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Indian beauty queens priyanka chopra lara dutta and diya mirza winning pageant title

2000: The golden year for Indian beauty queens

2000 is considered the golden year for Indian beauty queens.  This year, all the three Miss India winners won the most prestigious international beauty pageants.  In a pleasant surprise, India bagged the crown of Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific for the year 2000.  This proved the dominance of Indian beauty and intellect across the globe.

Every year, beauty pageants are held to select a woman leading in all dimensions of beauty, intellect and responsibility.  She is a source of inspiration to thousands of women.  Undoubtedly, India has always been a country of beautiful and gorgeous women.

And this fact got proved when in the year 2000, Miss India Lara Dutta, Miss India first runner up Priyanka Chopra and Miss India second runner up Diya Mirza got the crown of Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific.  These ladies made the country feel with pride.

Let us have a look at the thrilling stories of these three beauties that brought the world at their feet.


Lara Dutta


Miss India 2000 Lara Dutta represented India as Miss Universe held in Cyprus.  She won the title of Miss Universe, by a unanimous vote, making a record in this beauty contest.  She got the highest individual score in any category in the history of the Miss Universe contest.


Beauty queen Lara Dutta winning miss universe crown 2000.
Image credit: India Today


Lara Dutta is the second Indian to win the highest global beauty contest.  Sushmita Sen is the first Indian to get the Miss Universe crown in 1994.  Not only this, but Lara Dutta was also the winner of Best National Costume and Best Swimsuit in this beauty pageant.


The final round that made her winner


During the final question-answer round, each of the top three contestants was asked the same question: “Right now, there is a protest that has been staged in outside the stadium posing pageants as an affront to women.  Convince them that they are wrong.”

Lara Dutta gave the beautiful reply that made her the winner of the crown. She said,

“Pageants like Miss Universe give us young women a platform to foray in the fields that we want to and forge ahead, be it entrepreneurship, be it the armed forces, be it politics.  It gives us a platform to voice our choices and opinions and it makes us strong and independent that we are today.”


Other achievements and works


The achievement of Lara Dutta didn’t stop here.  She was also elected as Miss Grand Slam 2000, hosted by the pageants portal Global Beauties.  She is the first Indian winner to get this title.

After the crown of Miss Universe, she became the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund in 2001.  While taking this appointment, she said,

“Celebrities with the power to affect their impressionable minds, therefore, have a moral responsibility to impart positive messages.  I am committed to using any influence I may have to do just that as a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund.”


Mahesh Bhupathi and Beauty queen Lara Dutta in marriage ceremony.
Mahesh Bhupathi and Lara Dutta | Image:


Lara Dutta also made her career as Bollywood actress and producer.  She received several accolades including Filmfare awards.  The beauty diva has been one of the most stylish actresses in the Hindi film industry.  She is a strong supporter of Me Too Movement in India.  Lara Dutta married eminent tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi in 2010.


Priyanka Chopra


Belonging to Jamshedpur town of Jharkhand, Priyanka Chopra finished as the Miss India first runner-up 2000.   Later, she brought home the crown of Miss World 2000 and Miss World Continental Beauty – Asia and Oceania held in London.  Priyanka was only 18 years old when she became Miss World, surpassing 95 other talented contestants from different countries.  What a great achievement at this tender age!


Beauty queen priyanka chopra accepting miss world crown from predecessor yukta mukhey.
Image credit: Desimartini


She received the crown of Miss World form her predecessor Yukta Mookhey who was also from India.  It was an emotional moment when Yukta Mukhey, Miss World 1999 handed over the crown to her successor Priyanka Chopra.  Priyanka Chopra is the fifth Miss world and the second consecutive winner from her country.


Confidence, attitude and beauty became key to success


The perfect combination of beauty, confidence and brains made Priyanka Chopra win this prestigious title.  However, an interesting incident occurred during one of the elimination rounds when she was asked to name the most successful woman living today and why.

The confident Priyanka Chopra answered this way:

“There are a lot of people I admire, but one of the most admirable people is Mother Teresa, who has been so compassionate, considerate and kind.”

Priyanka Chopra deserves appreciations for this answer.  But she missed the word ‘living’ as she had to take the name of a living person.  Mother Teresa had passed away in 1997.  However, her confidence, positive attitude and beauty impressed the judges and audience and she became successful to take home the crown.


Awards and social causes


After winning Miss World crown, she pursued a highly successful career in Bollywood.  She received several awards including the National Film Award and five Filmfare Awards.  The Indian government honoured her with the Padma Shri Award in 2016.  She also worked in Hollywood thriller series and comedies.


Priyanka Chopra with Nik Jonas | Image: HarpersBazaar


Priyanka Chopra has been working with UNICEF since 2006.  UNICEF appointed her Goodwill Ambassador for Child in 2010 and 2016.  She also works for the environment and women’s rights, gender equality, gender pay gap and feminism.  The beauty queen married American singer and actor Nick Jonas.


Diya Mirza


Diya Mirza was the second runner up Femina Miss India 2000.  She created history when she won Miss Asia Pacific 2000 held in Manila.  Diya Mirza made a hat-trick of India winning the International beauty pageants in the same year; Lara Dutta won Miss Universe and Priyanka Chopra Miss World.  This was really a pride moment for India as for the first time a nation had picked up all three major beauty contests in a single year.


Image credit: Angelopedia


Diya Mirza is the third Indian to win this title.  Before that, Zeenat Aman in 1970 and Tara Anne Fonseca in 1973 were the winners of Miss Asia Pacific title.  She also made a career in Hindi film industry and won many film awards.


Social services


Besides this, Diya Mirza has been involved in community services.  She has been working with Cancer Patients Aid Association, Child Right for You (CRY) and People for Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA).  The beauty diva became UN Environment’s goodwill ambassador for India on two occasions.  Thereafter, she won the Green Award IIFA for spreading awareness about environmental issues.


beauty queen diya mirza doing social services.


