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GoodNewsIndia: Appreciation

...and some dissent in red...... Click here for comments received before Dec 31,2001


hello !

I just felt compelled to write this ....

You document the stories of people living in proverty in a nation which has all the resources to be great.

I think there must come a time when Indians have to understand the implications of looting by India's own ruling classes after Independence : billions and billions of public money looted with impunity and no fear of punishment.The amazing part is that the entire sordid saga has remained completely hidden from the public eye !

The situation has reached such a pass that it becomes difficult to separate the criminals from the people who run this country.

If there was somebody who had the courage to stand up to this plunder (larger and more severe than that done by the Muslim invaders or the British), people like Mahadeva would have had a better life.

A sordid example : today's incident of yet another fire in one of the ammunition depots. I know this would be quickly erased from public memory by divertionary rhetoric from the rulers. I feel convinced that elements within the Indian army are involved in burning India's public resources. But nobody would have the courage to point fingers to this Indian white elephant.

The proverty and lack of improvement in Indian quality of life has a lot to do with a majority of Indian's apathy and lack of knowledge of what the ruling elite has done and continues to do to this nation.

Nothing is going to improve unless true rule of law can be implemented in India and no feel good stories would change that.

It might sound pessimistic, but you would appreciate the old Indian saying : the truth shall prevail.

Bidendu Bannerjee

Jan 11,2002

Editor replies...

hello bidendu...

Your mail was so different from the appreciation I receive that I felt I owed a reply to your point before I say anything about goodnewsindia.com[gni]

In many ways I was of the same mind-set as yours until 5 years ago. Hopelessness, cyncism and anger used to fill me - and they still do, but much less frequently. Because, as I traveled around anonymously among the folk of this land I found a strange optimism and zest for life. At least, until the talk turned to the venality of babus and netas. Save those times, people seemed concerned about caring for their families and being as happy as possible with a nod toward Gods.

And then I began to find people who did more than this: quite a few seemed to go beyond these cares, to shut themselves to the no-doubt-real-evil that exists everywhere, and try and do something about this land. They enjoyed life as it was and loved the ways of this land. Most of these were unconscious of any sense of mission, but were just doing their thing, which accrued to what you may call 'nation building' effort.

They were the provocation for my starting gni. It is unabashedly 'subjective' for I believe that people who read these feel-good [-but true!] stories have enough 'objectivity' out there in the mainstream media to make them realise India has enough to worry and feel sad about. The mission of gni is not to make people see India through rose tinted glasses, but to point to what good there is. And perhaps inspire people by making them --well, why not?-- feel good. It may not be the whole fruit but just the juice with all the pulp and pits removed, but I can solemnly say the juice is neither synthetic nor adulterated. I think a direct response to the Mahadeva story will amplify my point. This was a person I interviewed personally [-- at his work-place, the graveyard!] and can vouch for the sense of belonging and cheer in him and his family. The 'evil-forces' that you bemoan have in no way aggravted his condition. He is not in poverty and in fact marvels that he has come through and has a loving family in a friendly neighbourhood. It may be the case that he should not be so easily contented and the state should reach out for the boys such as Mahadeva was. That can be another debate and you no doubt will have enough to say on that.

The point of gni and Mahadeva's life is how for all the ills, things are changing-- by which I mean opportunities, however basic, are becoming numerous and accessible.

Above all, for me personally -- who 'does' nothing practical to solve India's problems -- it is something of an atonement to at least celebrate those that do. If in the process, visitors to the site develop new perspectives on the Indian-way, all the better.

Please do tell me if I have skirted any of the issues you raised. Have I made some sense? Already this is one of the longest responses I have made. In a way your words helped me think through and better understand my work with gni.

with regards

for GoodNewsIndia

D V Sridharan

A FANTASTIC site you have made - makes me feel really proud of being an Indian.

Vivek Bakshi

Jan 8,2002

I accidentally came across your site and it was good that I made it.Having served the Indian Army as a Major before resigning my commision,I am very passionate about my country.I am envious when I hear talk about China,its economic strides etc., but your site provides me with solace that we are not very far behind. At this point my only comment would be "Good,Keep it up".

