The river Ganges holds such an important place in the collective consciousness of our nation perhaps its significance stems from its tradition & mythology. River Ganga is India’s largest and most vital fresh-water resources. But the irony is that it is among the most polluted river in the world. Although we revere the river Ganga as a mother goddess, however, on the other hand, the river gets polluted by our irresponsible behaviour by allowing the sewage water & solid waste from household and industries. The pilgrims add more than 8 million flowers each year into the river as a part offering prayers to god. The resultant action pollutes the water more with harmful chemicals used on the flower which can lead to waterborne diseases like cholera, dysentery, hepatitis & diarrhoea.
In 2015, the childhood friends Ankit agarwal and Karan Rastogi cofounded a social enterprise called HelpUsGreen. The aim of this enterprise is to devote their time and resource in reducing the pollution in river Ganga. The Team collects the discarded flower before it gets into river and processes them to create 100 percent Vermi-compost fertilizers and also manufactures incense sticks . The enterprise targets European and Indian markets to sell their organic products . HelpUsGreen employs women folks from the lower strata of the society and helps them to get empowered financially as well as delivering on the objective of reducing the pollution of this giant fresh water river. The team of women employed with Help Us Green collects 1.5tons of flowers daily from temples and mosques and convert it into organic fertilisers and incense sticks.
Helpusgreen also has plans to expand its product ranges to bath soaps, chemical free products, natural body cleaners. So this is one such social enterprise initiative which can deliver benefits in terms of reducing pollution, create avenues of people to get employed , also protecting the environment from waste accumulation . This kind of initiatives which uses the potential of resources and keeps their utility to the maximum by following innovative business practices, also creates value along with its process.
“The fortune favours the brave ” this famous proverb played its true meaning in the life of 34-year-old Shilpa who runs the food truck business in Mangalore. In 2015, Mrs Shilpa took a loan and bought a Mahindra Bolero vehicle to start her own Food truck business in Mangalore along with his brother. She serves north Karnataka delicacies in her food truck which local populace has been so fond of. The entrepreneur in her motivated Shilpa to customise the Bolero vehicle according to the need for a food truck. This innovative spirit and entrepreneurial zeal in her caught the attention of none other than Mr Anand Mahindra, chairman of Business conglomerate, Mahindra & Mahindra. After coming to know about the success of her venture through a media ” News minute”, Mr Mahindra took it through the twitter, congratulated and lauded Shilpa’s effort. Mr Mahindra also stated on Twitter that he supports her effort to expand her business by offering her a brand new bolero to set up her next outlet. In his twitter handle, Mr Mahindra expressed his support and tweeted the following.
“A terrific story of entrepreneurship to end the week with. At Mahindra, we call this a Rise story. Am so delighted the Bolero played a small role. Can someone reach her & tell her I will personally invest in her expansion by supplying a Bolero for the second outlet she’s planning? She is a successful entrepreneur. I am offering to invest in her expansion.”
When spoke to news minute Shilpa told that
“It was my circumstances, not a decision to become an entrepreneur, that led to the starting of this business. The local residents supported my initiative, and it just clicked.”
Yes her inspirational story should motivate other women folks to face the non-favourable situation with courage and thus help them overcome the challenges that lie ahead with poise and confidence.
Few entrepreneurs might dare to choose the business what Mr Arunachalam Muruganathan ventured in to, The social entrepreneurs from Coimbatore has invented a very cheap sanitary making equipment which could make cheap sanitary pads for women with half the cost what is available in the stores. His organisation “Jayashree industries” have already installed this low-cost equipment in 23 states in India and aggressively pursuing his objective to set up his manufacturing unit in 106 nations. The speciality of his equipment is that women can manufacture the sanitary napkins using his equipment.
His journey so far
He was born in 1962 to a family of handloom weavers in Coimbatore, his early life was riddled with poverty and his father passed away after met with an accident , So only source of the income to the family was from his mother who tried to make both ends meets , But at the age of 14 Arunachalam dropped out from school and after that he was engaged in various jobs to support his family .
Moments of success
Mr Arunachalam got married in 1998 and found that his wife uses filthy clothes or unhygienic means during her menstrual cycle. This moment of realisation had really invoked the social entrepreneur in him, he tried and did a lot of research in designing a sanitary napkin using different mills but initially he was unsuccessful to design one such, But his unrelenting pursuit to find a solution led him to research further and finally he had succeeded in making one, But his wife instead of supporting him, left the scene by giving a divorce letter. But the successful entrepreneur in him has succeeded in making a low-cost equipment to manufacture sanitary napkins, he received wide acclaims and several awards for his outstanding success.
In 2014, TIME magazine placed him on its list of 100 Most Influential People in the World and In 2016, he was awarded Padma Shri by Government of India. After 5 years his wife reunited with him realising the success he has achieved and more over the initiative he has taken to address the most pressing issue faced by women folks from low-income group, especially from the rural sector. His efforts have really made him qualify to be in the legions of the most successful social entrepreneur in the contemporary world. In his words, he believes in “de-tailing”, not” re-tailing”. He travelled across the world and shared the dais with global business leaders and through his initiative, he has created a social impact by giving employment for 20,000 women. A Bollywood film “pad-man” has been in the making starring Akshay Kumar based on his story.