India was held in high esteem in 1994 also when two beauty queens brought the nation the most highly international beauty titles in the same year.  These ladies are Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai.  Sushmita Sen won the prestigious title of Miss Universe 1994 whereas, Aishwarya Rai won the title of Miss World in the same year.


Sushmita Sen (Left) and Aishwarya Rai (Right) | Image: HindustanTimes


In this way, we can say that our country is flourished with women having beauty, intellect, wisdom and confidence.  They have earned name and fame; made the country feel proud and become the source of inspiration to thousands of women not only for their beauty but also for their social services.


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India launching its first rocket.

Interesting story about India’s first rocket launch

The story about India’s first rocket launch will amaze you.  The first Indian rocket was transported on a bicycle.  A bullock-cart carried the rocket parts.  Moreover, a village church was also the space centre for the rocket launch.  Now, you must be curious to know about the fascinating stories of the country’s first rocket launch.


First Rocket


India launched its first rocket into space in 1963.  It was a sounding rocket used for meteorological and upper atmospheric research.  The American agency NASA built this rocket.


India launching its first rocket at thumba.


As that time, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was not in existence.  To formulate the space programme, the government had set up the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962.

This committee was a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.  Later on, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) superseded this committee in 1969.
Dr Vikram Sarabhai was the chairman of INCOSPAR. Dr Homi Bhabha (father of Indian nuclear programme) was one of the core members of the committee.  In 1960, Vikram Sarabhai found that a small fishing village namely Thumba in Trivandrum (Kerala) was the ideal place for a rocket launching station.


Efforts for getting rocket launching station


A church in the village was located on the earth’s magnetic equator and could be the launch site for the rocket.  It was St Mary Magdalene Church. This created interest in Dr Sarabhai and he thought of acquiring the land.


st magadelene church thumba from where India launched first rocket.
St Mary Magdalene Church | Image Source: sjessieblogm


So, one day, Vikram Sarabhai and his colleagues went to Thumba.  The young scientist Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was one of the members of this team.  They met the bishop of the Church Rev Peter Bernard Pereira and talked about the matter.

However, the bishop did not give a definite answer.  He asked them to attend the Sunday mass where he would put the question before the church members.

Dr Kalam beautifully described this incident in his famous book Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India. He wrote about what the bishop said in the mass:

“My children, I have a famous scientist with me who wants our church and the place I live for the work of space science and research. Science seeks the truth that enriches human life.  The higher level of religion is spirituality.  The spiritual preachers seek the help of the Almighty to bring peace to human minds.

In short, what Vikram is doing and what I am doing are the same – both science and spirituality seek the Almighty’s blessings for human prosperity in mind and body. Children, can we give them God’s abode for a scientific mission?”


The church became rocket launching station


The congregation said a hearty Amen and the bishop granted the permission for the acquisition of the village.  After due paperwork, the residents shifted to the nearby village with a new church.  Now, St Mary Magdalene Church became Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS).

In this way, the bishop’s home became the office for the scientists.  The church was now workshop and cattle sheds served as laboratories.  The Indian scientists assembled in their mission despite having little funding and few facilities.


Indian scientists making first rocket.
Indian scientists preparing for rocket | Image: ISRO


On those days, Thumba village had no canteen facilities.  The scientists would have to ride on bicycle to Trivandrum station for their breakfast and dinner.  In addition to this, they used the same communication to move within the workplace.  They would be very busy on weekdays.  While on holidays, they spent on the Kovalam beach or watched movies in the nearby theatre.


Transported on bicycle and bullock-cart


India had limited resources only after independence.  This is the reason that rocket parts were carried by bullock-carts.  A bicycle was used to bring the rocket to the launch pad. This was a Nike-Apache rocket that NASA had built.


India's first rocket being carried on bicycle.
Image: Trivandrum


The hard work of scientists came into reality when India was ready to launch the first rocket. It was on 21 November 1963.  However, Nature was also ready to make their task difficult.  When they were hoisting the rocket into the launcher, a leak appeared in the hydraulic crane.

When the team of scientists corrected it, the remote system of the launcher got out of order.  But our scientists were so much enthusiastic.  And finally, they fixed all the shortcomings.

The alarm sounded for the green signal. In no time, the rocket entered into the unlimited sky. India successfully launched its first rocket.

After the demise of Dr Vikram Sarabhai in 1980, TERLS was renamed as Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in his honour.

In the premises of the centre, there is a space museum.  This museum contains an array of rockets, satellites, and other astronomical things.


Achievements of VSSC


VSSC is now a major space research centre of ISRO and focuses on rocket and space vehicles for India’s satellite programme.  Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre has given India satellite launch vehicles, sounding rockets and Air Breathing Propulsion.

VSSC launched the first Indian made rocket RH-75 in 1967.  Till now, it has launched nearly 2200 sounding rockets. VSSC is also working on disaster management, telemedicine, DTH television service and tele-education.

The centre also made a significant contribution to Chandryan-1 which was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.  We hope that VSSC will establish several new records in the field of space research for India.


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The World’s Largest School Is In India


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City Montessori School is world's largest school.

The world’s largest school is in India

School is the first outdoor institution to impart education to our children.  Have you ever thought which is the world’s largest school and where it is?  You would be surprised to know that it is in our own country India.  So, let us know about this school.

India has the pride to have world’s largest school.  City Montessori School (CMS) situated at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh is the biggest school in terms of students.  More than 55,000 students study in 18 branches of this school.  Consequently, this prestigious school finds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest school.


Awards and prizes


CMS is the only school in the world to receive UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 2002.  Furthermore, Spiritual leader Dalai Lama conferred the school with ‘Hope of Humanity’ award.  In 2014, CMS society was accredited as an NGO with the United Nations Department of Public Information.

CMS is a co-educational English medium school where students up to class 12 study.  It is affiliated to the Delhi based Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE). In addition, the school has a partnership with Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), United Kingdom.