Maj K C S Reddy

Jan 3,2002

...this site reminds us of the good things we have. This is what is exactly required to revive the dead self-esteem in our countrymen.

Alok Jain

Jan 7,2002

A really good site with a lot of good news !! Going to a site like this really makes us aware of the true capabilities and potential of India.

Khozem Dohadwala

Jan 4,2002

Outstanding site. I plan to be a regular visitor to your website.

Pradeep Nambiar

Jan 4,2002

I was reading the site and liked it very much. The whole concept is noble. I would like to contribute to the cause by any means, monetarily or via some work. I am in Richmond, Virginia, US.

Jitendra Desai

Jan 4,2002

The concept of listing the number of good things that are happening in India is excellent. It is very refreshing to go through the pages of the site.It is a very different kind of reading experience from what we have had so far. The site gives out lot of positive energy which affects one's mind in a very nice way. Keep it up and wish you all the very best.

Radhika Sen

Jan 3,2002

I am extremely delighted to visit this site. For us, NRIs, this is an absolutely new, yet wonderful experience. Keep up the good work and India will prosper. I am spreading the word out for our beloved country and your excellent site.

Raja Shah

Jan 3,2002

I just had a look at your site and thought that it is among the best Indian sites.

Girish Sundaresan

Jan 6,2002

I can't tell you, how happy I am to have found this website. Simple, honest and a delightful website. They say India is a failure -- day and night. But how can a billion people be doing the wrong thing? This website is a proof that India can do it; we just need have more faith in ourselves... and Goodnewsindia.com Imagine if a billion people have even a tiny bit of more faith in the country and themselves.. miracles needn't be only in fairy tales.

Krishnan Kandasamy

Jan 4,2002



Congratulations on your site. Congratulations also for reminding us, in these times when hatred seems everywhere, that there is a place for, a need for, optimism.

Dilip d'Souza

Mar 14, 2002

I have been to GNI site a number of times. Infact each time I get depressed looking at the discouraging, negative news about India, I immediately go to your site and read some success stories to lift my spirits.

I always had an urge to do something, but never knew what to do thinking that someday God will find a way to let me know what to do. I am glad He made me chance upon your site one day when I accidentally came to your site while searching for something else. I have started to compile the list of different activities that I can take up too. I know it will be a long, hard way. But, I am glad I found a starting point. Thank you very much for awakening this sense of duty to be dispensed towards my home land.

Sri Kalyani Sakamuri

Jan 25,2002

I enjoy your site tremendously. It is the first site of it's kind that is so positive and uplifting. Thank you so very much forstarting something thatmotivates and makes every Indianproud.

Deepti Dave

Jan 23,2002

So much nicer hearing/reading good news rather than the usual soppy stuff.Thanks for a great place to visit.

Anita Jasani

Jan 23,2002

I am really impressed by the article about Kallanjiam movement. Hats off to Vasimalai, Sumathi and Usharani who were successful in bringing out Chinnapillai from the dusts of Pullusery. I am proud of their achievements. I am indebted to them as a citizen of India. It is through the genius and efforts of people like these that India has been able to break the shackle of the past without any blood shed.

Mukund V Mavalankar

Feb 11,2002

For a long time, Ihave been looking for a site on India which will have articles about our strengths and achievements. And then, I came across your site. I must say it is a great place to start a day at work. Thank you for such a wonderful collection of articles. One of the articles I particularly liked is the one on Konkan Railways.

Praveen Patnala

Feb 9,2002

I have already spread the news to many of my students and my friends. I'm a graduate student at University of Florida doing my PhD in Math. I thought your site was pretty cool. I shall continue to spread the news about your site.

Kudos to your sincere and good efforts for a good cause of spreading good things about India , when even the frontline news papers of India doesn't do much in that direction.

Arun Krishnaswamy

Feb 17,2002

I found your site recently and have been going through it relentlessly (at the expense of my work I must admit!!). It is simply wonderful and I must commend you on a great job.

Adrian Sequeira

Feb 9,2002

For years I have been wondering - why are our newspapers full of negative news? Sure, they have to report, but surely GOOD things do happen in our country? Why does not someone start a newspaper titled GOOD NEWS and report the positive things that happen in our country?

