Mark Dharmai is an International Para Badminton player holding a World ranking – 12th in Men’s Singles, 9th in Men’s Doubles and 4th in Mixed Doubles (as per the latest BWF rankings, 2017). He has been playing sports at a National level for the past twenty two years and has bagged many medals. Mark is a giant in the world of Para badminton and has made India proud by winning several medals at national and international level. Despite several difficult situations and challenges, in 2017, Mark won the silver medal in discus throw and shot-put, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He also won the silver in the Thailand Open Para Badminton International Tournament, in Bangkok, Thailand. Considering the odds that Mark has overcome, his story is nothing short of world class.
Mark Dharmai’s zeal and grit is not just contagious but also inspiring to many a sportsman. Born to a fisherman in Chimbai village, Bandra, Mumbai, Mark Dharmai’s struggles in life came in very early. He was born with a severe disability where his legs were twisted on the outside. Doctors would ask his family to rely on prayers for his survival. However, his mother did not give up. She helped him to walk and talk. Not only did he start walking but also showed a keen interest in sports from a very young age. Mark never wallowed in pity, instead continued to channel his energy into sports and soon enough became an ace Para-Badminton Athlete. Mark has tried to make his livelihood as a fisherman however his interest and heart lie elsewhere.
Rana Daggubati is a National award winning filmmaker, Digital Post entrepreneur, and a successful actor in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi films. Rana Daggubati made a sensational debut in Telugu and Hindi simultaneously as the lead actor in the political thriller ‘Leader’ and the crime thriller ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ in 2010. Having inherited a passion for cinema from his illustrious family, Rana’s first film as a Producer “A Belly full of Dreams” won him the National Award for best film, in 2006. His recent films the magnum opus Baahubali – The Beginning and the Conclusion directed by the India’s ace director SS Rajamouli has become one of India’s most successful film globally. Rana has won several other awards for the roles he has essayed in films.
Rana is accredited with having transformed the evolution of the digital postproduction landscape in South India. A suave businessman, his company, Ramanaidu Studios is one of India’s largest integrated production powerhouses offering production, distribution, exhibition and studio infrastructure. With over 400 theatres across South India, the studio has produced over 150 films and released over 1500 films. His entrepreneurial spirit compels him to invest in tech companies like Spaces – a VR company, Gamezop – a game development studio, and sports leagues like Super Boxing League
Kalpana Saroj’s humble and tough early life wouldn’t have indicated a future so bright. From being a daughter from an underprivileged background and a child wife armed with just basic education, she went on to become a successful entrepreneur and a devoted social worker. She grew her business empire from three to seven companies with a net worth of more than 1000 crores under the Kalpana Saroj Group. Her business interests span across manufacturing, real estate, agriculture, exports and film production. She also holds commanding positions in several organisations including the Dalit Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rashtriya Ekta Yuva Manchand was the Ex-Director of BhartiyaMahila Bank, India’s first bank exclusively for women.
Kalpana Saroj can’t be defined by her business accomplishments alone. She has organised activities to protect the rights of downtrodden women, workshops for the unemployed youth and health awareness programs and blood donation camps in tribal areas, distributed books to needy students and provided food, medicines and financial help to underprivileged patients.
She was even honoured with the Padmashree Award in 2013.
Anu Acharya introduced the concept of improved healthcare through personal genomics in India. She is the CEO of Mapmygenome India, a Genomics company whose vision is “To touch 100 million lives”. Ever since, she successfully pioneered the company through growing product lines, expanding affiliate network, and a Pre-Series A round of funding. From 2000 until April 2013, Anu was the CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions, a global genomics outsourcing partner for discovery, development and diagnostics. Anu was named by Red Herring Magazine to the list of 25 Tech Titans under 35 in 2006, Entrepreneur of the year award by Biospectrum magazine and Astia Life Science Innovators Award in 2008, she was honoured as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and ET Women Ahead honor by the Economic Times in 2015
Lt. Gen Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.) is an ex-Deputy Chief of Army Staff, winner of multiple medals for distinguished service in the Army, and ultimately an academician all rolled into one. He is the recipient of the highest peace time award of PARAM VISHIST SEVA MEDAL, VISHIST SEVA MEDAL and SENA MEDAL. He also happens to be the brother of popular artiste Naseeruddin Shah. During his tenure in the army, he participated in counter-insurgency operations in North East India and Punjab, commanded an Infantry Division of a Strike Corps during Operation ‘PARAKRAM’ to quell the riots in Gujarat and subsequently commanded Bengal Area and an Army Corps comprising of 30,000 troops to combat insurgency in six North Eastern states. He also held the appointment of Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S), the second highest ranking officer in the country and was responsible for modernization of the Army and management and control of the Army budget. The General has served on a diplomatic assignment as Defence Attache and was elevated to the Armed Forces Tribunal. Armed with an M Phil, Lt. Gen Shah, has vast experience in the field of education, retiring as the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.
