Margshirsha Krishna 13, Vik.Samvat 2074, Yugabda 5119: November 16, 2017

1. FESTIVALS: December 25 2. Hinduism means respecting and accepting world’s diversity: Mohan Bhagwat
5. MARXIST CITADEL TURNS SAFFRON FOR DAY 6. Bharatiyas hold physical exercises to bond families, mould characters
7.  BHARAT jumps 30 places in World Bank's ease of doing business rankings 8. Tulsi Gabbard named chairperson of World Hindu Congress 2018
9.  Two Delhi boys showcase skills on global stage 10. DONALD Trump greets Sikhs on Guru Nanak Jayanti
11.  WEST BENGAL MUKHYA MANTRI AT BHAGINI NIVEDITA'S LONDON FAMILY HOME 12. Ekal Sansthan to open 60 schools in Lahaul-Spiti district
15. Bharatiya-origin girl at top of new pop with debut album 16. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN & FOOD FOR THOUGHT



1. FESTIVALS: December 25 - is celebrated as Christmas day, the birth anniversary of Lord Jesus by the Christian community world over. The day has far greater relevance for Bharat and Hindus. On this day in 1892 Swami Vivekananda after making a studious tour of Bharat went in Dhyan for three days on the holy rock in Kanyakumari and based on his contemplation on this rock addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago 11th September to 27th Septmeber in 1893. This year the birthday of Guru Govind Singh, 10th Guru of Sikhs is also falling on this day. Bharat's first swayamsevak Pradhan Mantri Atal Bihari Vajpai was born on this day in 1924. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, founder of the Banaras Hindu University and a leading light of the nationalist movement, was born in Allahabad on December 25, 1861. -GoTop


2. Hinduism means respecting and accepting world’s diversity: Mohan Bhagwat: RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat has said that ours is a Hindu nation, however, the word does not denote a language, prayer, or caste, but it's about respecting and accepting diversity of the whole world and working towards welfare of all by following the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. He was addressing Sangh swayamsevaks and the public at a programme 'Swar Govindam' at Chitrakoot Stadium in Jaipur on November 5. Mukhya Mantri Vasundhara Raje, Kendriya Mantri K J Alphons and state BJP leaders were also present on the occasion.

Quoting Dr BR Ambedkar he said that the country has achieved political and economic independence but social equality is yet to be achieved. "To have both swatantrata (independence) and samta (social equality) we need bandhuta (amity)," he said. Swar Govindam was one of the biggest gatherings of ghosh vadaks in which over 1600 vadaks playing various instruments marched on the streets of Jaipur. -GoTop


3. Strengthening Hindu Communities in Australia: The 6th Australian Hindu National Conference 'Strengthening Hindu Communities in Australia' held in Adelaide in early September was attended by leaders of the Hindu community from Bharat, Nepal, Bhutan, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and by pretty much every Hindu organisation in Adelaide.

Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le, was the chief guest and the dais was graced by the Minister of Multicultural Affairs, several Members of Parliament, SA Leader of Opposition, federal members of parliament, local council members, mayors etc.

Rajendra Pandey, President of VHP in South Australia, gave an excellent keynote address elaborating on the need to strengthen our own community and also contribute to a prosperous and stronger Australia.

Swami Vigyananand, International Coordinator and Joint General Secretary VHP Bharat, chaired the session 'Collaboration among Hindu Organisations Temples and Associations'. During his address, he explained the purpose of HOTA (Hindu Organisations Temples and Associations) and appealed to more than 40 organisations, associations and temples attending, to work together. Youth participation in the conference was highly evident not only in the volunteers making sure everything ran smoothly, but also in an outstanding Youth Section wherein a panel of 7 young people spoke on topics ranging from faith on campus to how Hindu community organisations create leadership and team spirit among our youth.

Zoe Bettison, Minister for Multicultual Affairs, described the conference as a "wonderful, vibrant event and an excellent opportunity to engage with South Australia's proud Hindu community."