Therefore I'm quite delighted by your site.

Roshan R. Shroff

Jan 7,2002

...congratulations for making a wonderful site that looks on the positive aspect of country.

Meeta Mishra

Jan 20,2002

Thank you very much for your mail. It is encouraging to see a webmaster accepting feedback AND implementing it so fast :-) This certainly shows that the site is managed, alive and kicking !! For us (visitors), that translates to frequent updates and new content. I will certainly add the URL to my "favorites" and make is point to visit you whenever I am surfing.

M V Narasimha Rao

Jan 18,2002

The best new year's gift I received this year was information about your website in Rajeev Srinivasan's article on Rediff. And if I have to use one word to capture the effect that the content of your site, your vision in creating the site, and the effort that has gone into executing the vision into reality, that word is "mindblowing". The articles you present are like a soothing balm for our frustrated minds that are daily disillusioned by the news that comes out of our mainstream media. I live in the US and cannot physically assist you in collecting content but if there is any way at all that I can help, please let me know.

Prem Natarajan

Jan 6,2002

A brilliant idea. An excellent site. Its so refreshing to read something positive and nice about India.

Abhay Joshi

Jan 4,2002

What a lovely site. Congratulations and I wish I had seen it before. How can one contribute?

Sucheta Dalal [columnist, Ind Express}

Jan 4,2002

I learnt about your site from Rajeev Srinivasan's wonderful article in rediff.com. I simply don't find the right words to describe the joy that I felt when I visited your site. It is superb. Your writing style is great. I loved your 'The GNI story' section. The articles are very heart warming and give great hope to one. I have spent the last 2 hours reading various articles and I cannot get away from it! Thanks so much for doing such a wonderful job at such an age! May god bless you with great health and vitality, so you may live long to make this venture a great success. I live and work in Chicago, USA. If there is anyway I can help you with your work, I would be most happy to do it. Jai Hind !

Vallinayagam Sankar

Jan 4,2002

This site is very good. I will be visiting again and again. Though there are several good activities taking place in India I have been focusing on the primary education domain for the past three years. I wish to suggest the following: Primary education activity by Pratham is one of the most active and well recognized. More that 180,000 children are covered and a few thousand Balsakhis are becoming a positive force in villages and slums across India. See if you can run a comprehensive story or a specific one of any given location activity of the 22 centers India.

Srinivasa Rao

Jan 9,2002

Good News India just keeps getting better and better! I will write Sue Carpenter about her work in Jaisalmer.

Tody Cezar, Spain

Jan 8,2002


Ah, what a wonderful site. Congratulations and thanks. Being far away from India makes us that much more reliant on the media, which means that only that which is gory or violent or communal or bollywood constitutes Indian news. Your site is such a wonderful diversion.

Thanks again for all the hard work.

Sriram Srinivasan

Apr 17,2002

What a lovely mission to have in life!

I see myself as an optimist. Yet there are enough times when I have despaired of change in India -recent events in Gujarat and at the Centre being a case in point.Your website is a source of hope and I write, therefore, with deeply felt gratitude.

Alka Hingorani

Apr 17,2002

I commend you on this website. I discovered it only this morning and have already spread the 'Good News'!

I belong to an organisation in the US called 'Indians for Collective Action', which provides seed funding to organisations in India, that are into integrated rural development projects. My husband and I visit India 4 months in a year and travel around in the rural areas and our experiences have been similar to yours. We have documented several stories and have been wanting to spread the good side of India and I was thrilled to find out that there are others involved in similar activities. Our organisation is modifying its website and would like to provide a link to your website from it if you do not mind. The new web site will be functional from May 6th onwards.

Keep up the great work and I look forward to more of your stories.

Geetha Rajagopal

Apr 16,2002

Congratulations! I salute you for your relentless effort. I have been following your site since its inception.

Sarat Chava

Apr 14,2002

It gladdens my heart. I am recommending this to all my friends. A lot of us were looking for something like this that would focus on the positive and celebrate India's successes.

