Drive Green: 5 Electric Bike Startups Leading India’s Switch to Clean Fuel

Despite the continued domination of fossil-fuel guzzling vehicles on Indian roads, the past five years have seen a significant push toward electric automobiles. More than manufacturers and the government, that push is coming from consumers, particularly in the electric vehicle (EV) space. Want to make your own contribution to saving the environment? Head to The … Continue reading “Drive Green: 5 Electric Bike Startups Leading India’s Switch to Clean Fuel”

Indians, Here’s Your Chance To Name a Star & Its Jupiter-Like Planet!

Do you wish to get a celestial body named after your favorite hero or sportsperson? You now have a chance to make that dream come true, officially. The International Astronomical Union (IAU)—the scientific body authorised to name celestial objects—is seeking suggestions from people all over the world to name a select set of exoplanets and … Continue reading “Indians, Here’s Your Chance To Name a Star & Its Jupiter-Like Planet!”

5-YO Dies of Chandipura Virus in Gujarat: Why You Should Know About CHPV

Identified in 1966 during a dengue outbreak, the Chandipura virus came to light when blood samples from two patients in Maharashtra’s Chandipura village were tested and found positive. P N Bhatt and F M Rodrigues, scientists at Pune’s National Institute of Virology (NIV), discovered and named this virus. For almost three decades after that first … Continue reading “5-YO Dies of Chandipura Virus in Gujarat: Why You Should Know About CHPV”

TN Auto Driver Once Wanted to End His Life. Today, He Feeds Thousands of Homeless!

If things went as I had planned, I would have been dead today,” begins 45-year-old B Murugan. In 1992, he had just written and failed his class 10 examinations, and had decided to take his life. Twenty-seven years later, he runs an organisation that takes care of the homeless and provides them with meals every … Continue reading “TN Auto Driver Once Wanted to End His Life. Today, He Feeds Thousands of Homeless!”

Solution to Stubble Burning: Punjab Man Uses Straw to Make Fuel, Eco-Products!

Did you know that India produces more than 550 million tonnes of crop residue every year, and that the highest producers of this crop residue are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana? Ever wonder what happens to most of this agricultural waste? Well, in the absence of space to hoard this residue or alternative methods to … Continue reading “Solution to Stubble Burning: Punjab Man Uses Straw to Make Fuel, Eco-Products!”

Forced to Skip College at 18, JNU Guard Cracks University’s Entrance Exam at 33!

Empty stomachs and equally empty pockets bind lakhs of farmers and daily-wage earners living in the villages of India. Life does not come easy to those who work their entire lives filling the belly of the nation, and go to sleep hungry themselves. To earn a pittance, village children have to abandon their dreams of … Continue reading “Forced to Skip College at 18, JNU Guard Cracks University’s Entrance Exam at 33!”

Want to See the Real Northeast? This Mumbai Man Can Help You Do It Responsibly!

Unfulfilled and dissatisfied with the corporate life, Mumbai-born Piran Elavia decided to take a sabbatical sometime in 2008. On a tip from a friend, he got an opportunity to do some voluntary work with a non-profit in the pristine climes of Lachen in north Sikkim. It was a community-based tourism project, where he would work … Continue reading “Want to See the Real Northeast? This Mumbai Man Can Help You Do It Responsibly!”

Ride to Remember: How Hero Cycles Gave Wheels to Post-Independence India

I was 5 when I was gifted my first bicycle by my parents; it was pink and had bright orange tassels on the handlebar. I still have a mark on my knee from when I fell while trying to ride without the training wheels. Not one to give up, I persisted on learning to ride … Continue reading “Ride to Remember: How Hero Cycles Gave Wheels to Post-Independence India”

Driverless Tractors & Diya ‘Guards’: How Low-Cost Innovations Can Transform Farms

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and if your family, struggling in the field every day, isn’t motivation enough, little else can be. Yogesh and Narayan are both farmers-cum-innovators who have resolved the problems in their respective fields—pun intended—with brilliant devices. The Better India (TBI) spoke to them about how their low-cost innovations … Continue reading “Driverless Tractors & Diya ‘Guards’: How Low-Cost Innovations Can Transform Farms”

These Low-Cost Eco-friendly Rajasthani Homes Can Survive Floods & Earthquakes!

