Story of a girl who wants to achieve whatever she dreams of! 


I have always been an optimistic child. An 18 years old, pursuing undergraduate and residing in Odisha since 2006. Painting, craft, singing, dancing, badminton runs in my blood and everyone knows me for my creativity. Being an academically excellent child since early, it wasn’t late when reality ended the fairytale and self-realization led me to carve out my path. I continued opting science under peer pressure, for my +2 which I still consider my biggest mistake, but I opted for the stream I like, in my graduation, defying the opinions of others, even my own family. Well! Past is a beautiful teacher.

Now, I am paving my way for the things I want from my life and myself. I am a stage lover and presenting myself makes me feel so amazing. I participated in Odisha Queen pageant in October,2019 and found solace in the social responsibility task of working for a cause. I found something through the task that channeled my benevolence. I like being recognized and have been in college level sports, completions and various other activities which have shaped my personality.

As a lover of art and nature, I search for a deeper meaning and purpose in whatever I do, and this is exactly what captivated me to the Young India Challenge.


I am inclined towards art and activities which create positive impact and change. So, starting small, I opened my Instagram art page (@the_gargi_gallery https://www.instagram.com/p/B7WL2bfJ-pX/?igshid=1s92f149ze1r6 ) in January this year, with big dreams in my eyes and determination in my mind. I have always found peace in doing what I love, and no opportunity is better than the one which would guide me to turn it into a profession which would be impactful. Young India Challenge’s theme and agenda coincide my interests and I am looking forward to having an experience worth cherishing forever!

I have learnt “ You would never be able to escape from your heart. So, it’s better to listen what it has to say.”


Author: Gargi Mandal (11th YIC Alum)


Story of ‘The Free Sale Org’

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Growing up in an Indian middle-class family during the late 90s and early 2000s, especially when you’re the only child for a decade, and more importantly a good student, your fate is sealed – either you become a doctor or an engineer! Instead of #DoWhatYouLove it was more like #EitherLoveWhatYouHaveToDo or #DieTrying. So how was I to be spared?! I ended up clearing one of the most difficult entrance exams and now I’m a doctor. 


I love how they make such amazing movies in Bollywood like 3 idiots, ZNMD and YJHD and tell you these practical stuff about how it’s so important to follow your passion, be excellent in what you do, don’t settle and you’ll succeed beyond imagination. Everyone around you will absolutely enjoy watching these movies but when you try to implement these fundas in your life they’ll tell you it happens just in the movies! I did a survey in my medical school to find out the prevalence of depression, and I found that a shocking 67.3% of the medical students were depressed. 

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During my second year of medical school, I came up with the concept of The Free Sale Org – an organization that collected clothes, bedsheets and other utilities from people and put a free flea market for the poor. It served 2 purposes – the obvious being that the indigent mass got a chance to experience shopping as per their choice and the other being sustainable recycling of clothes, a dire need today. In fact last week we extended our spectrum of activity and did a cleaning activity in the neighborhood. 


I’ve always had varied interests. But the two things I absolutely love is traveling and writing about them. In the future, I want to amalgam that with my medical education to come up with something special, my #LoveWhatYouDo.


Author: Anandita Pattnaik (11th YIC Alum)


Illiteracy is an injury to the nation’s development and  a blemish on the future of our kids

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So, just like everyone, we wanted to do something for the society and since it is said that charity begins at home, we started with our initiative Project SURAKSHA – a social initiative  by me and my friends in the city of Jaipur which started with door to door collection of old clothes during Diwali where we got around 6000-7000 clothes in just 3 weeks and turned up to be our drive to teach underprivileged kids of slums who were indulged into begging.

Teaching is a service and not a transaction. And this thing motivated us to teach them. It’s been around 1.5 years of teaching them and they have come out with flying colours who have a zeal to achieve and change their lives. While teaching them , we came face to face with the ground realities of these kids which we are generally unable to see except on media like unavailability of water, sanitation etc.

This again forced us to think more and expand our horizon  of thinking resolving their issues.

The best part which keeps our spirits and  motivation high is our hard-working team. People got attracted with our vision to make a difference in the society and supported our cause in one way or the other like providing milk – bread once in a week, providing Stationary, helping us in teaching and so on. Our initiative got into a shape in which we wanted it to be when these kids were admitted into a  school where they’ll not only learn to study but will  also learn the basis of life which they have always desired for.