After the event, Tony Zappia, Federal Member for Makin said in Parliament "The VHP focus on that theme is a wonderful example of our Hindu migrants' commitment to Australia's future and their allegiance to Australia, and shows that they want to see Australia grow and prosper." -GoTop


4. HINDU AMERICANS WIN HISTORIC VICTORY IN CALIFORNIA TEXTBOOKS:  After more than a decade of constructive civic engagement with the California Department of Education, the Hindu American community won a significant victory in its quest for an accurate, equitable, and culturally competent portrayal of Hinduism and Bharat in California textbooks. In its final public hearing, the Department's State Board of Education (SBE) voted unanimously to approve positive edits submitted by Hindu American community groups to improve the portrayal of Hinduism and Bharat in 10 textbooks. The board also voted to reject two deeply problematic textbook programs from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Grades K-6 and Grades 6-8) for adversely reflecting on Hinduism and other diverse communities.

"This is truly historic. After many years of civic engagement, Hindu-Americans have started to make themselves heard," said Shantharam Nekkar of Hindu Education Foundation USA, an organization dedicated to enriching the understanding of Bharatiya civilization and Hinduism in America. "We will continue to engage constructively and fight biases and prejudices against Hinduism and India." The SBE's decision came after hearing testimonies and receiving letters from thousands of Hindu American parents, children, educators and community members from across California, including immigrant Hindus from Fiji, Caribbean and Bharat, as well as letters from a broad coalition of more than 75 interfaith and community groups, 17 state and federal elected officials, and 38 leading academics. -GoTop


5. MARXIST CITADEL TURNS SAFFRON FOR DAY: With thousands of heads marching under the saffron flag of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on the roads of Kerala's Capital, the communist citadel apparently turned saffron for the day. In a massive show of strength of student community, more than 50,000 students who came from all across the nation to participate in ABVP’s "Chalo Kerala" rally on 11th November marched on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram, thus carpeting it completely.

The march against the left party Government in Kerala was carried out protesting against killings of hundreds of the BJP-RSS-ABVP activists in past. ABVP alleges that these murders are done under the political patronage of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and left Government in power.

ABVP also blamed the CM and members of his party CPI (M) are responsible for providing 'political patronage' for the killings and to the 'perpetrators'.

The massive rally by ABVP was a showcase the Bharat’s “Unity in Diversity” in the real sense as it was marked by the presence of hundreds of students from all states, marching in well organised columns. Students from Bihar, Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, all north-eastern States and from almost all states participated in quite large numbers.

Also, students who came from all across the Kerala were almost equivalent in numbers to those who came from outside. They came from almost all colleges and universities spread across all districts of Kerala. -GoTop


6. Bharatiyas hold physical exercises to bond families, mould characters: To ensure that Bharatiyas live happily and in good health with members of their families, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) holds weekly physical exercises involving the fathers, mothers, children and other members of their households are in Victoria Island, Ilupeju, Ikeja and other areas where Bharatiyas reside in large numbers. The exercises also involve social activities to develop the mental health of the people and bring harmony in their families.

Joint Co-ordinator HSS Nigeria chapter, Sanjay Srivastava, stated that the HSS focuses on character development, teach children about their environment, people and how to render services to their communities.

These activities, which consist of building family harmony, living together - playing games, having yoga, intellectual discussions and praying together, play a critical role in bonding families. At these exercises, children are taught to respect their parents, teachers and elders.

Dr Ram Vaidya, World Joint Coordinator of HSS, went on pravas to Nigeria recently. Dr. Vaidya said at one of the exercises session that the HSS began 70 years ago and has branches in about 40 countries in the world. Lamenting the high rate of crimes in the world and discrimination among people, he said that to end to it, we need to focus on the family first and get it right. He advised Bharatiyas residing in Nigeria to be responsible citizens, be selfless and learn to tolerate everyone and contribute to the development of the country where they live and work. -GoTop


7.  BHARAT jumps 30 places in World Bank's ease of doing business rankings: Bharat's ranking in the World Bank's ease of doing business index showed a significant improvement driven by reforms in access to credit, power supplies and protection of minority investors. As per the latest report released, Bharat has moved to 100th spot from 130th position. Addressing a press conference after the report was released, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that "this is the highest jump any country has made in the doing business rankings." In "resolving insolvency" parameters, Bharat has jumped 33 places and is now ranked 103, he added.

