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Indian Woman Who Lost Her Own Daughter Became Mother to 800 Orphaned Girls

Dr Sarojini Agarwal lost her daughter in a road accident, nearly 40 years ago, but the tragedy inspired her to help other abandoned girls. Since the mid 1980s, the 80-year-old woman has taken in around 800 girls, caring for them and ensuring that they receive a good education, in order to become confident and independent individuals.

Sarojini was driving a motorcycle on a road near her home in Lucknow, India, with her 8-year-old daughter, Manisha, on the back seat, when they became the victims of a hit and run accident. The mother survived, but her precious Manisha died that day. Dr Agarwal spent years morning her loss, and asking herself “why my child”, until one day when she realized that there were so many girls out there in need of motherly love, and helping them would be the best way to honor Manisha’s memory.

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India’s Sacred Strays – Millions of Urban Cows Living Alongside Humans

Like many other cities around the world, Indian urban communities have large numbers of stray dogs living alongside their human inhabitants. But canines are not India’s biggest stray problem, cows are. They cause thousands of road accidents every month, block traffic and spread disease. The Government has long been aware of the many issues caused by cows roaming free on busy city roads, but no one seems to know what to do about them.

Stray cows have been a part of Indian urban life for as long as anyone can remember, but they’ve become increasingly problematic in recent years, with the development of infrastructure and the increase in the number of cars driving on Indian roads. Urban cows don’t fear traffic, so it’s not unusual to see them loitering, in the middle of the road, unperturbed by honking or drivers trying to scare them away. Violence is not acceptable, as cows are considered sacred, and harming them in any way would enrage Hindus, so people have to keep their frustration in check, no matter how bad things get.

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Indian Man Has Been Working as a Statue for 32 Years

54-year-old Abdul Aziz has a very peculiar job. He has been working as a living statue for over thee decades, standing perfectly still for six hours a day and resisting people’s attempts to make him move, smile or pretty much flinch a muscle, anything that proves he is a living person. Nobody has ever been able to do it.

Aziz, fondly known as “India’s Statue Man”, has been performing his daily routine ever since 1985, soon after getting a job as a security guard at the VGP Golden Beach Resort in Chennai, India. His boss had recently traveled to the UK, where he was so impressed by the statue-like members of the Royal Guard outside Buckingham Palace that he wanted to do something similar back home. So he had his security guards undergo three months of training, where they would sit perfectly still for around four hours. They weren’t allowed to talk or smile, eat, drink, or even shoo away a fly if it sat on their faces. In the end, Abdul proved the best of the group, so he got the strange job.

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Indian Villages Allegedly Send the Elderly into Forests as Tiger Prey, to Receive Government Compensation

In a horrifying trend recently reported by Indian media, poor villagers near the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve are allegedly sending their elderly relatives into the jungle as tiger prey, so they can then claim compensation from the government.

The disturbing tactic was discovered by officials at the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) in Uttar Pradesh, who, upon inspecting several mauling sites near the tiger reserve, noticed evidence of foul play. In the most recent case, reported on July 1st, the mauled body of a 55-year-old woman was found in a field near her village, but bits of her clothes were found one kilometer away, in the tiger reserve, and tractor tracks leading into and from the jungle showed that the body had been relocated.

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The Old Motorcycle Worshiped as a Deity in India

In the Indian state of Rajasthan, some 50 km from the city of Jodhpur, along National Highway 65, there is a temple. That, in itself, is not unusual, as temples are virtually everywhere in India, but what is strange is that the deities worshiped here are an old Royal Enfield 350cc motorcycle and its deceased owner.

The story of “Om Bana” or “Bullet Baba” temple dates back to an accident that occurred almost three decades ago.  On December 23rd, 1988, Om Singh Rathore, the 23-year-old son of a village elder in Chotila, Pali district, was riding home on his motorcycle when he lost control, hit a tree and was catapulted into a 20-foot, where he died on the spot. His body was discovered the next day, and the broken “Bullet” motorcycle was taken to the police station. And that’s where things start to get weird.