Suhas Kelkar

Apr 11,2002

The first time I visited your site was a great experience. The first article read was Konkan Railway. Amidst all the chaos, corruption, dirty games of politics, hopelessness, disrepute that Indians give to India and fellow Indians, I found a place you can identify yourself with. A place where I discovered that Indians are not that corrupt, that incapable, that hopeless as the general picture tends to show. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, in darkness there is always a ray of hope. Thenthe list of articles went on likearticles onthe Indore Hospital, Gopalakrishnan's HEC, Neem-Turmeric patent ...the list continues.

You are doing great work. Continue doing it. Hats off to you. Least anyone can do is tell friends about this site, which, I aim to continue doing.

Manisha Gambhir

Apr 11,2002

...let me thank you profoundly for putting up such a wonderful web site that simply inspires every Indian's dreams of rebuilding our country's glory, soar high!

Chandra Vaidyanathan, Boston, Mass, USA

Mar 18,2002

Today I browsed GoodNewsIndia at leisure. That was a jolly good one hour that I spent. All the stories are indeed very interesting and quite valuable as well. I felt considerably cheered up after the one hour and immediately decided to mail you.

What you say about the kind of stories that you wish to carry on this website is also quite remarkbale. It is so true that institutions, people and things which require a 'qualification' are not really what the 'good' stories are all about. And it made me think how difficult it would be to find such individuals. However, your website shows that though difficult, it is not impossible. I also really liked the no-frills and no-nonsese attitude of the writing; it is straight forward and direct. One can read them without the feeling that you are going to be taken for a ride or that somebody has paid to get this write - up on their work for cheap publicity.

Aparna Vaidik

Mar 17,2002

It is one of the finest sites on India I have seen in a long long time. One of the biggest problem the Indians have is that we are one of the MOST SELF-CRITICAL race in the world...

Bharat Joshi

Jan 7,2002

I would like to once again salute you for your untiring efforts for our country. I am delighted at the lucid and heart-warming stories of achievement you have found and provided proper supporting documentation for. I think there's nothing fundamentally wrong in India other than a) a poor self-image, b) poor leadership. It is through inspirational stories such as those you have identified that we can get to improve the self-image. The leadership part will come in time.

I am delighted that you got many mails [...following mention in his column -- Ed.-GNI] I think you and I both share the same vision for India.

I do wish other 60 year-olds would show your kind of fighting spirit -- that of the 'intellectual kshatriya'. We need tens, hundreds of Sri D V Sridharans.

Rajeev Srinivasan, [columnist, rediff.com]

Jan 4,2002

Great effort.. I am too much ashamed of myself to say anything more congratualatory. Keep it up. You are the true Indian.

S Mukunda

Jan 4,2002

"Simply Amazing" is the phrase that pops up into my mind on seeing your website. A great job that's bound to boost the (usually sagging) Indian morale. Wish more were like you.

Vikas Surve

Jan 4,2002

We have tons of Indian mental colonies who think west is best. We have tons of literature by mental slaves which is full of negative image of India. At this moment when we are not able to recognize excellence of our own country men, this site is doing a excellent work. Shat shat abhinandan and sadhuwaad.

Sunil Agarwal

Jan 4,2002

I am writing to thank you for the great effort you have made to combat the incessant cyncism and self-hate displayed by so many Indian publications. It makes a refreshing change to read your site. I will forward any inspiring stories I come across to you.

Harshit Dave

Jan 3,2002

This is a site for sore eyes! People who are confident and proud of our national identity are becoming increasingly rare. I have very recently come upon this resource and intend to spend time regularly on it.

Please keep up the good work.

Anoop Chengara

Jan 3,2002

I am one of the admirers of the goodnewsindia.com. I am currently a student pursuing a masters in Biological Engineering. However, I eke my living as a web/ database designer. I also have some experience with interface design - the art of making objects more noticeable and usable. I would love to contribute in any way possible to the site.. anything in the realms of web design, scripts is something I could do.

With utmost appreciation and regards,

Krishna Srinivas, Missouri, USA

Jan 8,2002


It's so common these days to be inundated by all things negative about India, that its a refreshing to come across a site like this. It's the small changes illustrated here that are eventually going to make a difference.


