia

I was born in Orissa but originally a Bengali then I shifted to Delhi and hitched to a Punjabi so I feel I am part of all cultures.

I am a trained classical Odissi dancer and have travelled internationally for my performances.

I met my husband Kiran Bhatia during my first play and after dating each other for some time we got married. He was the one who encouraged me to be more active on the theatre circuit.

During that time I got an opportunity to get trained for four years under guidance of Mr Ebrahim Alkazi a renowned theatre director and drama teacher.

My family has been the strongest pillars in my career. It was Because of their love and support that got me through four years in my theatre school days.

In year 1997 I made my acting debut with Balaji Telefilms Itihaas and since then there was no looking back.

Jayati Bhatia

To answer your question about motherhood, me and my husband discussed kids but barely, neither of us was passionately for or against, but we agreed that we didn’t wanted to have one.

People kept telling me ‘Baccha karlo, kab karogey, Bacchey ke bina aapko khali khali nahi lagta?

I had to face all of this but somewhere I believe People give birth to another life ye sochke ke hamare buddhape ka sahara kaun banega and 99% people have children because of social pressure. But you cannot be dependent on a third life which has not come to life to decide your happiness. I am very clear; I want to lead my life myself. ‘Mein kisiko apney buddhape ki latthi nahi banana chahti’.

I have never doubted my choices, though other people do all the time!

I am a workaholic, mujhe kaam mein hi sukoon milta hai and I feel very fortunate to be part of highly successful shows like Kutumb, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, Kasauti Zindagi Ki and many more.

Apart from being adored by telly audiences, I have also acted in plays like blame it on Yashraj, Mad about Money and Mahatma Vs Gandhi

My acting amassed numerous acclodes and I was immensely praised for my role as Nirmala Bhradwaj – ‘Mataji’ In Sasural Simar Ka

 I would like to tell people-‘Follow your passion with courage and be prepared for hardwork which will lead you to success.”

(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)

Ritesh Hindocha – Down syndrome influencer is confident full of joy and living his dream with the support of his family.

My Name is Ritesh Hindocha. I am 38 years old and youngest of four siblings.

 My parents told me that I have down syndrome. I didn’t know what it was but all I knew was I would have to work harder to achieve my goals in life.

As a child, I have attended special school and my best friends are Rakesh and Mitesh. We call each other regularly and talk about our day. I enjoyed participating in many drama workshops in my school which gave me an opportunity to act in movie called Naina.

Thanks to support from my teacher Renu who even checks on me till date and is happy to see me making progress each day.

My hobbies are dancing, singing and listening to music but there is something more important to me than all of them and that is making Instagram reels.

Ritesh rocking in his instagram reel

Making reels is one way to express my feelings. If I feel down, sad or happy. It’s about influencing people in a positive way.

I like to be busy and active so I started making reels on Instagram with the help of my nephew Dhruv and we are rocking it together.

My parents and siblings never treated me as I have any disability and I am grateful for the support I received not just from my family but from teachers and followers on Instagram who have raised the bar for me and helped me accomplish my dreams.

Ritesh with his sisters

I continue to stay involved in playing gully cricket, and I go to swimming club with my father. I can swim under 20 ft. thats cool right!

I have a small mobile recharge shop which is shut right now because of covid and lockdown. Employment is important for me because it gives me the opportunity to give back to my family. My goal is to reduce my father’s burden financially.

But I have other dreams too. I want to take my entire family to Dubai or Goa with my earnings.

Many people let me down by saying – you have down syndrome and you can’t be an influencer but I don’t care what they say, I am a star!

I still face many challenges and I face them each day with head on, not willing to give up or knocked down. I am learning everyday but one thing for sure my laugh can brighten anyone’s day!

(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)

Actors and Influencers Abhay & AArna Bhadoriya are giving us some major sibling goals

Aarna’s fascination for acting began when she was Two, she used to dress up and act in front of mirror for hours. She used to watch Bhabhiji Ghar par hai and act the entire day, for her it was all about having fun.

She made her debut with the show Paramavataar Krishna and I started my acting career with India’s Best Dramebaaz when I was 6.

My father is a business-man and mother a housewife. They have been our biggest support and always gave us freedom of imagination to enjoy the process in anything we do.

It was not an easy decision for them to leave their well settled life in our hometown Bhopal and shift to Mumbai for us. But they did it for our bright future.

Lovely Faces _ Abhay and Aarna Bhadoriya with their parents

We worked in shows like Mariam Khan Reporting Live, Kya Haal Mr. Paanchal and many more.

We got a remarkable opportunity to work as onscreen siblings Chintu and Chinnti on Balveer Returns. The show was amazingly popular among the kids.

With the show going off air, it was a wonderful journey for us. We enjoyed every day of our shoot and will cherish the experience lifetime.

During lockdown we were at home and that was when we started our YouTube channel with 300K subscriber, Where we continue to entertain as it’s a very lucrative platform for kids to showcase their talent.

In making these videos our mother spends considerable amount of time. She learnt how to shoot, handle lighting, managing our schedules and even writing scripts for us.

Our parents appreciate and support us in everything we do. And that is such a great feeling. We never felt that we are missing something out.

 I am five years elder to my sister Aarna and our chemistry as brother sister is too beautiful and loved by people very much.

I have just completed my 10th grade and Aarna is in fourth standard. We manage acting and studies both. Our teachers and friends help us with the worksheets and notes so we get them and study on set or at home.

We feel soo proud to be recognized at this young age. My family and my fans play a major role in what we are doing today. Whenever we go outside, people recognize us even if we are wearing a mask. It’s an amazing feeling.

What’s truly enduring is that we are able to connect with children and adults equally.

(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)

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