School founders


Dr Jagdish Gandhi and Dr Bharti Gandhi established this school in 1959.  They borrowed just Rs 300 and started the school with only 5 students in a rented campus.  Through their sincere and untiring efforts, the number of students gradually increased.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, currently, 55,547 students are enrolled in the school.

Despite having such a large number of pupils, each classroom has only 45 students.  The school gives priority to the overall development of the students.   Students learn not only the traditional subjects, but also music, dance, drama, sports, debate and participate in several events and improvement programmes.  Several students and teachers of this school have participated in various international events across the world.


Unique philosophy


The school has a unique philosophy.  It is aimed to produce good human being and to serve the world.  The motto of the school is ‘Jai Jagat’ (Victory to the World).  This has definitely excelled in the national slogan ‘Jai Hind’.  The philosophy of ‘Jai Jagat’ is based on Sanskrit shloka Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam (The whole earth belongs to one family).

Spiritual education is one of the important parts of delivering education to school children.  CMS believes that a child is a spiritual being.  Daily prayer-assemblies are well planned.  The school performs an integrated All Religion Prayer before the commencement of every event.  This teaches the children to embrace diversity and create a reverence for all religions.


Different teaching methods


For the development of spirituality in children, CMS has adopted several methods to lead a virtuous life. Through music classes, children learn emotions and deepen their spirituality.  To promote good qualities among children, the CMS Film Division has made several films based on moral values.  These films are shown on a regular basis around the year.  To communicate the vision of the school, CMS also runs two FM radio stations in the city.

CMS founders organise Peace Congresses in the form of 28 international events annually.  The purpose of these events is to promote the ideals of unity and peace across the globe.  Certainly, Children gain confidence and life experiences.


city montessori school, world's largest school participating in international events.
Image: Patrika


City Montessori School runs ‘teacher guardian programme’.  Through this innovation, teachers visit the home of five students each month.  As required, they give instant advice to the families of the students.  These suggestions help students improve their learning skills.


Track records and achievements


CMS is famous for its excellent track record.  About 40% of students get 90% or higher marks in the exams.  The school authorities also evaluate the teachers to brighten their competency.   By doing this, they ensure no student is lagging in the study.  Further, the school confers honour to such teachers whose students score high in nationwide exams.

A number of achievements made by CMS make it one of the best schools.  Many students secure top positions with 99% marks in All India ICSE and ISC merit list every year.  Likewise, Several CMS students get admission with a scholarship from top universities of USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The list does not end here.  Students and alumni of this school have got awards in international tests, have cracked Indian Civil Services Exams and have qualified tests of India’s top professional courses.

So, this is really heartening to see that our country has the largest school in the world.


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New Delhi

15 incredible facts about capital city Delhi

Delhi is the heart of India.  It is built on the bank of the river Yamuna.  Delhi is one of the fastest developing cities in the world.  Consequently, people around the globe come to visit this historical city.  Delhi was ransacked and rebuilt almost six times which says the story of its solidarity.

People often call Dilli hai dilwalon ki which means Delhi people are kind-hearted.  They give the reference of this city as Dilli abhi dur hai when they want to say some task is far from its completion.  Another interesting though not so popular idiom is Aas paas barse, Dilli pani tarse, referring the semi-dry climate of Delhi.  The idiom describes the situation when someone is surrounded by the plenty but they lack the same thing.

People say that the name of this city is a derivation from Dilu, a king.  He built a city on this location in 50 BC and named it after himself.  Delhi has so many interesting things that make the city unique and amazing.  Here we are sharing 15 incredible facts about the capital city Delhi and hope you would enjoy the reading.


1. Biggest wholesale spice market in Asia


A Delhi street namely Khari Baoli is the largest wholesale spice market in Asia.  It sells all kinds of spices including nuts, herbs, rice, tea and other food products.  The market is near Red Fort and Chandni Chowk.  The market has been operating since the 17th century.


Delhi's Khari Baoli is biggest spice market in asia.


One of the interesting facts about this market is that many shops are known by their numbers, e.g., 10 Number Ki Dukan, Chawal Waale 12.  For example, one famous pickle shop namely Harnaraisn Internationa has been still running since 1860.


2. Second most popular metro service


The Delhi Metro is India’s second modern public transport.  Moreover, it is the world’s largest 10th metro service covering a total distance of 311 kilometres.  Including the Delhi city, it runs through Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida.


Delhi Metro is second most popular metro.


For the last ten years, the Delhi metro is providing fast, comfortable and safe transport to its passengers.  Everyday, millions of passengers travel by metro.  It has a partnership with Google India to provide schedule and route information on Smartphone.  One of the attractions of Delhi metro is the combination of underground, elevated and ad-grade tracks.  To sum up, the Delhi metro is the pride of India.


3. A walled city


Old Delhi or Purani Delhi is a walled city.  Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had built this part of the city in the 17th century.  He entrenched the city with 14 gates to protect from the British company.  Major parts of the walls and gates got damaged during 1857 revolt.  However, 5 gates are still standing.  These gates namely Delhi Gate, Turkman Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Lahori Gate and Kashmiri Gate are tourists’ attraction.


delhi was built as Walled city by a mughal emperor.


4. World’s largest eco-friendly transport system


Public buses in Delhi are operated by state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).   In 1998, the Supreme Court of India made all public buses mandatory to be fuelled by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).  DTC has the largest fleet of CNG-fuelled buses in the world.  The entire public transport system in Delhi is eco-friendly.  As a result, air pollution in Delhi has decreased after the use of CNG in public transport.



5. World’s tallest brick minaret


A victory tower namely Qutub Minar is situated in Mehrauli area of Delhi.  UNESCO has declared it a world heritage site.  The 73-meter long minaret has a staircase of 379 steps.  The Delhi Sultanate king Qutub-din Aibak started its construction whereas his successor Iltutmish completed the minaret.


delhi's qutub minar is World’s tallest brick minaret.


