inspiring stories that had a positive impact in 2017

inspiring stories that had a positive impact in 2017

Change is the only thing constant in life, Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher once said. And the year 2017 was proof of the change that was seen all across the world as social media made a huge impact on many lives. From #MeToo to #MeNOMore and #AintNoCinderella, there were many hashtags that helped people to speak up. The influence was such that The Silence Breakers, who were behind the #MeToo movement, even went on to be Time’s Person of the Year 2017!

But, that’s not all. Social media became a platform for many people who emerged as change makers throughout the year. Here are the top highlights of the year.

Mumbai Police set an example with their diligence on social media

Mumbai Police set an example with their diligence on social media

From throwing a surprise birthday party for someone who came to lodge an FIR to sending an e-challan to Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan for flouting traffic rules, Mumbai Police has stood out in making a difference in the country. They also helped curb stalking and harassment when girls tweeted for help. But, that’s not all. Mumbai Police tracked down Mumbai-based author Sachin Garg’s misplaced laptop – that had 6 months of work in it – after reading a few retweets on Twitter. Hats off to the Mumbai Police social media team for doing such a smashing job.

This woman raised more than Rs 1 crore for a homeless man who helped her

Kate McClure started a fundraiser for the homeless man who helped her.

If you have been wondering why your good deeds get you no rewards, this homeless man’s story will reaffirm your faith in positive returns. A New Jersey woman ran out of gas in Philadelphia but got a helping hand from a homeless man when he offered to buy her some with the last $20 he had. In return, the woman has now raised almost $160,000 to help the man, named Johnny Bobbitt Jr.

Kate McClure started the campaign earlier this month to thank Bobbitt for the huge favour when she ran out of gas on Interstate95. McClure recalled that he walked up to her car with a red gas can that he bought with the last of his money. Check out the tweet here.

In a long post, she also wrote that she didn’t have any money to pay him back at that time but later she returned several times to give him cash, food and clothes. After a while, she decided to start a fundraiser so the 34-year-old Bobbit could buy a house and take care of all his other expenses. According to the charity fund that McClure started for Bobbit, nearly $160,000 (which amounts to almost Rs 1 crore) of the $10,000 goal was raised by 5,383 people in 12 days, at the time of writing.

Driving into Philly one night, I made the mistake of thinking that I would be able to make it all the way down I- 95 with my gas light on. Needless to say, I was wrong. I never ran out of gas before, and my heart was beating out of my chest. I pulled over as far as I could, and got out of the car to head to the nearest gas station.
That’s when I met Johnny. Johnny sits on the side of the road every day, holding a sign. He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors. A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can. Using his last 20 dollars to make sure I could get home safe.
Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn’t repay him at that moment because I didn’t have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks. I repaid him for the gas, gave him a jacket, gloves, a hat, and warm socks, and I give him a few dollars every time I see him.
I wish that I could do more for this selfless man, who went out of his way just to help me that day. He is such a great guy, and talking to him each time I see him makes me want to help him more and more.
One day I stopped to see him and had a few things in a bag to give him, one of which was a box of cereal bars so he could have something that he could carry around and eat. He was very appreciative as usual and the first thing he said was “do you want one?” Another time I dropped off 2 wawa gift cards and a case of water.. the first words that came out of his mouth were “I can’t wait to show the guys” (there are 2 others he hangs out with and they all take care of each other). If just those 2 statements alone do not give you a glimpse of the good heart this man has I’m not sure anything will.
I am raising money for Johnny. With the money, I would like to get him first and last month’s rent at an apartment, a reliable vehicle, and 4-6 months worth of expenses. He is very interested in finding a job, and I believe that with a place to be able to clean up every night and get a good night’s rest, his life can get back to being normal.
Truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break. Hopefully with your help I can be the one to give it to him.
Please help this man get into a home. It is already getting so cold out in Philadelphia, and I can’t imagine what it will be like to be out there all winter. Any little bit will help.

Rs 25 lakh raised in a day for this boy whose cancer treatment was stopped

Rs 25 lakh raised in a day for this boy whose cancer treatment was stopped

Cancer is a deadly disease that can be life-threatening if it takes one into its clutches. And, the treatment is not only painful but extremely expensive too. What if your loved one was suffering from cancer but you were unable to arrange the money for the treatment? Won’t it shatter your soul? Disclosing one such heart-rending incident, a 25-year-old narrated his tale on social media.

