Inspirational True Stories

It helps to know how the efforts of inspired individuals can bring about positive changes in their lives and that of others.

Freedom to Fly the Indian Tricolour by private citizens

Naveen Jindal (born 9 March 1970) is a Member of Parliament, India since 2004 representing the Kurukshetra constituency in the state of Haryana. He is a member of the Congress Party. He is an industrialist with operations located in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. He runs the rail & steel and power businesses of the Jindal Group, the fourth largest private sector Indian business group by assets and sales turnover. The Jindal group was founded by his father O. P. Jindal.

Prior to 2002, the Flag code of India did not permit flying of the Flag of India on non governmental institutions. In 2001, a case was filed against Naveen Jindal for flying the Flag of India atop his company building. He said that he was inspired by his American friends displaying their flag during his college days in USA and he believed that flying the national flag should be the right of every Indian. He took the case to the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India and won both cases. The Supreme Court ordered the Government of India to set aside a committee to look into this matter. Finally on January 26, 2002 (India’s Republic Day), private citizens were allowed to fly India’s flag inside and atop their buildings and institutions. His story was reported widely in the right-wing Indian media which hailed him as a liberator.

Right To Information Act

The Right to Information Act (RTI Act) came into effect on 12th October 2005. It was the culmination of a long struggle by the common people and inspired activist and represents a spectacular triumph of the ruled(citizens) against the rulers(Government). This Act has provided a very potent weapon in the hands of common man against corruption and mismanagement in the Government departments at all levels. It is uplifting to read the history of the passage of this Act. A brief history of the Act is available at: and several other websites.

Kiran Bedi, India’s first female police officer

Dr. Kiran Bedi influenced several decisions of the Indian Police Service, particularly in the areas of narcotics control, traffic management, and VIP security. During her stint as the Inspector General of Prisons, in Tihar Jail (Delhi) (1993–1995), she instituted a number of reforms in the management of the prison, and initiated a number of measures such as detoxification programs, yoga, vipassana meditation, redressing of complaints by prisoners and literacy programs.[12][13] For this she won the 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship’, to write about her work at Tihar Jail.[6] In 1997, Bedi was the recipient of the Swiss-German Joseph Beuys Award for Holistic and Innovative Management.

She was last appointed as Director General of India’s Bureau of Police Research and Development.

Yet her greatest achievement may be the effect her achievements have had on Indian women who see Kiran Bedi as a role model and a hero. Bedi has shown them that with hard work and determination, they can overcome ancient stereotyping and make their dreams come true.

India Nirman Sangh

India Nirman Sangh is led by David Barun Kumar Thomas (B.Tech, IIT Kanpur 1977). David left IBM in 003, came to Kodaikanal and since then has been involved in community development. India Nirman Sangh has a small budget and is entirely funded by donations from individuals. The Directors do not draw any remuneration or enjoy any fringe benefits from the organisation.

The organisation works to win the trust of the people in a village by forming small thrift and savings groups and then arranging for micro credit through local banks. The group uses this money to give loans to their own members who may need the loan for a variety of reasons. Peer pressure among the members ensures a near hundred percent loan recovery rate. Over time, the groups begin to take up local issues such as sanitation, drinking water supply, the problems in the local ration shop etc. and using collective strength, they are often able to bring about dramatic changes. They ensure proper implementation of government welfare schemes and collectively resist both goondaism and police high handedness. They also voluntarily came forward in 2007 to take up and implement a government scheme to build toilets for each home and completely eliminate open defecation in three panchayats.