6. City of toilet museum


Delhi has Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, one of weirdest in its kind.  A social activist namely Bindeshwar Pathak established this museum to highlight the problems of sanitation in the country.  The museum has exhibits of ancient, medieval and modern toilets from 50 countries.


Delhi is the city of Toilet museum.


7. Asia’s largest fruit market


Azadpur mandi of Delhi is Asia’s largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market.  Every midnight, thousands of trucks loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables enter the market.  Therefore, the traders of Azadpur market do not sleep at night here.  The market looks so colourful during the night in the artificial lights.  Nearly 30,000 wholesalers and retailers run the business of fruits and vegetables in the market.


Delhi's Azadpur Market is largest wholesale market in asia.


8. Trams were a part of Delhi transport


Presently India has only one tram network in Kolkata.  But it is interesting to learn that trams would also run in Delhi years before.  The Delhi tram system started in 1908.  The trams had 24 cars and run on 24 kilometres of track.  They would cross over Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Pahar Ganj, Ajmeri Gate and Tis Hazari.  The system got discontinued due to increasing population.


Trams were a part of Delhi transport.


9. Red fort was once white in colour


Red Fort is one of the historical places in Delhi.  Mughal Emperor Shahjahan built this when he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi.  Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Every year on Independence Day, the Prime Minister of India hoists tricolour flag at the fort’s main gate and addresses the nation.


delhi's Red fort was once white in colour.


Parts of the Red Fort were made of limestone.  So the building was initially white in colour.  The original name of the building was Qila-e-Mubarak (Blessed Fort).  Gradually the white stone of the building began chipping off.  Thereafter, the British got the fort painted with red colour.  Since then the natives began to call it Red Fort.


10. The only Bahai temple in Asia


The Lotus Temple of Delhi is the only place of Bahai faith in Asia.  Moreover, it has won several architectural awards.  The main attraction of this temple is its flowerlike shape.  In the year 2001, it was the most visited tourist place in the world.


Delhi's lotus temple is the only Bahai temple in Asia.


11. The host of the first Asian Games


The first Asian Games also called 1951 Asian Games were held in Delhi.  The venue of the games was Irwin Amphitheatre which was later renamed as National Stadium.  A total of 489 athletes from 11 countries participated in the event.  Japan got the most 60 medals including 24 gold.  India stood the second position with 15 golds and 51 overall medals.



Delhi was again the host of 9th Asian Games in 1982.


12. Third largest Hindu temple


Swaminarayan Akshardham is the third largest Hindu temple in India.  The temple covers an area of about 83,000 sq feet.  It reflects the ancient Indian culture, spirituality and architecture.  This magnificent place is surrounded by Narayan Sarovar lake which carries water of 151 lakes in India.  In addition, the complex has Yagnapurush Kunda which is the largest yagna kunda in the world.  The Guinness Book of World Records declared it the largest comprehensive Hindu temple in the world.


Delhi's akshardham temple is Third largest Hindu temple.


13. World’s second-largest bird-rich capital city 


Delhi is the second-largest bird-rich capital worldwide.  Nairobi (Kenya) is in the top position.    It is also interesting to know that there is a charity bird hospital near Chandni Chowk.  The hospital treats free of cost injured and sick birds that Delhi people bring here.



14. One of the greenest cities


Although Delhi is a polluted city, it is one of the greenest metro cities of the world.  It covers 20% of the forest area which is greater than other metropolitan cities.



15. Designed by a British Architect


Sometimes, Delhi is also called Lutyens Delhi.  The reason is that a British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens designed most part of the city.  He also designed 4 bungalows of Rashtrapati Bhawan.  These areas were constructed when the British decided to move the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi.


delhi was Designed by a British Architect Edwin Lutyens.



So, these are some mind-blowing facts of the capital city Delhi.  Further to say, the capital city has the highest number of registered cars in India.  Similarly, Feroz Shah Kotla stadium is the second oldest cricket stadium of India.


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10 Unknown Women Freedom Fighters Of India
freedom fighter participating in india's freedom struggle.

10 unknown women freedom fighters of India

India got freedom from the British colonial system through the untiring struggle of our freedom fighters.  Whether men or women, all equally participated in the India Independence Movement.   We can never forget the contribution of women like Lakshmibai, Indira Gandhi, Kamla Nehru, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Lakshmi Sehgal, Annie Besant and Kasturba Gandhi.

However, there are several women who are not part of our history books.  But the country will always be grateful to their services for the country.  Today, we make a little tribute to such personalities.  Here we are presenting presenting 10 unsung women freedom fighters of India.


1. Usha Mehta


Usha Mehta (1920-2000) was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and an Indian freedom fighter.  She became famous for organising an underground radio station during Quit India Movement.  Her birthplace was Saras village near Surat in Gujrat.  She was fortunate to visit Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram when she was just 5 years old.


freedom fighter usha mehta participating in india's freedom struggle.


Usha participated in the protest march against Simon Commission just at her 8 and shouted- “Simon, go back”.   She and other children also participated in protest and dharna in front of a liquor shop.

Usha Mehta actively participated in Quit India Movement in 1942.  She was one of the workers to hoist the tricolour at Gowalia Tank Ground from where the movement commenced.  In addition, she alogwith her associates began a secret radio station that aired for three months.  It broadcast uncensored news and other information banned by the British government.  After that, she was arrested and imprisoned with other organisers.  In 1988, the government of India awarded her Padma Vibhushan.


2. Kamladevi Chattopadhyay


Kamladevi Chattopadhyay (1903-1988) was an Indian freedom activist and social reformer.  She belonged to Mangluru.  Kamladevi was a part of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement.  After that, she joined the Seva Dal, an organisation set up by Gandhiji for social upliftment.  The Mangluru woman would recruit and train women throughout the country to become volunteers.


freedom fighter usha kamla devi chattopadhyay participating in india's freedom struggle.


Kamladevi became the first Organising Secretary of All India Women’s Conference that ran voluntary programmes and worked for legislative reforms.  Moreover, she was one of the seven-member team of Salt Satyagrah called by Gandhiji to prepare salt.