It is said that education is the key to success. So, we are just providing them the key to a more beautiful world where they’ll be able to achieve their dreams. Along with that, we are trying to bring some qualitative changes in their life through yoga, painting, moral values etc. We also take them on small picnics and educational trips to zoo, biological parks etc. Besides, we’re trying to help their parents as well with documentation, getting jobs etc.

And we are still trying our best to bring changes in more and more lives helping and contributing to a greater cause of building a nation where no one is uneducated.

Author: Aayushi Gupta (11th YIC Alum)



Are we changing OUR habits with the Changing Habitats on Earth?


The Earth is Changing, Impacts are also Changing

Glaciers are melting, Temperature is Rising,

Devastating Floods in certain Regions that remind me of childhood Days…

These Days, Do we observe more?

Or Internet Timeline is flooded with these observations

Are we changing OUR habits with the Changing Habitats on Earth?

Hello, I am Gaurab Saha, an Electrical Engineering Graduate from Assam Engineering College is about to think. I belong to a small village town, Mankachar on the banks of Brahmaputra where the corrosion is normal from some years although the inhabitants know the rise in water level is an alarm to flood in Assam. The Dams overflows recently with rising water levels in Brahmaputra and devastated the Economy and Agriculture along banks which when turned into normal facts in recent days.

It rains but with uncertainty around it. The weather changes any time and the weird patterns of temperature rising and rainy days change the time for the seasonal-plant’s growth and flowers blooming. These changes are affecting the economy and also create decline in other sectors and create an imbalance within the change in Earth and population.

Although there are many problems around along with the Climate Change that starts a change in my reactions and acts for the Earth. I started research and joined some of the awareness campaigns against Climate Change during the College days. After leaving job for the degrading dust filters and changing weather, I started to think about the actions against Climate change. Currently, I am a freelance writer, amateur painter and passionate entrepreneur and following the passion to #DoWhatIYouLove. Besides being raising awareness campaign I joined some networks for Climate Change Action and now being a part of Young India Challenge looking forward for more opportunities ahead to be the Change.

Author: Gaurab Saha (11th YIC Alum)



I focused on my imperfections, shaped them in a more imperfect way


Living in the society as a female is a proud thing with empty number of problems in disguise. Adding to this, a differently abled girl unfortunately has to face many sympathetic tortures. I am born differently abled, which never bothered me. When I look upon my right leg and right fingers, I don’t find it nasty, I find it beautiful. The sympathy that the society showers is the toxic thing I have ever experienced. Any sports you’ll  think you are able to do will be discouraged for sure. Doctors said I  won’t walk properly, but I did. I walk like a human with all its imperfections. My parents always supported me in taking part in elocution competitions and music, thus I went to that field, even then somewhere in my heart I knew I wanted to be a sportsperson. When I was exactly in 4th standard, one day my science teacher conducted a Q&A session in the class and I wanted to answer one particular  question so desperately, I lifted up my hands up in air.

The teacher shouted at me put your filthy and broken hands down. That’s the moment I started to go in depression, I cried, I showered my anger on my parents. Then this emotions grew up with me and I felt I am a useless mass of blood and flesh for this mother Earth. That time I was exactly broken and a sudden introspection came into my mind which is the only reason today I am writing this. I was taken to Sabari mala, (a religious place in Kerala, We have to walk a lot and climb mountains for reaching there) at the age of 2 and from my 4th age I climbed this place all alone holding my father’s hand and successfully went to this place 7 times in total. My depression was a candle light and my memories were like a wind which saved the candle from melting. I focused on my imperfections, shaped them in a more imperfect way.

They discouraged me in sports, I played badminton, they told I will not be able to put the Thala (which is put using the right hand and fingers in Carnatic music) I showed them that through my Carnatic debut concert, then for adding and shutting their mouth I showed them I can also play a violin. I usually gave them silent answers. When they told sports is not my cup of tea, I won a prize for badminton in the state competition of a particular association. I valued me as a useful individual after working in the disaster management team of Amrita for flood affected victims and to be always there for contacting the people for rescue.

Today I love myself so I do love this world, I do what I love, I write poems, do studies on ancient Indian myths and on Shaivism. I think I don’t need to inspire people. I strongly believe that every story has its own moral hidden in it, and so every depression has its own reason to cease. I enjoy solitude, I respect my intuitions and memories and I take care of my emotions, that’s all I did. I think that’s a great achievement. Expect life as it is, if we want it according to our wish then it’s only a film. Life is way more beautiful and melancholic, fun and grave, a combination of Odd and Even. Wear a smile in your face and confidence in your eyes!

Author: Vidya Lakshmi Iyer (11th YIC Alum)