A few drops of rain and Barmer, a drought-affected district in Rajasthan, rejoices. However, in 2006, a flash flood turned their joy into misery instead and rendered hundreds of villagers homeless in the region. The dreadful month of August received about 577 mm of rainfall in three days, 300 mm more than the annual average … Continue reading “These Low-Cost Eco-friendly Rajasthani Homes Can Survive Floods & Earthquakes!”

Himachal Doctor Spends Rs 10 Lakh From His Own Pocket to Treat Poor Women For Free!

Dr Uday Bhanu Rana is a gynaecologist posted in the Zonal Hospital in Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh. He paid Rs 10 lakh from his own pocket to purchase equipment that would help him conduct total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH) surgeries. Surprisingly, this facility is not available in some of the state’s leading healthcare institutions like IGMC-Shimla … Continue reading “Himachal Doctor Spends Rs 10 Lakh From His Own Pocket to Treat Poor Women For Free!”

This Punjab Lawyer Traded a Rs 1.5 Lakh/Month Package to Create a Lush Eco-Farm

In November 2012, Punjab-based attorney, Kamaljeet Singh Hayer, lost his grandfather. The grand old man passed away at the age of 101. During his memorial service, a local MLA walked up to Singh, saying, “Your grandfather lived such a long and fulfilling life.” This pushed Kamaljeet to introspect on the massive health shift between his … Continue reading “This Punjab Lawyer Traded a Rs 1.5 Lakh/Month Package to Create a Lush Eco-Farm”

TN Man’s Car Parking Space Doubles Up As a Rainwater Harvesting System. Here’s How!

Kandasamy Subramani, a doctor who heads the intensive care unit at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, pays no electricity bills! Yes, you read that right. And it is all because of the five kW solar plant that supplies electricity to his entire house. He also has a roof garden that keeps his home cool but … Continue reading “TN Man’s Car Parking Space Doubles Up As a Rainwater Harvesting System. Here’s How!”

Ladakh’s First ISRO Scientist Helps 700+ Village Kids Study in India’s Best Colleges!

Meet Tsering Tashi, the first scientist from Ladakh working for the prestigious Indian Space Research Organisation and the founder of a charitable trust named Ladakh Science Foundation. LSF is not only promoting the sciences across the region but also helping students from low-income families secure various government scholarship schemes and attend some of the most … Continue reading “Ladakh’s First ISRO Scientist Helps 700+ Village Kids Study in India’s Best Colleges!”

Assam Musician Helps Flood-Hit Families Stay Safe, Shares How You Can Help

Every year, Assam suffers from debilitating floods leaving devastation in their wake. Authorities have done little to mitigate the recurring situation, and the state remains far from our collective imagination. The current flood situation in Assam is a scene of human and animal misery. As per latest reports, 30 of the state’s 33 districts have … Continue reading “Assam Musician Helps Flood-Hit Families Stay Safe, Shares How You Can Help”

Airplane Etiquette: 5 Things That Can Get You Offloaded From a Flight in India

Being an airline attendant is not just physically draining but can be mentally exhausting as well. One has to deal with cranky children, irate and sometimes drunk passengers, and do all this with a smile plastered on one’s face. But these smiles and polite demeanours will be on display up to a limit as the … Continue reading “Airplane Etiquette: 5 Things That Can Get You Offloaded From a Flight in India”

Chennai Engineers Develop Nozzles To Cut Water Wastage By 95%, Save 35 Litres/Day

Last week, a train carrying 2.5 million litres of water arrived in Chennai from Jolarpettai in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district. This is how bad the water scarcity in Chennai is, with groundwater levels at a critical low. Do you want to save water after you use the toilet? Check out this cool water-saving device which easily … Continue reading “Chennai Engineers Develop Nozzles To Cut Water Wastage By 95%, Save 35 Litres/Day”

This Sustainable Travel Package Let’s You Spend Time With Tribes High Up in the Nilgiris!