With implementation of a series of reforms including enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Bharat has climbed to 4th position in protecting interest of minority investors, according to the report. This is the first time that Bharat has figured in the top five nations in one of the parameters for determining "ease of doing business". On paying taxes Bharat has jumped 53 places, from 172 to 119. -GoTop


8. Tulsi Gabbard named chairperson of World Hindu Congress 2018: Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, has been named as the chairperson of the World Hindu Congress to be held in Chicago next year. Held once every four years, World Hindu Congress (WHC) is a global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another and impact the common good. Organised by the World Hindu Foundation, the first Congress was held in New Delhi in 2014. The second WHC will take place in Illinois in Chicago from September 7 to 9 next year. Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran and a member of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee. -GoTop


9.  Two Delhi boys showcase skills on global stage: Mohit Dudeja of Delhi, studying making pastries in Bengaluru, recently won a silver medal for the country in the World skills competition in patisserie & confectionery making along with another Delhi boy, Karan Dhaliwal from Mayur Vihar, who was awarded "medal of excellence" in restaurant service category.The two were part of an impressive performance by the Bharatiya contingent. Apart from Dudeja's silver, a bronze medal was won by Kiran Sudhakar and 9 medallions of excellence at the 44th World Skills competition held in Abu Dhabi. Around 1,300 people from 59 WorldSkills member countries showcased their talent across 51 skills competitions.  -GoTop


10. DONALD Trump greets Sikhs on Guru Nanak Jayanti: US President Donald Trump greeted Sikh Americans and Sikhs across the world on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 4. "Trump sends warm wishes to Sikh Americans and Sikhs around the world as they celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, the founder and first guru of Sikhism," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

"President Trump also recognises the many contributions Sikh Americans have made to our great nation for more than 100 years, including through military and public service," she said. -GoTop


11.  WEST BENGAL MUKHYA MANTRI AT BHAGINI NIVEDITA'S LONDON FAMILY HOME: Sister Nivedita, one of the most loyal disciples of Swami Vivekananda had a significant contribution to social changes, freedom movement during British Raj in Bharat. From contribution in the educational sector to women empowerment, she left her footprint everywhere. Hence it is indeed a proud moment for Bharat; West Bengal Mukhya Mantri Mamata Banerjee on November 12 unveiled a Blue Plaque to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary at her family home.

English Heritage with an aim to preserve history has been marking all important memorials with this Blue Plaque. Scots-Irish social worker Sister Nivedita had lived with her family in this house of 21, High Street London for a few days. Even Swami Vivekananda stayed in this house for some time. Sister Nivedita was originally named Margaret Noble, who received the name Nivedita from Swamiji.

For this special day, a cultural event was organized in Wimbledon library close to her house. West Bengal Mukhya Mantri was the chief guest in the programme. Later she took part in a programme where she was invited to deliver the keynote address on Sister Nivedita.

Later she thanked English Heritage and Ramakrishna Mission for this landmark event of placing Blue Plaque on the heritage family home of Sister Nivedita in London and bestowing upon her this unique honor in her facebook post. -GoTop


12. Ekal Sansthan to open 60 schools in Lahaul-Spiti district:  Ekal Sansthan, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-inspired organisation that sets up one-teacher schools across the country with a focus on rural and tribal areas, will open 60 schools in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh as part of its initiative to expand the network of such institutions to all border areas.

The district abuts China, and there have been reports of heightened Chinese activities across the international border close to it during the Doklam crisis in August. 30 such schools have already come up, and the organisation will soon scale up the number to 60. -GoTop


13. YOGI INVITES NRI'S FROM MAURITIUS: UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked the NRIs residing in Mauritius to take advantage of UP Government's "Find Your Root" scheme and visit the places where their ancestors were born and have grown up. "This will be a nostalgic feeling for you people to visit the villages of your ancestors. The Government of Uttar Pradesh will help you to find your ancestor's village under our 'Find Your Root Scheme'. The Tourism department is the nodal agency which will work in tandem with district administration to find the village," Yogi said while addressing a function in Port Louis organized by the Bharatiya Ambassador in Mauritius on 4th November. He said that Bharat and Mauritius enjoy an old relation.