“Every human face has a story and I capture it”, says GMB Akash, a Bangladeshi multimedia journalist who has traveled to over 50 countries and received more than 100 international awards. His thought provoking work has been published in 100 major international magazines like National Geographic, The Guardian, Amnesty Journal amongst many others. He credits his laurels and success to hard work, honesty and respect towards the people whom he photographs.
In 2011 Nikon selected him as one of the 8 influencers in Asia Pacific (APAC region). He had solo exhibitions from 2006 to 2016 in various countries including USA, Italy, Germany, Bangladesh, and others. He founded the First Light Institute of Photography in Bangladesh in August, 2013. The proceeds from his One on One Photography Workshop help to achieve his ultimate objective of providing basic education for street children, unprivileged talented students, and child laborers.
Elca Grobler shifted base to Hyderabad from Australia along with her husband and three young children despite having a successful career in Risk Management, Investment Banking and Funds Management to establish My Choices Foundation, by selflessly chosing the road less travelled. My Choices was created to combat domestic abuse and human trafficking using newer technologies and other progressive methods, in turn empowering and supporting women and girls to become change agents in their own families and communities
Pradeep Lokhande, founder of Rural Relations enjoys huge popularity in terms of mail traffic so much so that internet’s instant search predicts Pradeep Lokhande Pune 13 when you just type Pradeep. Lokhande created the database of rural consumers in 49,000 villages in India as part of his consumer reference initiative which now helps corporates, donors and even ordinary folks reach out to rural India. The fact that he used this data which was valuable to FMCG brands in providing jobs and opening various channels and markets to bring about social change and betterment of rural population is marvellous. His effort of writing letters to various village heads asking about the schedule of their weekly markets opened a channel of communication which was beneficial both to the villagers as well as big companies like Telco, P&G, Tata Tea amongst others.
Anshu Gupta is founder of Goonj, an NGO that works in replenishing urban waste to a useful resource that can be used for transforming rural India in a way has never been done before. He is an exemplary person who is known to be an action-inducing leader given his humanitarian and disaster relief background. For him, social change should be brought on in a way wherein the receivers don’t need to hang their heads in shame or feel powerless. Goonj works in rural areas by spreading awareness and empowering villagers about the problems and their solutions along with facilitating the usage of locally available resources to aid the efforts, giving them clothes, utensils, furniture, food grains as an end result of the successes and prosperity brought on by the community endeavours. He has been bestowed honor and awards for being Social Entrepreneur by many prestigious organisations. He received Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2015 for his achievements.
Sunitha Krishnan is a highly accomplished and celebrated activist having turned her life to that of a legend. Having co-founded Prajwala, an NGO that works on sex-trafficked survivors and one of the largest rehabilitation homes in the country, she indeed is the one who works against all odds. Sunitha has had innumerable laurels bestowed on her for her stellar work from various reputed organisations and countries. She has received Padma Shri in 2016 from Government of India, Franco-German Award For Human Rights & Rule of Law, Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice, 2014, People of the Year award from LIMCA Book of Records, 2014, Human Rights Award by US Government amongst countless others.
Gauri Sawant alias The Trans Mommy has perfectly delineated that motherhood indeed has no gender. The love, affection and care she has for her daughter resonates with the kind of human she is i.e. extraordinarily daring and compassionate. Whilst her popularity soared with Vicks TV Commercial, her story began when she was a barely five years of age owing to her mother’s demise. The chaos she lived through since childhood of conflicting turmoil within and beyond her, finally paved way to her new life at 17, when with just Rs. 60 in her pocket, she arrived at City of Dreams, Mumbai.
She left behind her home, her city, her family but not her identity. Her talent of having exemplary communication skills landed her a job in Humsafar Trust wherein she used to motivate and advise people undergoing an identity crisis to embrace themselves and their true identities. One of her main tasks was to spread awareness about STDs and encourage sex workers to get tested where she met Gayatri, her informally adopted daughter’s biological mother – an HIV-positive sex worker. Her strong will to not let Gayatri go into sex work gave way to her becoming a doting mother. She has accomplished a lot being highly respected and extraordinary transgender social activist. She now runs an NGO – Sakhi Char Chowghi with a team of 150 workers with aim to promote safe sex and provide counselling to transgenders from the Mumbai suburbs. She was part of the crusade that made sure the third gender gets Aadhaar cards, as dictated by the NALSA bench.
But this isn’t all of her story. Join us at TEDxHyderabad event to know about her journey.