She came in limelight when she clung to the Indian flag in order to protect its dignity.  During World War II, she travelled to many counties to represent India’s situation and gain support for the independence of the country.

She was conferred with many awards including Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Ramon Magsaysay and UNESCO awards.

3. Durgabai Deshmukh


Durgabai Deshmukh (1909-1981) was an Indian freedom fighter, lawyer and social activist.  At her 12, she left school in protest of English medium education.  Thereafter, she started her own school to promote Hindi education for girls.


freedom fighter Durgabai Deshmukh participating in india's freedom struggle.


In 1923, the conference of the Indian National Congress was held in her hometown Kakinada.  Durgabai was working as a volunteer in the charge of Khadi exhibition.  The organiser had given her the responsibility to ensure every visitor enter with the ticket.  She did her task with honesty and even forbade Pd Jawahar Lal Nehru from entering the conference without a ticket.  However, she allowed him only after the organisers bought the ticket for him.  For her courage and honesty, Nehruji praised the girl.

Durgabai was one of the followers of Mahatma Gandhi.  Therefore, she participated in Salt- Satyagraha activities.  Subsequently, the British government imprisoned her three times during this movement.

4. Kittur Rani Chenamma


Kittur Chenamma (1778-1829) was the queen of Kittur, situated in Karnataka and one of the female warriors to resist East India Company.  She was born in a small village Kakati of Belagavi district of Karnataka.  She got the training of horse riding, sword fighting and archery from the young age.


freedom fighter kittur rani chenamma participating in india's freedom struggle.


Rani Chenamma was married to King Mallasarja Desai at the age of 15.  After the death of her husband and son, the British government imposed the doctrine of lapse on her state.  But, Rani Chenamma did not accept this and had to enter the battle with British forces.

The battle went for several days and the British forces suffered heavy losses.  Two British officers and their several soldiers were killed.  But at last, the British army captured and imprisoned her at Balihongal fort.

The central government has installed a statue of Rani Chenamma in the Parliament Complex in memory of her bravery.

5. Tara Rani Srivastava


Tara Rani Srivastava belonged to Saran district in Bihar.  She participated in Quit India Movement in 1942.  Moreover, she encouraged women of her village to join the protest against the British.


freedom fighter tara rani srivastava participating in india's freedom struggle.


Tara Rani was married to Phulendu Babu.  In the 1942 movement, she and her husband organised a protest march to hoist the Indian flag in front of Siwan police station.  The British police opened fire to control the protesters.  Phulendu Babu suffered bullet injury and later he died.  But, Tara Rani continued to march to hoist the flag and knew about her husband only after her return from the protest.

Tara Rani continued to work for the freedom of India.


6. Maniben Patel


Maniben Patel (1903-1990) actively participated in the Indian freedom struggle.  She was the daughter of noted Indian leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.  Maniben was a part of the Borsad Movement and Bardoli Satyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1924.  Further, she motivated women to join this movement by paying no tax which the British government had levied heavily on Indian people.


freedom fighter maniben patel participating in india's freedom struggle.


Maniben alongwith Kasturba Gandhi went on Rajkot Satyagraha to protest the unjust rule of Rajkot Diwan.  She also participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement and Quit India Movement.  For these protests, the British government imprisoned her for a long time.

7. Matangini Hazra


Matangini Hazra (1869-1942) belonged to a poor family.  Hence, she did not get a formal education.  Unfortunately, she became a widow just at her 18.  Hazra participated in the Indian freedom struggle and shot dead by British police.  Bengali people affectionately called her Gandhi Budhi (old lady Gandhi).



Hazra protested for Salt Act and Abolition of heavy tax for this British police arrested and sent her in jail.  She also joined the Indian National Congress and spun her own khadi dress.  She faced baton charge by the police while attending the conference of Congress at Serompore.

During Quit India Movement, she at her 72 was leading the possession of nearly six thousand supporters to take over Tamluk police station.  In the midst of the town, the police came and shot her repeatedly.  However, she kept chanting Vande Mataram and died with the flag held high and flying.


8. Basanti Devi


Basanti Devi (1880-1974) was the wife of Chitranjan Das.  Subhash Chandra Bose had great regard for her.  She was amongst the four prominent women in Bose’s life.  Therefore, Bose would discuss the personal and political issues with Basanti Devi.


freedom fighter basanti devi


Basanti Devi took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement and Khilafat Movement.  She was one of the key persons in the collection of gold ornaments for the Tilak Swaraj Fund.  The British police arrested her for promoting khadi at Kolkata streets.  Moreover, Indian youths got motivation from her to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai following baton charge by the police.

The government of India awarded her with Padma Vibhushan in 1973.


9. Kanaklata Barua


Kanaklata Barua (1924-1942) is also known as Birbala (brave girl) and Shaheed (martyr).  She belonged to Darrang district of  Assam.  Kanaklata was an Indian freedom struggler who was shot dead at the early age of 17.   This freedom fighter girl also led the All India Student Federation, the oldest student organisation in India.



During the 1942 Indian Movement, she joined a death squad namely Mrityu Vahini.  The Vahini planned to hoist the national flag at the local police station.  Kanaklata led an unarmed possession for this task.  She continued marching ahead despite the police’s warning. The police shot her dead and the flag was held by another worker who was also killed in police firing.

Certainly, Kanaklata’s life is a source of inspiration for all.  The government made her a statue in her memory in Gauripur in 1911.


10. Jhalkari Bai


Jhalkari Bai was born at Bhojla village in Jhansi.  She had exceptional strength and will power.  Subsequently, she got training in horse riding and other weapons.  Jhalkar Bai amazed people by killing a tiger and a leopard with a single stroke.



After her marriage, she joined the army of great warrior Rani Lakshmi Bai.  She resembled Lakshmi Bai and helped the Queen to escape from the fort.  Jhalkari Bai disguised herself as the Queen and bravely fought against the British army.  However, historians are not unanimous about the last days of her life.