The ties have been further cemented after Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card for NRIs in 2015.

The OCI card holders automatically gets lifelong visa and does not need to apply for visa while coming to Bharat. They are further entitled for basic facilities which a common Bharatiya citizen enjoys in Bharat, Chief Minister said. -GoTop


14. HINDUTVA IS THE INTEGRATING FORCE: BHAIYAJI JOSHI: "Sangh work has values of Hindutva as its foundation. Hindu Values and view of life is not opposed to anyone, but is an integrating force", said RSS Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi, while addressing the Prant Karyakarta Shivir on November 5 at Karimnagar over 1,657 workers from all districts of Telangana participated in the camp. Dakshin Madhya Kshetra Sanghchalak Shri Nagraj, Prant Sanghchalak Shri Pyata Venkateswara Rao also shared the dais. He said there are people working to increase the gap between the people of various castes. We must identify such forces and work to nullify the impact. -GoTop


15. Bharatiya-origin girl at top of new pop with debut album: Early November, a 17-year-old singer-songwriter found herself on BBC Radio 1's Top New Pop chart, along with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Miley Cyrus, for her debut single in the first week of its release. The singer was Rika, aka Chandrika Darbari, a half Bharatiya-Serbian musician from northwest London. Her song 'No Need' is set in an archetypal high school, with the lyrics sending out a clear and timely message: to stop judging and being unkind to others for how they look or talk. Released independently on September 21, the upbeat dance-pop number quickly climbed the music charts in both UK and Bharat. It was also featured in BBC Asia's Artist of the Week list. Since its release, it has got over 840,000 views on YouTube.

The song was inspired by Rika's own experience of being bullied. "I was bullied a lot in school - not because I was Asian but because I had bad acne and was really skinny," Rika said recently during her visit to Mumbai. "Yet, I wanted everyone to connect to the song. It is diverse and can also be about racism, divorced parents or just straight-up bullying. It's just saying that we should try to improve ourselves instead of bringing someone else down." Born to a Serbian mother and a Bharatiya father, Rika's music draws upon her multicultural upbringing. Last year, she penned and performed the song 'For Peace in Syria' with her brother. -GoTop


16. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Suresh ji Soni sahsarkaryavaha, RSS would start his tour to South East Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Indonesia. Dattatreya Hosabale sahsarkaryavaha RSS would visit UK and Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands. Dr Manmohan Vaidya Akhil Bharatiya Prachar pramukh will return from tour to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Shri Saumitra Gokhale, samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will be in New Zealand and Australia.  Visitors: Lakshman Godhwani – Spain, Suryadeo Bahadur - Mauritius

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: It is impossible for me to reconcile with the idea of conversion as it happens today. It is an error and perhaps the greatest impediment to the world's progress toward peace. Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man? -- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). -GoTop





Banuchandar Nagarajan

It seems as though, the number of articles written on Hindutva have nosedived post 2014. A cursory search on Google News would direct you to a few ramblings in the The Wire (recently by Nayantara Seghal) or, or in the Communist Party in Kerala, who are bereft of any new ideas. The pro-Hindutva folks have simply not bothered to rebut perhaps due to the current political irrelevance of the opponents or just sheer lack of energy. But one place where the anti-Hindutva propaganda is winning hands down is in Tamil Nadu. The meme makers through clever and innovative ways, piggybacking on Kollywood comedies, are dishing them out through Facebook and WhatsApp to devastating effect. The Right Wing satirists might have at last met their match; but alas the language barrier rules out a meme war.

It is as though political victories in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and the subsequent string of victories in the states defying the Left-liberal media has lulled the "party intellectuals" into believing that "cultural hegemony" of the Left is broken (borrowing  Marxist intellectual Antonio Gramsci's phrases). But it has been proved false by the unceasing onslaught of the entrenched Left wing in the academia, intelligentsia, media and more importantly in the bureaucracy.