Shedding light on how all his dreams smashed and what all his parents had to go through, he penned an emotional account of his life for the Facebook page ‘Humans of Bombay’. “I’ve gone through 8 cycles of chemotherapy — each costing us Rs. 2.5 lakh.. that’s more money than we’ve even seen in this lifetime. My treatment is nowhere close to being complete, but I’m still trying to keep my parents happy and positive by telling them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

While his treatment had been stopped due to the lack of Rs 25 lakh, the link of a fundraiser for his treatment was added along with the post, and the entire amount was donated by Netizens — that too, in just one day! Isn’t it miraculous? The wondrous feat will restore your faith in humanity.“Ever since I was a child, I used to tell my father, ‘I want you to retire at 52, I will take care of everything after that.’ I have no idea where this thought came from or why that’s motivated me my entire life. Maybe because I’ve seen him work so hard every single day- my father goes to different houses to officiate religious ceremonies. My dream has been to see him relax, maybe take road trips with his friends and finally start living for himself.
When I told my dad I wanted to pursue MBA, he smiled and immediately started calculating how much it would cost. There were no discussions about whether it would be affordable for our family or not. Since then, with his salary of just Rs. 15,000, he has managed to collect almost Rs. 13 lakh for my college fees. After getting a decent score in my entrance exam, I was coming to Mumbai for my admission, and that’s when fate changed our path.
I’d been feeling weak for about a week in Baroda, when I got my blood tests done. The reports revealed a shocking drop in my blood count — I had a condition called MDS which puts my bone marrow at a high risk.
The doctors said that I would need a bone marrow transplant which would cost a staggering Rs. 30 lakh —my father agreed to do the transplant as his bone marrow matched mine.
Since I came to Bombay, I spend most of my time alone because I’m highly prone to infections. So I spend most of my time studying, reading about treatment options and watching motivational videos to stay positive.
Motivational videos help me get through chemotherapy sessions and every time I see my father hiding his tears. He never cries in front of me and thinks I don’t know… but I do — I notice how his voice cracks when he’s talking to our relatives, or when he suddenly leaves the room.
To be honest, seeing my father worried is more difficult than braving these chemotherapy cycles. It’s even worse that I can’t do my MBA and give my parents the life they deserve —they even sold the gold they had bought for my wedding!
I’m trying to show him the brighter side — I tell him that it’s good that I’ve received another year to prepare for the entrance exam so I’ll try to get into the IIMs, but it’s tough.
I’ve gone through 8 cycles of chemotherapy — each costing us Rs. 2.5 lakh.. that’s more money than we’ve even seen in this lifetime. My treatment is nowhere close to being complete, but I’m still trying to keep my parents happy and positive by telling them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I will get my MBA; I will make sure that the dream I had for my parents — of seeing them relax on a beach, with not a care in the world will come true.”

‘Daughters are NOT useless’: The girl who donated liver to her father

The girl who donated liver to her father

If you thought you have had enough of the Internet and the insensitive trolls that make the space toxic, then this story is sure to warm the cockles of your hearts. Like how we would go to any length to ensure our loved ones and family members are safe, healthy and happy, this young girl too went ahead and did just that. And her story of having stood by her father as he got his liver transplanted has touched the Internet beyond words. With over 7,200 shares on Dr Rachit Bhushan’s Facebook post narrating Pooja Bijarnia’s story, the Internet evidently just cannot have enough of the girl who decided to undergo a liver transplant for her father’s surgery and good health.

Dr Bhushan mentioned in his short Facebook post that this story is an answer especially to those who think daughters are useless.

“#BRAVEDAUGHTER:There are some REAL LIFE HEROES who don’t believe in words like LUCK,FEAR and IMPOSSIBLE.When people say that DAUGHTERS are useless she is an answer to them.A girl whom I don’t know personally but then for me,she is a HERO who underwent LIVER TRANSPLANT and saved life of her father.Proud of you girl and there is so much to learn from people like her.God bless you Pooja Bijarnia”.

Mermaid’ helped fix pothole: Bengaluru artiste turned big crater into pond

Bengaluru artiste turns big crater into pond to grab civic bodies’ attention

Potholes woes are not new to Bengaluru. The conditions of the roads are so deplorable that it has even led to deaths of many people in this. And to gain the attention of authorities, local residents and artistes have been trying unusual ways so that needful measures are taken. Luckily, one such endeavour paid off, and authorities rushed to repair the road, thanks to a viral photo and an artist’s imagination.

A visual artiste Baadal Nanjundaswamy turned a giant city pothole into a magical pond and installed a mermaid! Yes, not a mannequin or statue, but he was helped in his innovative idea by Kannada actress Sonu Gowda. Dressed in a green outfit, the popular star was seen playfully splashing water sitting on the edge of the pond aka pothole. The huge crater-like pothole was filled with rainwater and the artiste turned into a mystic blue pond on Kamraj Road-Cubbon Road junction.

Earlier in 2016, Gowda joined forces with him and created a a scene from ‘The Frog Prince’.

