DH wishes you a Happy New Year 2022: Editor's note

DH wishes you a Happy New Year 2022: Editor's note

Dear Reader,

It’s with a strange mixture of pride and humility that we unveil the fourth edition of the Deccan Herald Changemaker awards, styled this year as 22 to Watch in 2022.

Pride because of what we feel when we behold the glittering careers — some very young — of the awardees this year. And humility because their stories of determination, often against difficult odds, set in perspective the highs and lows of our everyday lives.

We’re recognising 19 individuals and three duos who have redeemed another difficult year for our state and indeed the country and the world, when Covid extracted a terrible cost.

Their stories are deeply inspiring. Read about Asha, the social worker who, starting at the age of 23, has helped bury nearly 5,000 unidentified bodies. Or Syed, whose paddy museum with 1,350 varieties contributes to conserving heirloom varieties. Or our youngest laureate yet, Rahul, a 14-year-old Carnatic music sensation.

You’ll find plenty to admire in Dayanand, who convinced villagers to use faecal sludge to generate electricity; in Rangaswamy, galvanised by personal tragedy to become a road safety crusader; and Maruti, who fights to revive traditional clam harvesting in Uttara Kannada.

The winners are diverse, but a single thread runs through their stories: A commitment to doing something truly outstanding, to excel in their chosen field and often to make a big difference in the circumstances of those around them.

It’s been our privilege to have unearthed some real gems in our state since 2019, and we’re confident this year’s winners will blaze such a trail that we will be scrambling, with some pride, to track their exploits in the years ahead.

— Editor

Here are 22 Changemakers to watch out for in 2022:

 - T V Renukamma -- Helping Devadasis find a voice

 - Ravi Katpadi -- Desi cosplay for a cause

 - Mohammed Kaleemulla -- Restoring temples to their former glory

 - Bharathi Gudlanur -- Karnataka's pioneering menstrual health entrepreneur

 - S Nasreen -- A friend to kids in tough circumstances

 - Asha V Swamy -- She gives dignity to the nameless dead

 - Syed Ghani Khan -- Custodian of paddy diversity

 - Omshivaprakash H L -- An e-archive for Kannada literature

 - Rahul R Vellal -- A raga prodigy takes centre stage

 - Abhisheka Krishnagopal -- She teaches science through art

 - Priya Mohan -- Fast, getting faster

 - Maruti Gouda -- Fighting for clam collectors' rights

 - Shailaja Padindala -- Filmmaker with a bold script

 - D Rangaswamy -- A lifesaver for accident victims

 - Darshan Harikant -- How a remote school became an e-ideal

 - Dayanand Jagadish Appayyanavarmath -- Toilet: A clean energy story

 - Tanya Seshadri and Prashanth N S -- They take Covid care to a tribal heartland

 - Kiran Nayak -- Bringing nuance to disability rights

 - Hanamant Huvanna Devanoor and Basamma Devanoor -- A touch of life for leprosy patients

 - Mudit Dandwate and Gaurav Parchani -- An ICU under your bed

 - Rathnamma S -- PhD for her, giant leap for her community

 - Akshatha Humchadakatte -- Poet who discovers new writing