Defence of Hindutva

It is essential that the defence of Hindutva should be kept alive in every sphere and should not be left just to the people in the countryside that kept the flame alive for centuries through dogged practice of simple rituals, only to be provided broad “intellectual” support much later.

While that said about the "present" of the Hindutva debate, "the past" two decades have been one of rediscovery and revival. Articles galore in niche publications, blogs, social media posts and contributions of right leaning authors in mainstream media, reinterpreted and clarified many misconceptions. In an interesting article in the Organiser titled 'Guruji : A drishta-XVI' dated Sep 3 2012, S Gurumurthy has likened "Hindutva" to "American Creed". He goes on to equate the ideas of "core culture" of Guru Golwalkar and "composite culture" as postulated by Samuel Huntington in his book Who Are We?: The Challenges to America's National Identity. It was in some ways an attempt to create an analogy with the dominant phenomenon on the time in American exceptionalism. The article explains that American creed was based on "the English language; Christianity; religious commitment; rule of law; responsibility of rulers; individual rights; Protestant values of individualism, work ethic, and the belief that humans have the ability and the duty to try to create a heaven of earth." In the last couple of years it seems as if the American creed has been reduced to more of a swan song that an affirmation of values. With the first anniversary of the Trump victory approaching, US seems to be irretrievably divided. All the good things that Huntington said perhaps are unable to bring the community together anymore. Religion per se has taken a beating and the waves of immigration have perhaps completely changed the cultural, linguistic and value expectations that citizens ask of each other and the government. American society is hanging on to "rule of law", "individual rights" and its powerful position that it has derived from the past. It leads one to wonder if these are enough to hold a country together. Is there a higher value based union required for sustainability? The "past" and "present" of the Hindutva debate can provide a platform for some analysis going forward into the future.

Hindus are Awakening

While the USA is in self-introspection mode, India is seeing a renaissance in cultural consciousness buoyed political and economic successes. The Hindu is not uncool anymore in India. It is showing that a country can survive centuries of deprivation and slavery by holding on to a core value system. The society of myriad languages, customs and culture stands united (barring the partition of 1947) by a distributed and customised set of values that are not just parochial but resonates completely with the universal human values. This value system, not just the practices of the religion, packaged as Hindutva has to be exported as means to actualise Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

The question of "why" Hindutva (term coined in 1923) can be gleaned from Sri Aurobindo from more than a century ago. In his Uttarapara speech he says, "We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatan Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatan Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. This is the Dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old. It is to give this religion that India is rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great."

Hence, it becomes the bounden duty of our generation of Indians to play our bit in strengthening Hindutva at home and spreading it abroad. Hindutva provides a platform to handle diversity of beliefs; it is not technophobic; it plays well with "compassionate capitalism"; it has answers for climate change and terrorism. Contrast that with the  Vatican’s recent pronouncements on technology, transgenders, its pyramidal organisational structure etc. They are narrow and not modern enough and does not seem to keep in pace with human progress and aspirations. Not much needed to be said about the state of Islam in which practitioners seem stuck with the rules written for 7th century Arabia. The success of New Age Hindu gurus abroad and popularity of yoga etc. should be just construed as beginning and indicative of a populace yearning for something deeper. There is a demand for stitching a community through a set of values that are spiritual, practical and can be personalised.

Hindus: Think Globally

Hindu organisations, not just theological groups, should jump into the fray for the success of the mission. They should shed their self imposed geographical inhibitions and think global. To look back at  Sri Aurobindo, the mission of globalising Hindutva is not being done for geopolitical expansionism or soft power etc., but as dharma owed to fellow human beings. Flowing from compassion and brotherhood, it differs in spirit from the "White man's burden". The Hindu way is also not to ram down the throats but persuade by offering it as a better alternative to status quo.