Have you ever heard of a tribe in which the women get married only when they are about six months pregnant? Will you be surprised to know that this tribe, named Toda, is known to follow polyandry and is located in the Nilgiris, a district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu? With this … Continue reading “This Sustainable Travel Package Let’s You Spend Time With Tribes High Up in the Nilgiris!”

Mumbai Man’s Eco-Recycling of Greywater Helps 200 Villages End Water Scarcity!

Most of us may not remember the early experiences of our childhood, but some incidents take root deeply in our subconscious shaping our personality, choices, and behaviour for life. For Ajit Gokhale, a man who successfully ended drought-like conditions in over 200 villages across India since 2003, this early experience sprung from a trip to … Continue reading “Mumbai Man’s Eco-Recycling of Greywater Helps 200 Villages End Water Scarcity!”

Abandoned Park to Lush ‘Airlung’: Here’s How You Can Build One For Your City!

Spread across a four-acre stretch in Vasant Kunj, Delhi, what is now known as the Airshed Park was once an abandoned and deserted piece of land with a green cover as low as five per cent. But today, if you were to see the satellite images of this very piece land on Google Maps, you’d … Continue reading “Abandoned Park to Lush ‘Airlung’: Here’s How You Can Build One For Your City!”

This 62-YO Puneri Will Teach You How To Make Your Own Clothes, One Spin At a Time!

There was a hush at The Better India office as 30-odd employees observed Madhav Sahasrabudhe, a mechanical engineer from Pune, separating fibres from a ball of cotton, and plucking out the seeds. For the past five years, Sahasrabudhe has been travelling to various parts of India—from Gurugram to Coimbatore—and visiting schools, NGOs and corporate offices, … Continue reading “This 62-YO Puneri Will Teach You How To Make Your Own Clothes, One Spin At a Time!”

Lifeline For Thousands: 5 Ways Hunger Heroes are Fighting India’s Biggest Enemy!

This article has been sponsored by Bajaj Finance. Of 119 qualifying countries, India ranks 103 in the 2018 Global Hunger Index. This means that more than 34 infants per 1,000 infants die in their mother’s womb every year. Of those born, almost nine lakh don’t survive till the age of five. And approximately 19 crore … Continue reading “Lifeline For Thousands: 5 Ways Hunger Heroes are Fighting India’s Biggest Enemy!”

Shankar Abaji Bhisey: The ‘Indian Edison’ Who Dazzled The World With His Inventions

Shankar Abaji Bhisey (1867-1935) is probably the most remarkable Indian inventor you have never heard of. Hailed as the ‘Indian Edison,’ Bhisey was on the cusp of revolutionising the printing industry with his Bhisotype (a type-casting machine). However, the inability to market it successfully alongside financing problems hindered his efforts. What’s remarkable about the self-trained … Continue reading “Shankar Abaji Bhisey: The ‘Indian Edison’ Who Dazzled The World With His Inventions”

76-YO Runs Delhi’s Only Free ‘Auto Ambulance’, Has Saved Hundreds Since 1978!

What is your definition of a hero? For me, a hero is someone who does noble acts, brave deeds, or outstanding service to humanity. Today, I am writing about a 76-year-old Delhi resident who lives up to all these ideals and expectations. So unassuming is Harjinder Singh that when I speak to him, he sheepishly … Continue reading “76-YO Runs Delhi’s Only Free ‘Auto Ambulance’, Has Saved Hundreds Since 1978!”

IIT-Kharagpur Trio Used Curd To Make Low-Cost Gel That Enhances Wound Healing!

Usually small cuts, bruises or wounds are harmless as the body has a system for repairing them. Often, antibiotic ointment is applied over them to prevent the growth of infection-causing microbes and to promote speedy healing. However, with the increasing presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment, there is a danger that the ointments might … Continue reading “IIT-Kharagpur Trio Used Curd To Make Low-Cost Gel That Enhances Wound Healing!”

