Editorial Team

Harappa Education, a leading Indian online learning institution, announced the winners of its digital initiative Habit Heroes today. A stellar jury selected 10 Habit Heroes from over 400 nominations for their can-do spirit and inspiring stories of community engagement, in these difficult times.

Harappa’s 10 Habit Heroes went the extra mile to lend a hand during the coronavirus crisis, making people pause and take notice of their exceptional work. They used Harappa’s five Habits—Think, Solve, Communicate, Collaborate, and Lead—for a range of initiatives from feeding migrant workers and raising funds to build face shields.

Shreyasi Singh, Founder & CEO, Harappa Education, said, “The current crisis, despite all its challenges, has been an eye-opener. It’s shown us what really matters! In these challenging times, it’s heartening to see people embrace change and collaborate effectively to help those in need. I’m thrilled that so many young people have turned this crisis into an opportunity and inspired many more to create positivity. I’m proud to present Harappa’s Habit Heroes who’ve impacted many through their encouraging initiatives.”

Meet Harappa’s 10 Habit Heroes and learn about their initiatives:

1. Dhwani Jain, Engineer-turned-Social-Entrepreneur; Founder-President of Karma Foundation, Delhi: Dhwani worked with a team of dedicated volunteers to provide cooked food, dry ration, sanitary products, and medicines to vulnerable communities and people in distress in Odisha and Delhi-NCR, particularly daily wage earners, construction workers, and migrant labourers. They have reached more than 2,800 families hit by the lockdown.

2. Nakul Agrawal, Founder of RENOVATIO, Nagpur: Nakul designed an innovative face shield and distributed it to frontline warriors such as police officers, municipal corporation staff, doctors, social workers, and petrol pump attendants. More than 10,000 face shields were distributed by Nakul and his team in Nagpur and Chandrapur to protect people from the coronavirus pandemic. He also helped bring several social groups and workers together under an umbrella organization called Together We Can to work alongside police to distribute food grains and meals to lakhs of people.

3. Raima Zachariah, Specialist Software Engineer at Societe Generale Global Solution Centre, Bangalore: Raima and her colleagues came up with an idea of implementing a virtual queue management system that allows people like shopkeepers to better manage crowds. Customers can join a queue from their homes to help enforce social distancing effectively. The team also open-sourced the application so that shopkeepers can use it for free during times of need, and students can use the code to build smarter technology.

4. Devika Arora, Founder and Creative Head at MagicMind, Bangalore: Devika built an online education platform with self-empowerment tools and 25+ courses on a host of subjects ranging from mindfulness to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and self-care. She created these self-paced online courses for teenagers and young adults to build emotional and mental strength to face the challenges posed by the lockdown. She also offered pro bono online counselling to children from COVID-affected families in Europe and Asia for three months. Additionally, she raised funds for street animals who had no food during the lockdown and fed them every alternate day for two months in Bangalore.

5. Purvai Rai, CEO and Cofounder of Creative IMAGE Magazine, Cofounder of ArtChainIndia, Delhi: Purvai started a website, ArtChainIndia, to create a sense of community in the creative sector and provide a platform for artists to sell their work during the pandemic. The site sold more than 120 artworks worth Rs. 9 lakhs in the first three weeks of its launch. Many artists started buying works from other artists too as part of this project.

6. Naman Bansal, Program Manager for Solar Digital Night Schools at Barefoot College, Tilonia: Naman helped ensure 1,400 children from underprivileged communities kept learning even when their schools were forced to shut because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Barefoot College runs 49 solar digital night schools for marginalized students in some of the remotest areas in 11 states. After the lockdown, Naman and his team created special worksheets which they delivered to those to children every 30 days. For students with access to smartphones, they partnered with a story-reading organization, Worldreader, to create fascinating stories to educate children.

7. Abhishek Tiwari, Fellow at Kshamtalya Foundation, Udaipur: Abhishek and his team of volunteers at Kshamtalya saw that there were hundreds of families in Kotra, a small town in Rajasthan, who did not have food for days after the lockdown began. They teamed up with the administration, voluntary organizations, and local public representatives to provide rations to these people. So far, they have delivered relief material such as ration, masks, and soap to more than 700 families in Kotra.

8. Satyanshu Singh, National Award-Winning Filmmaker, Mumbai: Satyanshu began conducting online lectures on cinema to raise money for migrant workers when the coronavirus crisis hit.  The initiative soon found hundreds of students from Indian cities and small towns, and also from the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, UAE, Pakistan, Singapore, and Australia. He conducted 40 sessions over two months and raised Rs 28 lakhs. All the money raised through this initiative went directly to different funds and NGOs.

9. Riddhi Shah, Educationist and CSR Consultant, Mumbai: Riddhi started with a small fundraiser to support migrant workers during the pandemic by asking 10 people she had never met before for help. Her persistence and dedication helped raise Rs 15 lakhs for her initiative. As news of her work spread, companies such as DMart started approaching her to contribute to her efforts. As of today, she has raised over Rs. 5.5 crores just through individual efforts of calling, explaining, and connecting people. She achieved all this within 70 days!

10. Ashwini Ananth, Entrepreneur at Uttaram InConstruct LLP, Bangalore: Ashwini helped provide 60 migrant workers stuck with Bangalore during the lockdown with provisions, medicines, and even their wages The workers at a project site she was looking after were stranded and could not go back to their villages. She shared this information with seniors at her company and got them on board to support these migrant workers. During the pandemic, she also volunteered her time to conduct career counselling sessions for orphan students.

Harappa’s Habit Heroes will get life-long access to 5 Harappa Courses and promo codes to share with friends and family. Their inspirational video story will be shared on Harappa’s digital channels and they will receive a year-long subscription to Blinkist, one of the world’s coolest book summary apps of top global non-fiction.

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