Gazing a bit further, the era of robots will be up on us soon and as Ray Kurziwell reminds us, singularity is nearing. Advances in artificial intelligence algorithms, genome editing, bionic implants are rapid. Very notions of "what is being human", "what are relationships", "what is citizenship" etc., will be questioned in more fundamental and in deeper ways. With machines taking over jobs both at factories and households, the nature of work and leisure would be redefined, creating what Yuval Noah Harari calls the "useless class" unfit for economic or military work. The learnings of our rishis that have pondered over timeless ideas of consciousness for centuries have to be bought to the forefront to provide succour to the people in times of great psychological upheaval, lest decay of humanity would begin with just with "bread and circuses". (It is quite interesting to note that the RSS has already thinking about it. A senior leader said there were even discussions on the dystopian TV series "The Black Mirror".)

The rapidly increasing foreign tourist inflows to places like Rishikesh and Banaras are just pointers to the fact that the world is looking to India for leadership.

We can be passive and let things take their shape or play an active role in organising and channelising its growth. (The writer is a Harvard graduate and a Public Policy Advisor), Organiser, November 12, 2017) -GoTop



Chhoti Kumari Singh has won the Women's Creativity in Rural Life Award from the Switzerland-based Women's World Summit Foundation for her efforts in uplifting the Musahar community, considered the most downtrodden in Bihar's caste-ridden social system. At 20, she is the youngest person in Bharat to have received the $1,000 (Rs 65,000) award since it was instituted in 1994 to honour women around the world exhibiting exceptional creativity, courage and commitment to the improvement of the quality of life in rural communities.

"I feel honoured that I have received this global recognition for my work to empower one of the most deprived and oppressed communities of Bharat. I am grateful to Amma and the entire Amrita family. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of Amma's ashram and the Amrita SeRVe programme run by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math," Singh says.

It all began back in 2013 when a few social workers from Amrita SeRVe visited her village Ratnapur and asked the villagers if somebody from their community would be willing to teach. Chhoti, who was studying in senior secondary school back then, agreed.

"When we started the classes there were only three children from the Musahar community. Convincing the parents and the children to attend class even for an hour was tough and challenging. But I knew the problems they faced. The community suffers from poverty, near-total illiteracy and lack of personal hygiene. Child marriages are rampant and school attendance is negligible. The parents work as labourers and earn a couple of hundred rupees which they mostly spend on alcohol," Chhoti tells you.

The children while away their time at a nearby pond, fishing or getting into trouble. But Singh didn't give up even though her family and the society around her was against her working with low caste people, especially her mother.

"My mother was dead against this work. She feared nobody would marry me or associate with the family if I worked with this caste. But I know what poverty can do. My father is a farmer. I couldn't pursue my degree course due to lack of funds. I wanted to give these children a chance in life. I went door to door gathering children and trying to convince the parents to let them study. The children had very bad body odour as personal hygiene was non-existent. We began taking them to the nearby river to bathe them daily. Slowly, they started acquiring new habits," Chhoti recounts.

But all this was not easy. The children were against any kind of hygienic mores and would not even agree to take a bath daily. Some came drunk to class! But with time, attitudes changed. Singh taught them the importance of education and why they must respect elders. Gradually, the children and the parents who used to abuse Chhoti started respecting her.

The number of children in the tuition class stands at 118 today - a significant number in a population of just 1,000. Her mother has come around as well. Now that she has won the award, her parents are proud of her. Her younger brother also teaches at the centre. For her efforts, Singh gets Rs 1,000 a month. But she says it is not the money but the satisfaction of knowing that some of the Musahar community children will end up going to college and uplift their social status.

She wants to pursue her graduation. "If I don't study further how do I convince my students to do the same? I want to do B.Com. with the money that I have earned. I will return and continue to teach the community children. Education is the only means that will help remove discrimination based on caste or religion or any other birth-based criterion. To remove social injustice, the youth must act as agents of change and positively impact not only the community around them but the entire nation," Chhoti says.

Not only does she teach but has also started a Musahar group which she has convinced to save just Rs 20 a month and deposit in a common bank account for starting home-based activities. All pregnant women are now taken to the Primary Healthcare Centre where would be mothers are educated about their child's vaccination schedules.

"This is a big step for the community which did not know anything about saving a single paisa. Money in the bank gives them a sense of security and empowerment," says the little wonder. (Daily Pioneer, 5th November 2017)  -GoTop