A statue of Jhalkari Bai has been constructed at Guru Teg Bahadur Complex in Bhopal.

So, these are the list of a few names.  However, this is not the end.  There are several women who did not become so much popular and remained anonymous.  It is our duty to remember such heroic personalities and take inspiration from their life.


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Amitabh Bachchan

15 inspirational facts about Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan is a legendary actor of the Hindi film industry.  There have been many big stars in Hindi cinema, but there is no comparison with him.  Amitabh Bachchan is not only a successful actor but also a great person.

Many actors get retired at this age, but Amitabh Bachchan at his 77 is still active.  Besides acting, he has also proved his talent in television host and playback singer.  He is popularly known as the king of Bollywood or Big B.

Amitabh Bachchan is also a good philanthropist.  He has been involved in many social welfare works.  The list of his achievements is endless.  He is the most inspirational figure in the world.  We can learn so many valuable life lessons from Amitabh Bachchan.

Here are 15 inspirational facts about Amitabh Bachchan.  Any person can become successful and great by following his life-habits.


1. Believe in yourself


Whatever be the situation in life, we should believe in ourselves.  Amitabh Bachchan faced rejections for his voice and height, had failures in initial films and suffered downfalls.  But still, he tried for what he wanted.  Today, he is a megastar.


2. Hard work and determination


Amitabh Bachchan puts the whole energy in his movies.  While acting in his movie Coolie, he had a fatal accident.  But he recovered and completed the shooting same year and the film released soon after.  He has the potential to make the movie a blockbuster on his own.


3. Humbleness


Amitabh Bachchan is one of the most humble persons.  He talks very politely with everyone.  When his co-stars or contestants meet him and touch his feet, he immediately picks them up and hugs them.


4. Say ‘NO’ when it is required


Mr Bachchan does not hesitate to negate when it is important to him.  Once he denied acting a Jeewan Sathi advertisement since it encouraged the malpractice of the dowry system.  We salute you, sir!


5. Learn from your mistakes and keep on trying


Amitabh Bachchan says that we all make mistakes in our life, but we should have the strength to accept them.  He also made mistakes while choosing some movies and made wrong decisions in his life.  But one must learn from their mistakes and keep on moving in their path.


6. Value and importance for family


Amitabh Bachchan gives values for his family.  He is a true example of having an ideal family.  The Bachchan family is regarded as the golden family of Bollywood.  Amitabh has immense love for this.  He is, altogether, a supportive father, protective grandpa, reliable husband, ideal son and cool father-in-law.


Amitabh Bachchan with family | Image: Indian Express

7. Punctuality and discipline


Amitabh Bachchan never keeps his producer and director waiting.  Mr Bachchan always reaches the shooting spot in time.  He is so punctual that several times he opened the gate of Filmistan Studio himself before the watchman.  He immediately makes a public apology whenever he becomes late.  Amitabh is also a disciplined early-riser.


 8. There is no age limit for work


The superstar has left his age far behind.  No actor of his age is so active.  At 77, he is still determined to work and looks young and energetic.  Remember the movie ‘Paa’ in which he plays the role of the son of his own son Abhishek Bachchan.


Amitabh Bachchan in Paa
Amitabh Bachchan in movie Paa | Image: Quora

9. No work is small


There was a time when television was called an idiot box.  No film star liked to work on TV shows.  But Amitabh Bachchan broke this myth and agreed to host a TV show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’.  This show became a big success and today almost all film actors are seen performing in TV programmes.


Amitabh in KBC
Amitabh in KBC | Image: Prabhat Khabar

10. Spread love, not hatred


Amitabh Bachchan is a most loved person.  He believes in having good terms with all.  He has no contention or rift with any person.   This is the reason he is so popular in the world.


11. Man of impeccable character


If we look for the film magazines of bygone days, we would read the stories of affairs between Amitabh and ageless star Rekha.  However, Amitabh is married to film star Jaya Bachchan and he has maintained the dignity of his married life.  He knows his limits well and we have seen him keeping a respectable distance with this diva of yesteryears.


Amitabh with Jaya
Amitabh with Jaya | Image: India Today

12. Give back the society


The megastar is a good humanitarian.  He has donated millions of rupees to several farmers of Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to clear their debts.  UNICEF made him a goodwill ambassador for the polio eradication campaign in India in 2002.


13. Quality of adaptation


Mr Bachchan knows very well to be adaptable with the drastic life changes.  He always has a positive attitude towards life.  He faced criticism during his political career and went through bankruptcy.  Nevertheless, he stood like a rock and conquered all hurdles of life.


14. Encouragement


The true gentleman never misses encouraging any actor who performs well in the movie.  Even at the set, he encourages the junior artists to concentrate only on their work and not get nervous before him.


15. Respect for his fans


Amitabh says that fans invest a lot of time and energy on a star and hence they deserve respect.  He believes that our status is due to our audiences and that they are our ‘extended families’.  He remains available to greet his fan followers outside his bungalow on every Sunday.


Amitabh Bachchan greeting fans | Image: Deccan Chronicle

Mr Amitabh Bachchan is the man of rich personalities India had ever have.  He will, always, be a source of inspiration and motivation for billions.


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15 major contributions of India to the world

15 major contributions of India to the world

India is a land of great culture and civilization.  Science and technology were much developed in ancient India.  It is a country which has a marvellous legacy to the world.  There are wonderful contributions to ancient and modern India.  Certainly, these gifts of India changed the world and paved the way for modernisation.

Here are 15 great contributions of India to the world in different fields that make every Indian feel proud of the country.

