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.
How a tiny state is battling joblessness through entrepreneurship (IANS Special Series) (12:24)
By Sarwar Kashani
Gangtok, July 22 (IANS) Sikkim has many distinctions that give the tiny state nestled in the Himalayas between India and China a larger-than-life profile. It is the only organic state in India, is litter- and defecation-free, has high literacy and has the best working conditions for women. But the challenge of unemployment it faces is huge which has made many embrace entrepreneurship to not just generate jobs for themselves but to provide employment to the state's aspirational youth.
How a woman grenade blast survivor overcame disability to inspire change (IANS Special Series) (12:18)
By Bhavana Akella
Bengaluru, July 15 (IANS) Malvika Iyer was a charming 13-year-old girl in 2002 when a grenade accidentally blew up in her hands, ripping her forearm and paralysing her legs, in Bikaner, Rajasthan, where she lived with her parents. An accident that could have ended her life completely changed her perspective, and even though it took years for her to overcome the trauma, she came out stronger and not only found a way to get her life back on track, but also became a harbinger of change for the disabled.
Breaking faith barriers, Shia Muslim artists create Hindu wedding mandaps (IANS Special Series) (12:16)
By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, July 8 (IANS) For centuries, their creations have been used in sombre processions to commemorate and reconstruct the narrative of the 7th century Battle of Karbala in Islamic history. But now, these artists, mostly Shia Muslims, make Hindu wedding mandaps, replicating the design of the shrine of Prophet's grandson Imam Hussain Ali, who was killed in that war.
American father-daughter duo bring 'technological difference' to remote Arunachal village (IANS Special Series) (12:34)
By Saket Suman
Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh), July 1 (IANS) National Geographic explorer Mike Libecki and his 14-year-old daughter Lilliana are essentially travellers who have been to several remote corners of the world. But it is not just the high-ranging mountains or far-flung seas that have a distinct pull for the American father-daughter duo; in fact, most of their travels are humanitarian- and- philanthropy-based expeditions.
An equal-opportunity school sets a sterling example in social integration (IANS Special Series) (14:10)
By Mohit Dubey
Lucknow, June 24 (IANS) Much before the Indian parliament promulgated the Right to Education Act (RTE) in 2009 that guaranteed education to all a committed local teacher had already pioneered the idea of making school access a reality for hundreds of underprivileged children, irrespective of their social status or economic background.
A Lord gives back to rural Punjab through education (IANS Special Series) (12:12)
By Jaideep Sarin
Sanghol (Punjab), June 22 (IANS) He may have built a fortune and become a member of the British House of Lords but when it comes to love for the motherland, he is a deeply rooted person.
Rajasthani musicians epitomise India's syncretic culture, but are a struggling lot (IANS Special Series) (12:06)
By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, June 17 (IANS) They are Muslims, yet they sing Krishna "bhajans" (hymns) from Hindu lore. They have adopted a hybrid culture that is a mix of both religions and lifestyles. Many of their names too blend two religions, like Shankar Khan and Krishna Khan.
Seema's story: Educating girls to negotiate life, become change agents (IANS Special Series) (12:10)
By Umer Rashid
Hardoi (Uttar Pradesh), June 10 (IANS) Inside a dimly-lit classroom in this district, with its walls decorated with drawings and paintings made by children, Seema Yadav, 36, is teaching a group of 25 girls who are sitting in a circle in one corner. These are girls who were either never enrolled in school or had to drop out due to various reasons. They are now way behind academically compared to other students of their age.
Girls can do anything, proves Indian teen who climbed Everest (IANS Special Series) (12:06)
By Mudita Girotra
Hisar (Haryana), June 3 (IANS) On May 15 this year, a teenaged girl from Haryana embarked on the very challenging task of climbing Mount Everest from the Nepal side. But having dropped her radio transceiver during the trek, she couldn't inform anyone about her whereabouts.
Despite tragic history, mosque and gurdwara stand tall in harmony (IANS Special Series) (13:06)
By Jaideep Sarin
Fatehgarh Sahib (Punjab), May 27 (IANS) This town of sacred pilgrimage in Punjab has been witness to one of the most tragic, painful and violent chapters of Sikh-Mughal history going back three centuries. Despite that, a 350-year-old mosque not only stands in complete harmony with a recently completed gurdwara but is looked after by the Sikh priest.