In the larger scheme of things, we might be able to look back on 2016 without remembering it for the awful year that it was. Right now, however, it’s impossible to think of it as anything other than one of the worst years in recent human history. But there’s a silver lining to every cloud and good news to be found if you look closely enough. We scoured the news since the beginning of the new year to find the most uplifting and inspiring stories out there – the type of stories that are more indicative of the India we believe that we can be if we really work towards it. This Republic Day let us remind ourselves of what we Indians are really capable of.  

The Indian Village Putting Its Daughters’ Names on Its Doors

Dangal was more than just a movie to the residents of Kamod village, the neighbouring village to Ballali village, where the Phogat sisters grew up. Inspired by the exploits of India’s leading wrestlers, the people of Kamod have begun putting the names of their daughters on nameplates outside their homes. It’s not just a stunt either – Kamod has one of the best child sex ratios in India, at 1,300 girls for every 1,000 boys. Sanjay Ramphal, a social activist from Kamod, said: "The whole idea is to get the daughters their place in society and change the patriarchal mindset of people." The best part? The village panchayat has agreed to bear the costs of all these nameplates so that all the people there can continue displaying their pride in their daughters without worrying about where the money’s going to come from.  

The Olympic Wrestler Who Bodyslammed Dowry:

Padma Shri awardee and Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt made news earlier this month when he took a stance against that age-old bane of Indian society, the dowry system. Even though efforts have been made over the last few years to do away with this archaic system, it’s still a long and arduous road uphill. Which is why we ought to celebrate whenever a high-profile member of society refuses to accept the status quo and resolves to do something about it. “I decided on two things while growing up — I will excel in wrestling and I will not accept dowry. My first dream has been realised and now it is time to keep my second promise," said Dutt. He did, however, say that he would accept one rupee as a gesture of goodwill from the bride’s family. Dutt got married on January 16, and we hope these last 10 days have been bliss for the newlyweds.  

Mumbai’s People Give With Their Hearts:

Since the beginning of the year, Mumbai’s cadaver donation programme has facilitated four donations already. Pretty great for a city that has the reputation of being one in which people have little time for each other. Last year, the city had 58 cadaver donations, so if the present donation rate keeps up, it looks like we should be able to surpass last year’s numbers quite easily. Is there a better present you could give someone than the gift of a long and healthy life made possible by organs you have no use for after you pass on? Our respect goes out to the individuals and families who took this selfless decision.


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