1. University of Takshashila and Nalanda


Takshashila was the first university in the world.  The university flourished in the kingdom of Gandhar from 600BC to 500AD.  At one time, more than 10,000 students from Greek, Syria, China and Babylon studied in the University.  In adition, 68 subjects including Vedas, philosophy, medicine, politics, astronomy, warfare, dance, mathematics were taught in this institution.  The legendary scholars like Kautilya, Vishnu Sharma, Panini and Jivak were the glory of the university.


university of takshashila was one of the contributions india.
The University of Takshashila | Image source: Navbharattimes

Nalanda University was one of the most illustrious learning centres of India.  The university was built in the 5th century by the emperor Kumargupta in Bihar.  It was devoted to Buddhist studies but subjects like fine arts, astronomy, politics, the art of war and medicine were taught.

2. Ayurveda


Ayurveda is the natural treatment of diseases.  Charak, the father of medicine introduced Ayurveda to the world 2500 years ago.  He propounded many concepts of Ayurveda.   For example, the concept of immunity, metabolism and indigestion.   Today Ayurveda is gaining fast acceptance as naturopathy in the world.


Charak, founder of ayurveda that was one of the contributions india.
Charak: Father of medicine

3. Mathematics


India introduced the number zero which was invented by Aryabhatta.  In the sixth century, Budhayana explained the concept of Pythagorean Theorem.  Moreover, he calculated the value of pi (π).  Similarly, Shridharcharya, in the 11th century, put forward the quadratic equation.  India also introduced the world to the decimal number system, part of trigonometry and calculus.


4. The theory of the atom


The atomic theory was devised by Kanad, one of the notable scientists of ancient India, long before John Dalton.  He speculated the existence of paramaanu (atom) or a small indestructible particle.  He also stated that anu have tow states- stationary and motion.




Kanad-father of atom theory
Kanad-Father of Atom Theory | Image source: Mystery Of India

5. Game of snakes & ladders, chess and cards


In the 13th century, a poet-saint namely Gyandev created the game of snakes and ladders.  Ancient Indians called it Mokshapat.  The game was played with cowrie shells and dice.  The ladders in the game represented virtue while the snakes indicated vices.

Similarly, the game of chess is believed to have originated in India in the Gupta Empire during the 5th century.  People called this game as chaturanga.

Card game, also called suits was played in ancient India with the name karidapatram.

6. Surgery


Shushruta is known as the father of surgery.  2600 years ago, Shushruta and his team conducted several surgeries like cataract, urinary stones, caesareans, plastic surgeries and fractures.  Almost 3000 surgeries had been performed and nearly 120 surgical instruments had been invented by the time.


Shushruta, surgical instruments were one of the contributions india.
Surgical instruments used by Shushruta

7. Contribution of Indus Valley Civilisation


There are several revolutionary gifts of Indus Valley Civilisation to the world.  Around 2000 B.C., people used ornamental buttons in Indus Valley Civilisation.  These buttons were made from seashell and some of them were carved into the geometric shapes.  Similarly, flush toilet and ruler measurements were invented in this civilisation.

8. Yoga


Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines which originated in ancient India.  It is mentioned in Rigveda and developed around 5th BCE.  The renowned philosopher Swami Vivekananda and later Yoga Gurus from India introduced yoga to the western countries.  Yoga was also listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.

9. Binary numbers


Binary numbers system is used to write a computer program.  In this system, only two numbers or symbols are used, typically ‘0’ (zero) and ‘1’ (one).  The Indian scholar Pingala developed a binary system for describing prosody in 2nd century BC.

10. Shampoo


Shampoo was originated in the eastern Indian regions by the Mughal Empire.  People used it as head massage, consisting of natural oils and fragrances.  It is interesting to know that the modern shampoo was first introduced in Britain by a Bengali entrepreneur Sake Dean Mahomed who belonged to Bihar.

Apart from these, there are several gifts of modern India to the world.  Some of them are:

11. Rocket Missile


Rocket science developed initially in Mysore in the empire of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.  The technology was used as weapons against the British.  Later, the Britishers took samples and developed it.


First rocket missile
First rocket missile | Image source: The Daily Star

12. Crescograph


It is a device used for measuring the growth in plants.  Crescograph was invented in the early 20th century by an Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.


Crescograph was one of the contributions india.
Crescograph invented by Jagadish Chandra Bose

13. Universal Serial Bus (USB)


We all are familiar with the term USB.  This device was defined and developed by an Indian American computer architect Ajay V. Bhatt.  Credit also goes to him for Accelerated Graphic Port (AGP), PCI express and various chipset improvements.


Ajay V Bhatt
Ajay V Bhatt | Image source: Darpan

14. Pentium chip


The Indo-American scientist Vinod Dham is known as the father of Pentium chip.  He contributed to the development of Intel’s Pentium microprocessor.


Vinod Dham founded pentium chip which was one of the contributions india.
Vinod Dham | Image source: Facebook

15. Fibre Optic Communication


Narinder Singh Kapani is an Indian born American physicist.  He is also known as “Father of Fibre Optics”.  He was named as one of the seven “Unsung Heroes” by the Fortune magazine.  Optical fibres are used in voice, data and video transmission technologies and also in medical purpose such as endoscopy.




Narinder Singh Kapani
Narinder Singh Kapani | Image source: Twitter
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Other countries that got independence on August 15

Other countries that got independence on August 15

We all know that India got freedom on 15th August 1947.  Every year on this date, Indian people celebrate it as Independence Day with great pomp and fervour.   The Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag at Delhi Red Fort and addresses the country.  The day is celebrated as a national festival.

Several events and cultural programmes are organised all over the country.  On this day, we remember the sacrifice of our freedom fighters and swear to keep the unity and integrity of our country.


Reason for selecting the date of independence



But why the date of 15th August was chosen for the independence of India.  There is an interesting fact behind this.  It was none other than Lord Mountbatten who decided August 15 for the independence of India.  He considered this date to be lucky for himself.

On that date, the Japanese army had surrendered before the allied countries in World War II.  Lord Mountbatten was the commander of the allied forces.  In this way, 15th August 1947 became the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender for England and first Independence Day for India.