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Lord of the Birds – Indian Man Dedicates His Life to Saving Endangered and Abandoned Birds

Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji has recently been recognized by Guinness Book of Records for housing the most bird species under a single roof, 468. He is not a collector who takes pleasure in depriving exotic birds of their freedom, but simply a compassionate man who rescues endangered, injured and abandoned birds from around the world and offers sanctuary in his aviary.

Swamiji, the founder of Avadhoota Datta Peetham ashram, in Mysuru, India, has been passionate about birds for as long as he can remember. Growing up in Mekedattu woods, on the shores of the Cauvery river, he remembers spending much of his time watching many species of birds as they took shelter in the trees outside his house. But it was an accident in 2011 that made him understand his purpose in life – to save as many endangered and abandoned birds as possible – and build his 21-acre aviary in the forests of Mysuru.

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Couple Spend 25 Years Turning Barren Patch of Land into Paradise of Biodiversity

In 1991, Anil and Pamela Malhotra bought a 55 acres of unused farmland in Karnataka, India, and started planting native trees on it. Over the last 25 years, their small forest has turned into a 300-acre wildlife sanctuary that hundreds of endangered plants, animals and birds call home.

Anil and Pamela met and married in New Jersey, USA, during the 1960s. They both shared a love for wildlife, and after visiting Hawaii on their honeymoon, they fell in love with the archipelago’s lush forests and fascinating fauna. They bought some land and decided to settle there. “That is where we learnt the value of forests and realized that despite threats of global warming no serious efforts were being made to save forests for the future,” Anil said.

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This 98-Year-Old Yoga Instructor Is in Way Better Shape Than You

They say age is just a number, and watching 98-year-old V Nanammal effortlessly execute a wide range of difficult yoga poses that practitioners decades her junior still struggle with, I’m inclined to believe that they’re absolutely right. Recognized as the oldest yoga instructor in India, and the second oldest in the world, Nanammal has inspired a whole generation of Indian youths to take the ancient art.

V Nanammal started doing yoga when she was 8, picking up the basics from her father, who was a martial artist. She then continued learning the secrets of the practice under the guidance of her grandfather, in her home town of Coimbatore, India’s Tamid Nadu state. After getting married, Nanammal continued learning yoga from her father-in-law, and soon started teaching others. The elderly yoga instructor says that she never stopped practicing yoga for the last nine decades of her life, and credits it for her good health and incredible flexibility. She claims to have never been to the hospital or even taken any kind of medicine. “I never stopped practicing yoga at any point in my life. That’s the secret of my health,” she says.

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India’s ‘Mother of Orphans’ Has Raised Over 1,400 Abandoned Children

The story of Sindhutai Sapkal is one of incredible determination in the face of adversity, rebirth and love of children who nobody else wanted. The 68-year-old has raised over 1,400 orphans, offering them not just food and shelter, but also the love of a real family. Her amazing work has earned her over 750 awards, and the nickname “Mother of Orphans”.

Sapkal runs four orphanages in her home town of Prune, India’s Maharashtra state – two for girls and two for boys – with the help of her biological daughter, Mamta, and her eldest adopted children, some of whom have become lawyers, doctors and professors. The children under her care were found trying to fend for themselves in railway station, abandoned in dustbins, or even dragged by stray dogs in the streets. New ones are brought to her orphanages all the time, and as long as they are eligible for adoption, she never turns them away. But unlike state-run orphanages, the Mother of Orphans doesn’t give her children up for adoption with other families, and doesn’t turn them away when they turn 18.

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The Annual Cow Dung Cake Battle of Kairuppala

Every year, the people of Kairuppala, a village in India’s Andhra Pradesh state, engage in an epic cow dung cake battle that often leaves dozens injured. They believe the tradition brings them good health and prosperity.

Legend has it that Lord Veerabhadra Swamy, a fearsome form of the Hindu god Shiva, and the Goddess Bhadrakhali fell in love and decided to marry. In order to tease his beloved, Veerabhadra Swamy declared that he did not want to marry anymore, which enraged Bhadrakhali and her clansmen, who decided to teach the deceitful groom a lesson by beating him with cow dung cakes. The other side retaliated, but the goofy battle ended in compromise and the much awaited celestial wedding. Today, the devotees of Kairuppala village celebrate their union by reenacting their mythical battle using the same unconventional weapons.