Story of Shops: Pune Friends Paint Stunning ‘Legacies’ on Dull Store Shutters!

Shutters are pulled down, signalling the end of the day. The shops in Pune’s Ravivar Peth were bustling with life until about an hour ago. Attendants rushed to bring customers all the items they needed as quickly as possible. This particular area in the city is famous for its wholesale shops where you can get … Continue reading “Story of Shops: Pune Friends Paint Stunning ‘Legacies’ on Dull Store Shutters!”

Mumbai Police Celebrates B’Day of the Father of Boy Who Died Saving Women

For those who don’t know, the 60-year-old Valerian Santos is the father of Keenan Santos, who along with Reuben Fernandez, were murdered when they tried to protect their female friends from being harassed on 20 October 2011, in Amboli, Mumbai. After five long years, marked by several delays, a lower Mumbai court convicted four men … Continue reading “Mumbai Police Celebrates B’Day of the Father of Boy Who Died Saving Women”

Indian Scientists Create ‘Black Gold’ to Boost Solar Power, Make Seawater Potable!

Indians are fascinated with gold, making India one of the largest consumers of the precious metal globally. Now Indian scientists have tinkered with the chemistry of the material and turned it into ‘black gold’ which they say has the potential to be used for applications ranging from harvesting solar energy to desalinating seawater. Scientists at … Continue reading “Indian Scientists Create ‘Black Gold’ to Boost Solar Power, Make Seawater Potable!”

Chaiwalla to Doctor: 5 Teachers Providing Free JEE/NEET Coaching to Needy Students

Be it the son of a farm-labourer or a small-time eggseller, the many competitive entrance exams held in the country provide a fair chance to students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to prove their merit and study in premier institutes. But given the nature of the exams and the tough competition that exists, many a time, … Continue reading “Chaiwalla to Doctor: 5 Teachers Providing Free JEE/NEET Coaching to Needy Students”

Fighting Cancer to Travel the World: Mumbai Couple’s Love Story Will Leave You Teary-Eyed!

“It might seem strange to kids these days, but the first time I met my husband was at the mandap of our wedding,” smiles Mukta Verma, a retired government registrar, as she narrates the story of how she found the man of dreams. Mukta was born in a small town in Bihar. Growing up with … Continue reading “Fighting Cancer to Travel the World: Mumbai Couple’s Love Story Will Leave You Teary-Eyed!”

Students, Didn’t Crack GATE or JEE? Here’s How You Can Still Study at This IIT!

Considered as a world-class platform for education, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) gives students several opportunities like interacting with Nobel Laureates, visiting prestigious universities like MIT, Stanford and Harvard for research programmes, acquiring financial assistance on projects and landing enviable salary packages. It is no wonder that lakhs of students appear for the entrance examination … Continue reading “Students, Didn’t Crack GATE or JEE? Here’s How You Can Still Study at This IIT!”

23-YO Tribal Girl Redefines Courage, Opens First Medical Store In Maoist-Affected Area!

Abujhmad forest in Chhattisgarh is considered to be one of the most unknown and disconnected regions in the world. Even after 72 years of Independence, it does not have a revenue map or civil administration. The presence of Maoists is so strong, that even the government has only been able to get a partial control … Continue reading “23-YO Tribal Girl Redefines Courage, Opens First Medical Store In Maoist-Affected Area!”

True Champion: How Sunil Gavaskar Saved a Family From a Mob During Mumbai Riots

For an entire generation of cricket lovers, Sunil Gavaskar stood like a colossus. He was the very definition of a batsman. With his near-perfect technique, ability, and strength of character, he was, in the eyes of many commentators, India’s first true cricketing hero. In his debut Test series against the West Indies, he amassed a … Continue reading “True Champion: How Sunil Gavaskar Saved a Family From a Mob During Mumbai Riots”

How Arunachal’s First IPS Officer Is Making Delhi Safer For Northeastern Youth

Toward the end of last year, Arunachal Pradesh’s first Indian Police Service officer Robin Hibu was appointed Additional Director General of Police, Delhi Police and also took charge as Special Commissioner. For a person who has probably done more for Northeasterners working and studying in Delhi, this was yet another feather in the cap. Hailing … Continue reading “How Arunachal’s First IPS Officer Is Making Delhi Safer For Northeastern Youth”

Kashmir To Kanyakumari, 50 Cities & 2.5 Lakh Indians Set For India’s Largest Plog Run!

