EDITORS: Following is a series of special features that seek to bring unique and extraordinary stories of ordinary people, groups and communities from across a diverse, plural and inclusive India made possible by a collaboration between IANS and the Frank Islam Foundation based in Washington.
Hijab is no hurdle: Dream of bakery worker's daughter takes wings (IANS Special Series) (12:14)
By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, Nov 19 (IANS) "I want to become a pilot." When she instinctively answered a question at an event over a decade ago, the dream of a humble bakery worker's daughter had started growing wings. Hijab-wearing Syeda Salva Fatima is now all set to join an airline and is one of the four Muslim women in India who hold a Commercial Pilot's Licence (CPL).
Winds of change: Muslim girls embrace education, aim high (IANS Special Series) (12:34)
By Abu Zafar
Katihar (Bihar)/Azamgarh/New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) For Ghazala Tasneem, October 31 was not a normal day. It was the day her dream came true and she was rewarded for her hard struggle of three years. She was selected for the Bihar Judicial Services Competitive Examination with 65th rank and can soon aspire to be a judge.
Women power: How a forest was saved from timber mafia (IANS Special Series) (12:28)
By Mudita Girotra
Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Nov 5 (IANS) Armed with just water bottles and sticks, a group of poor tribal women in Muturkham village of Purbi Singhbhum district of Jharkhand trekked miles to the sal forest that surrounded their habitat. Their mission: To save the forest from being plundered and denuded by the "forest mafia".
India's pink army: Bringing healthcare to doorsteps of deprived (IANS Special Series) (13:08)
By Bhavana Akella
Bengaluru, Nov 1 (IANS) In a country where quality healthcare remains a privilege of the rich and influential, a silent army of women, clad in pink sarees, work tirelessly and selflessly to make basic healthcare facilities accessible to those who live on the margins of the growing Indian economy, particularly in the country's vast rural hinterland.
In Kashmir, two women combat menstrual taboo, unhygienic practices (IANS Special Series) (14:26)
By Sarwar Kashani
Kupwara, (Jammu and Kashmir), Oct 18 (IANS) Growing up in a society that stigmatises menstruation, two women social entrepreneurs in this border village of Jammu and Kashmir are battling the taboos attached to what is a routine biological process. They are not only creating awareness but also manufacturing and selling sanitary napkins to help poorer women who cannot afford branded products.
A profile in grit: How an HIV+ve man rewrote his destiny (IANS Special Series; Lead, Superseding earlier story with corrections in headline, intro) (15:26)
By Somrita Ghosh
Imphal, Oct 11 (IANS) He restrained himself at his home, unable to see daylight for almost three years. But today, fighting what appeared to be insurmountable odds, K. Pradipkumar Singh overcame the social stigma and discrimination to "show the world what an HIV positive person can do in life".
Art above religion: Muslim artist creates tallest Durga in Assam (IANS Special Series) (15:18)
By Aditya Baruah
Guwahati, Oct 4 (IANS) An Assam based artist has become a striking symbol of India's traditional religious harmony in challenging times, proving yet again that art and culture transcend man-made social divisions of religion or caste.
Madrassas go modern, challenge stereotype (IANS Special Series) (13:30)
By Abu Zafar
Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh), Sep 27 (IANS) Abu Osama, an alumnus of Madrasatul Islah, one of the oldest Islamic seminaries in this region, believed that after graduating from a madrassa he would not be able to compete in the modern world. He soon realised he was wrong.