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Indian Bar Owner Turns Entrance into a Maze to Bypass New Law

A bar owner in Kerala, India, has come up with an innovative way to bypass a recent Supreme Court rule that banned the sale and serving of liquor within 500 meters of national and state highways.

On April 1st, India’s Supreme Court issued an order that bars, pubs and liquor shops across the country should be at least 500m away from state and national highways. The new rule hit business owners hard, and many of them have had to shut down their operations in the last two weeks. But one resourceful bar owner in Kerala appears to have come up with an effective, albeit unconventional, way of bypassing the requirement – by turning the entrance to his venue into a long, winding maze.

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The “Dog Lady of Delhi” Looks After Over 400 Strays

Pratima Devi, a 65-year-old ragpicker from New Delhi, India, has dedicated the last three decades of her life to caring for stray dogs. Rummaging through trash and running a small tea stall barely allows her to support herself, but she’ll gladly skip a meal or two to feed the hundreds of dogs she looks after on a daily basis.

The “Dog Lady of Delhi”, ad Pratima has come to be known in India, never had an easy life. Born into a poor family, she got married to a man 10 years her senior when she was only 7 years old, and had her first child at age 14. Her marriage was not a happy one, as her husband would often come home drunk and beat her, and both she and her mother suffered at the hand of her in-laws. Her husband didn’t have a job, so she had to work all day and take care of the house to make sure they had food on the table.

When he was 5 years old, the oldest of her three children went to New Delhi to work, and when living with her abusive husband became too much to bare, Pratima followed him to start a new life. There, she started working as a domestic helper in the house of a popular model-turned-actor, and later set up her own tea stall, in the Saket neighborhood of Delhi. It was here that she met her best friends, stray dogs.

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8-Year-Old “Mowgli Girl” Found Living with Monkeys in Indian Jungle

An 8-year-old child has been dubbed “Mowgli Girl” after she was found living with monkeys in the jungle of India’s Uttar Pradesh state. The girl is believed to have been separated from society for a long time, as she can neither speak or understand any language, and gets scared at the sight of other people.

In Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, Mowgli was brought up by a pack of wolves, but it the case of this real-life, feminine version of the jungle boy, it was monkeys who provided the care and protection that ensured her survival. Two months ago, Suresh Yadav, a sub-inspector with the Uttar Pradesh police department, was patrolling the Motipur range of Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, in the jungle of Bahraich, when he spotted a young girl surrounded by monkeys.

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Fire Paan – The Hottest Street Snack to Ever Come Out of India

Paan has been a part of Indian cuisine since Vedic times, and today, many varieties are served at street stalls all across the Asian country. But with competition as fierce as it is, paan vendors are constantly working on new types of paan, the most impressive of which is definitely fire paan – a flaming hot snack that is literally set on fire.

Found at nearly every street corner in India, paan regularly consists of a mixture of spices, mukhwas, dried fruits, and sugar wrapped inside a betel leaf. According to Ayurvedic medicine, paan can cure a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds and headaches, but it is also used a breath freshener and a virility booster. Fire paan is basically a regular paan that just happens to be on fire when it goes into your mouth.

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Man Named Saddam Hussain Struggles to Find Work in India

Saddam Hussain, a marine engineer from Jamshedpur, India, claims that having the same name as the notorious former dictator of Iraq has made it impossible for him to secure a job in the field he has trained so hard in.

When Saddam’s grandfather chose his name, 25 years ago, he had no idea that it would one day become a huge burden. After all, the name is very popular among Indian Muslims, but due to his career choice it is proving an insurmountable hurdle.

Two years after graduating from Tamil Nadu’s Noorul Islam University as a marine engineer, Saddam Hussain is still struggling to find work, despite ranking second in his batch of 2014. All of his former colleagues have secured jobs with companies around the world, but he keeps getting rejected. He has showed up for interviews with multinational shipping companies some 40-odd times, but they all ended in rejection.

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