Age was just a number at DH Changemakers 21 in 2021

Age was just a number at DH Changemakers 21 in 2021

DH readers logged in virtually to watch the livestream from Bangalore International Centre to see 21 change makers

DH Changemakers 2021 pose for a group photo at BIC, Bengaluru on Friday. Credit: DH photo.

Age was just a number at DH Changemakers 21 in 2021 as they ranged from a 16-year-old table tennis champion to an 81-year-old counsellor of the mentally ill.

DH readers logged in virtually to watch the livestream from Bangalore International Centre to see 21 change makers -- found and recognised by Deccan Herald -- narrated their touching stories on how they had brought hope to hundreds with their work.

The change makers not only told their stories but also sought suggestions for scaling up their work. More than anything, all change makers who were felicitated, expressed gratitude.

Teacher advises survey 

One of the change makers, 60-year-old teacher Murali Kandekar, who is a household name in Udupi exhorted the chief guest IT BT Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan (who also holds the higher education portfolio) to do a survey in government schools to keep the bane of child marriages in check.

He urged the audience to make generous donations to government schools.

"I urge the public to make donations to government schools, especially Kannada schools. I have personally stopped child marriages. I urge the minister here to do a survey in schools to keep this in check," he said after the felicitation.

Transgender activist Akkai Padmashali who was one of the guests on stage giving away certificates of appreciation to the change makers said,"In today's world gender doesn't matter. Being LGBTQIA does not matter. What matters is social and political justice."

Pathologist Dr Suresh Hanagavadi sought advice from panelists to scale his work at the Karnataka Haemophilia Society. Philanthropist Rohini Nilekani said DH Changemakers looking to scale up should put their stories out on retail fundraising sites like Ketto and Danamojo.

"Tell your story better. Instead of one rich philanthropist more change can be brought about by small funds from many individual donors," she said.

She also asked the changemakers to check out societal platform.org for a collaborative approach to problems, where one individual's work can be carried on by others if he or she does not have the resources to pull it off alone.

Changemakers were also given a word of caution that scaling up projects for the sake of it might make initiatives brittle.