Taking the concept of ‘My Garbage, My Responsibility’ to a whole new level, plogging is aggressively becoming a fitness fad across the world. The act of picking up trash while jogging to clean up the littered streets is a sure shot sign that citizens are increasingly becoming aware of plastic pollution. Want to go plastic … Continue reading “Kashmir To Kanyakumari, 50 Cities & 2.5 Lakh Indians Set For India’s Largest Plog Run!”

Woman’s Actions After a Snake Bit Her Saved Her Life: What To Do If Bitten

A few days ago, due to the incessant rains, a snake entered the house of 18-year-old Tehseem Khan and bit her while she was watching television. Upon hearing her daughter’s scream, Sultana rushed to save Tehseem. Knowing that the snake had to be identified to administer the anti-venom, the daring mother caught hold of the … Continue reading “Woman’s Actions After a Snake Bit Her Saved Her Life: What To Do If Bitten”

32 Years Without a Weekend Off: This Elephant Doctor Treats 700+ Jumbos Every Year!

The memory of Lakshmi is clear as day for Kushal Konwar Sarma. As a child, despite his parent’s constant reminders to not spend too much time with her, Sarma would sneak out of his ancestral home in the village of Barama, located in Assam’s Kamrup district to meet Lakshmi. Together, they walked in lush green … Continue reading “32 Years Without a Weekend Off: This Elephant Doctor Treats 700+ Jumbos Every Year!”

Here’s The Inspiring Reason Why The Army Invited This 7-YO Amputee To Their Ranks

“I wish it was a fictional story and not our real life,” says Dr Nisha Tiwari, and I am struck by the pain in her voice, even though this is a phone call, and she is miles away in Delhi. 15th September 2017. Nisha, a Delhi-based clinical psychologist, was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with her second … Continue reading “Here’s The Inspiring Reason Why The Army Invited This 7-YO Amputee To Their Ranks”

The Mentor Behind Innovations That Won 13 President’s Awards & 2 Padma Shris!

It was just another day in the village until a sudden commotion came to sight. A group of people with cameras had arrived at the otherwise isolated hamlet, and the locals were curious. From a distance, they looked like tourists gaping at the seemingly incessant trails of farmlands, or taking videos of the simplistic wonders … Continue reading “The Mentor Behind Innovations That Won 13 President’s Awards & 2 Padma Shris!”

Heritage Schools to Old Havelis: This Woman is Using The Past To Redesign the Future!

We all have a general idea of what architects do, but few have an understanding of the art, science, and the role of architects behind the restoration and conservation of heritage properties. Making the past relevant to the future by using design as a tool, is how conservation architect Aishwarya Tipnis describes the work that … Continue reading “Heritage Schools to Old Havelis: This Woman is Using The Past To Redesign the Future!”

Son’s Rejection From 42 Schools Made This Mom Start a ‘Home’ For Special Kids

When faced with rejection, different people react differently. While most of us curl up in the darkness to escape the sadness and pain, only a few take a step back to contemplate and come out stronger than ever before. Saswati Singh is one of those few. A teacher, a mother and a fighter, Saswati has … Continue reading “Son’s Rejection From 42 Schools Made This Mom Start a ‘Home’ For Special Kids”

42-YO Breathes Life Into Ghost Villages With Natural Farming, Rural Tourism!

Nestled in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas, the picturesque Nag Tibba village is now gaining prominence among the local farming community. From horse gram, amaranth to different types of millets, the crops grown in Nag Tibba (which translates to Serpent Peak) are power packed with nutrients. You can check out organic produce by Bakri Chap … Continue reading “42-YO Breathes Life Into Ghost Villages With Natural Farming, Rural Tourism!”