Lord Mountbatten
Lord Mountbatten with Indian leaders

However, India is not the only country to mark Independence Day on 15th August. There are five other countries that got independence on this date. Let’s have a glance at these countries of the world.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The country is also known as DR Congo, the DRC, Congo-Kinshasa or simply the Congo. It has been named after the river Congo which flows across the country. This central African country got freedom from French colonization on August 15, 1960. The Republic of Congo had come under French rule in 1880.

North Korea

This is an East Asian country constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea, a Soviet Union administered zone, gained independence from Japan on August 15, 1945, after the latter’s surrender in World War II. However, the government was formed after three years in 1948. The country was officially named as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


South Korea

The US administered zone- South Korea was established in 1948 when the efforts of the unification of Korea failed. South Korea is a highly developed country in the world. Most importantly, Korean citizens enjoy the world’s fastest internet connection speeds and the longest years of tertiary education in the world. The country celebrates the day of independence as Gwangbokjeol (the day of light returned).


Officially the Kingdom of Bahrain is an island country of Persian Gulf. The country declared its independence from the British colonial rules on August 15, 1971.


This is the world’s sixth smallest country. Liechtenstein got freedom from German rule on 15th August 1866 and celebrates the occasion as a national day since 1940. The country is bordered by Switzerland and Austria.


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Tilak Mehta, 13 year old student keeps the foundation of a company

13-year-old student sets up a company worth crores

Can a school going boy be the founder of a business startup? Can he be the owner of a company which holds control over 400 employees? How can a class VIII student carry away with his studies and the company altogether?

This seems to be unrealistic and impossible. But a 13-year-old student has made it possible and has become one of the youngest entrepreneurs of India. Tilak Mehta from Mumbai is such a prodigy who has founded a technology-driven courier company namely Papers N Parcels (PNP).

He not only convinced a banker to quit his job and accept the CEO post of PNP but also succeeded to include employees of Dabbawalas in his company.


This is how the company functions


The technology-based company functions through an app with the same name. Customers have to first register on the app, and after login, they can book the order.

The company delivers the items on the same day. It charges only from Rs 80 to 140 according to the weight of the item. It accepts the item up to 3 kilograms. So the fast delivery and cheaper cost have made the company a big success.


What made him inspire to set up PNP


So, how did he get inspiration for setting up the company?  In fact, one of his exam books remained in his uncle’s home that was in another part of Mumbai.  He needed it urgently.   When his father returned home tired, he couldn’t get the courage to ask him about the book.

Hence, he couldn’t manage to get the book back and when he enquired about the courier service, he came to know that he would have to pay nearly Rs 250/- which was itself the price of the book.

It struck to his mind that there must be a courier service in the city which could be in the budget of common people. One day he saw a person of Dabbawala, the famous food delivery network of Mumbai. Tilak Mehta got another idea that with the collaboration of Dabbawalas, the courier service could be managed properly.

Tilak Mehta talked about the idea with his father who got convinced. Thereafter, he discussed with his uncle who was a banker.

His father helped him develop the app. His uncle quit the bank job and became the CEO of the company. Several employees of Dabbawalas also agreed to work with the company. After the hard work and research of 8 months, his business started in 2018.


Image source: Facebook

Papers N Parcels delivers 1200 items everyday and till date, it has delivered more than one lakh items. Presently, pathology labs, boutique shops and brokerages are availing the services of the company.

Today, Papers N Parcels employs 300 persons of Dabbawala and 100 of its own. Tilak Mehta has the dream of making the company with a turnover of Rs 100 crore by 2020 and expanding the services all over India.




For his prodigious entrepreneurship, he has been awarded India Maritime Awards in July 2018.

This dynamic child has infinite possibilities inside him. There may be many more Tilaks in our country. It is the responsibility of our society to explore such ingenious children.

Tilak Mehta is an inspiration for students. We wish this young entrepreneur a brilliant future.


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post-poll awareness campaign

The need for a post-poll awareness campaign

Awareness campaign plays an important role in the successful conduct of general elections in a country. Till now we have focused mainly on pre-poll awareness.  Now the time has come to think about post-poll awareness programme to strengthen the largest Indian democracy.  

India is the largest democratic country in the world.  Having a population of around 1.3 billion people, more than 800 million people are eligible to cast their vote.  As against the common belief, democracy in India is growing mature since its independence.  The Election Commission of India plays a big role in the successful conduct of Lok Sabha and Vidhansabha elections.


India is the world’s largest democracy


In every five years, Indian electorates cast their vote to elect 543 members for the Lok Sabha.  Presently India has 28 states having the total number of 4128 constituencies of state legislative assemblies.  

All these factors make India the largest democracy in the world.  Almost every year, Vidhan Sabha elections are held in some states or the other.  For the successful completion of the election, The Election Commission of India, political parties and NGO’s conduct several pre-poll awareness campaigns. 

Certainly, these campaigns incite more and more people to use their right to franchise.  

However, only voting to choose suitable representatives is not enough.  We can do something more to create a healthy and democratic relationship with our representative.

Common people think that parliamentarians hold a high position of the democratic system.   They are hesitant to communicate with their representative.  Such tendency needs to be changed.




Things to do as a post-poll campaign


So, what can we do after we have selected our representatives?  We can e-mail or write a letter of congratulation, expectation and appreciation. 

In the letter or e-mail, we can congratulate them for their victory.  Besides, we can put forward our views on the issues of our constituency.  These issues may relate to unemployment, road condition, water crisis, pollution, the development of the region and many more. 


We can also suggest solutions that may be helpful to resolve such issues.  We can appreciate them for their developmental work done in the constituency.

Through this activity, a message goes that voters are observing the work of their representatives.  Representatives, too, feel that voters are attentively listening to them and their work is being appreciated.

Most of the representatives are active on social media platforms as well.  We can also communicate through this medium. 

Time has come to maintain a fearless communication between voters and representatives.  And by adopting this method, we can do it.  In this way, we will also contribute to the development of a strong democracy in our country.


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