The pictures went viral quickly, as Netizens lauded their efforts and just in a day, workers were seen filling it up with tar and repairing it. The artiste shared the photo of the work in progress.However, this is not the first time Nanjundaswamy has done something like this. Remember the life-size crocodile that stunned everyone on Bengaluru street in 2015? Yes, it was installed by him. Ever since then the artiste has painted or installed art involving a pothole.

The moving photo of schoolkids from flooded Assam saluting the national flag

The moving photo of schoolkids from flooded Assam saluting the national flag

It’s heartening to see that for many, Independence Day and the sacrifices made by our ancestors to ensure our freedom continues to mean so much, even after 70 years. In 1947, it was on August 15 that India won its freedom back from the British rule, after almost a century of struggle. Thereafter was born the India that we all know as the largest democracy in the world.

Like every year, this time too, the celebrations kick-started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the Red Fort. But among the beautifully lit monuments and kites soaring high, it is a photo of kids at a school in Assam saluting the National Flag that is breaking the Internet.

While it is heartwarming to see students dressed up as Bapu, Bharat Mata, Nehru, etc., heading to school, this photo has got little do with euphoria and much to do with inspiration in the face of adversity. After all, in flood-hit Assam’s Dhubri district, the most they could probably do is hoist the flag. Mizanur Rahman, a teacher at Naskara Lower Primary School Number 1185 at Dhibru district in Assam, shared the photo of three young boys and a man standing in the murky flood waters that have wreaked havoc in the region and saluting the National Flag. Since uploading it in the morning on the occasion of Independence Day, the post has gone viral on Facebook with over 29,000 shares on the social media site.

Kashmir Police DIG’s heartfelt viral letter to a martyr cop’s daughter

Kashmir Police DIG’s heartfelt viral letter to a martyr cop’s daughter

The Kashmir valley has been in the midst of turmoil for decades, and over the past year the tension has just increased, with life under constant threat at all times. In one such heartbreaking incident, an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of police was on Monday was killed in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, after militants fired at him, according to news agency PTI. A police official said that ASI Abdul Rashid, who was on duty without a weapon, lost his life after he was fired at Mehandi Kadal.

Expressing his condolences, the DIG of Police South Kashmir penned an emotional letter for Rashid’s daughter, Zohra, and his words have left many teary-eyed. Shared by the official Facebook page DIG of Police South Kashmir, the post has collected more than 1,600 likes and over 1,000 shares, at the time of writing.

Read what he wrote here.

My Dear Zohra,
Your tears have shaken many hearts.The sacrifice made by your father will always be remembered. You are too young to understand as to why this happened.
People responsible for such violence who attack the lawful symbol of the state and society are indeed insane and enemy of humanity.Your father like all of us represented Jammu Kashmir police force- a hallmark of valour and sacrifice.
Many of our police families have suffered and undergone irreparable trauma defending the common good for the society.All those faces and stories indeed create a rich history making us proud. We cannot forget our heroes,our dear ones with whom we lived and worked all these years.All these families are part of a great journey that JKP has undertaken serving the society.
Remember we all are one family at this critical phase. Every drop of your tear sears our heart.May almighty give us the strength to go ahead with our mission of rendering services for the betterment of the society.The vow that we have taken when we donned the uniform stands supreme. Let our sprit and commitment become the harbinger for change,let it be the message of peace and harmony for the fellow citizens.We will always cherish the memory of ASI Abdul Rashid as a true policeman who sacrificed his life in the line of the duty.RIP
With loads of blessings
All ranks and officers of JKP

Boy’s little act to keep the Delhi metro clean was bigger than any campaign

Boy’s little act to keep the Delhi metro clean was bigger than any campaign

“Cleanliness is next to godliness!” We all have heard this phrase, but only a few of us actually implement it in our lives. Even with the Swachh Bharat mission and the workshops organised to make the citizens aware, nothing much has changed, as a lot of lanes still reek of dirt and garbage. However, an incident that took place in the Delhi metro, will completely change your perception about people.

A Delhi man was travelling in the metro when he saw that the clean and mopped floor was getting filthy. A young boy, who was sitting in front of him with plugged earphones was taking out his water bottle from his bag when his tiffin box fell, and all his lunch spilled onto the floor. While he thought that the metro would now be dirty all day long with the food that had tumbled out, what the boy did next step left the man baffled.

The boy — Pranjal Dubey — tore out a page from his copy and started picking up the mess he had accidentally made in the metro. After gathering all of it, he took his handkerchief and cleaned the floor to leave it clean. Moved by his gestures, the user Shubham Verma enquired about his name and later shared the incident on his Facebook page with Pranjal Dubey’s photos.

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