B’luru Man’s One-Of-A-Kind Sanctuary for 300 Animals Is What Zoos Should Be!

Sanjeev Pedneker was in school when an animal expert gave a talk about animals. He was asked to carry a crocodile on his shoulders, and although scared, he felt a sudden rush while petting it. This was the beginning of his love for animals. Throughout school and college, Sanjeev volunteered for animal welfare agencies, gaining … Continue reading “B’luru Man’s One-Of-A-Kind Sanctuary for 300 Animals Is What Zoos Should Be!”

Living in an Orphanage at 5, IAS Officer at 47: Kollam Collector’s Inspiring Story

Till the age of 17, Abdul Nasar B grew up in an orphanage and in the twelve years that he lived there, he ran away from the place twice, only to return out of concern for his mother. Today, 32 years later, Nasar has assumed the office of the District Collector of Kollam, Kerala. His … Continue reading “Living in an Orphanage at 5, IAS Officer at 47: Kollam Collector’s Inspiring Story”

5 Women Who Challenged the Status Quo To Become ‘Firsts’ in Indian Cinema

While growing up, the majority of the movies I was exposed to, despite their different titles, actors, directors and to some extent story-lines, had a common thread running through them. Most of them portrayed the idea of a woman being someone’s ‘dream girl’. The heroine was a girl who talks non-stop, is sanskari enough to … Continue reading “5 Women Who Challenged the Status Quo To Become ‘Firsts’ in Indian Cinema”

Accidental Environmentalist: Ladakhi Farmer Escaped Poverty by Planting 4000 Trees!

Tsetan Dolkar recalls how, as a child, she spent the harsh winters at her home in Sakti village, Leh district, around a Bukhari (Traditional Heater) listening to her family members praising her grandfather for the abundant availability of firewood—a fuel central to surviving the unforgiving cold months. At the time, she had not really taken … Continue reading “Accidental Environmentalist: Ladakhi Farmer Escaped Poverty by Planting 4000 Trees!”

Fruit Juice in Shells, Straws Made of Leaves: Bengaluru Café Sets Zero-Waste Goals!

“Do you remember what your mom used to say while feeding you food when you were young? ‘Eat Raaja!’ That is precisely how the name my café located between two temples in Malleswaram came about,” beams former radio jockey turned entrepreneur, RJ Raaj. For more than 45 years, Eat Raaja was a humble juice shop … Continue reading “Fruit Juice in Shells, Straws Made of Leaves: Bengaluru Café Sets Zero-Waste Goals!”

No 15 km Treks For a Doctor: Man Gives An Uttarakhand Valley Its 1st Health Centre

Tons valley in Uttarakhand has a total population of 22,000 and consists of 37 villages. Seventy per cent of the region is disconnected by road, let alone have internet services. The locals have to walk a minimum of 10 kilometres to travel outside of their village, and the nearest medical facilities are at Uttarkashi (170 … Continue reading “No 15 km Treks For a Doctor: Man Gives An Uttarakhand Valley Its 1st Health Centre”

Paan Stains to Littered Lakes: Ex-IAF Pilot Inspires 100+ Punekars to Clean Their City!

Wing Commander Puneet Sharma was jet-lagged and wide awake in the wee hours of the morning. Trying not to disturb his family members, he made his way to the living room and started typing. He was finally making an effort to translate an idea that was floating in his mind for the last seven days. … Continue reading “Paan Stains to Littered Lakes: Ex-IAF Pilot Inspires 100+ Punekars to Clean Their City!”

Just Rs 2 Could Detect Malnutrition, Thanks to This Award-Winning 18-YO Student!

At 18, Muhammad Suhail CS is already a researcher, entrepreneur, and a recipient of the prestigious Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya of Bal Puraskar (National Child Awards For Exceptional Achievement). He won the award for developing a non-invasive and predictive method of diagnosing pre-symptomatic PEM with just paper strips which only costs Rs 2! PEM, or Protein-Energy … Continue reading “Just Rs 2 Could Detect Malnutrition, Thanks to This Award-Winning 18-YO Student!”