Apr 23,2002

I appreciate the attempt to put up positive uplifting news about India.

However I think the article with McKinsey's recommendations should appear in a website called "Bad News For India's Future". I am no economist but even I can see that these recommendations are for the enrichment of India's elites and foreign investors. It is worth remembering that most of this so called investment is speculative and does not improve infrastructure in any way.

Rohan Fernandes

Apr 22,2002

Your site is quite inspirational. You have brought to reality what has been in my mind for a couple of years. The mission is laudable, objectives clear, format impressive. Your passion and zeal will help you to realise your dream and you have my ton of good wishes. I have become a subscriber.

Shrinivas Pandit, Mumbai

Apr 20,2002

I kicked myself for not knowing there was such a wonderful site. People ought to be told of the good work that some people are doing quietly without jostling for rewards and recognition.The newspapers, magazines and even websites are full of sickening news. GNI comes through as a breath of fresh air.

Rtd. Chief Secretary, Kerala Govt.

Apr 10,2002

Lot of us in the US want to help any little way we can, the poor in India. But we have the distrust of the organizations. If you could list some of the deserving , honest organization and rate them it might help. Many of the kids in the US want to do volunteer work in India but are not sure where. A list by region would help.

Manikarnika Srinivasan

Apr 3,2002

I am a software engineer working in the US. There are days when I long to go back and be amongst my people, but feel sad and incapacitated to do that due to various personal limitations, and also in no small measure due to the barrage of negative news that seems to be emanating from the Indian media.

Your site, and the heart and effort you put into the site seem to be a beacon of light shining from a far away light house guiding my little ship back home. The positive news archive that you maintain has given me some hope in the future of our land and our people, and some joy and succour in learning their successes, however small.

One thing comes to mind - Gandhiji said - 'India lives in her villages'. It seems most of the successes reported are through people at that level taking initiative and responsibility into their own hands. It is my feeling that in our ancient past the lives of people and the role governments played there were based more on an organic and decentralized structure than the centralization we have seen lately, over the last 2 to 7 hundred years.

Maybe the modern malaise of rebellions is because people do not have local control and/or responsibility, or have a feeling of lack of control and/or responsibility over their lives and development there of. It would seem natural to conclude from the above ,that once we -- each and every one of our brothers and sisters -- feel that we can assert our control and show responsibility in action, there will be a new dawn.


Mar 21,2002

Whenever I feel sad after reading/hearing news about India, I click on GNI. This site makes me happy just to think that the situation in India is not HOPELESS. The best part of the site is that it tells the stories of ordinary people and their extraordinary feats. I have not read any of the news published here on any other Indian News site. These unglamorous yet very positive and interesting stories make my day!

Ravi Kalantri, St Louis, MO, USA

Mar 19,2002

Indians like myself have, after a long time, realized the value and virtue of letting the general public know of success stories in our country. When I read the widely circulated newspapers, I fight a battle everyday to prevent myself from reaching the conclusion that my country is one that has no hope for the future. My mornings are virtually dismembered with news of bribery, corruption and the tremendous influence that small minds exercise on our nation's life. Time is ripe for a change. It has been said that nothing succeeds like success - I would like to add that news of success is the best source of future success because it inspires one to perform. This mail is to express my appreciation of your efforts and my wholehearted support for your mission. Might I also add that I am thrilled to see that GoodNewsIndia looks upon itself as a professionally run business "without any great anxiety about revenue issues". The importance of looking upon an enterprise that demands professionalism on all fronts is something that all Indians must and (keeping with the positive outlook of your efforts) will come to appreciate.

I just read the articles on your website. What a wonderful job you have done! I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for this most excellent collection of stories about positive developments in our amazing country. I am an expatriate Indian and have been living in the US for the past 7 years. I used to always mentally file away positive stories and experiences about India and bring it up when some fellow Indian starts carping about how "terrible" things are back home. I have always been amazed at the capacity of us Indians to exclusively focus on the negative and bad aspects of our country and completely block out or ignore positives. I also would like to commend you on the presentation and journalistic style. The quiet and matter-of-fact way of reporting makes for good reading and lends credibility to the stories. You have done a truly wonderful service to the country.

C. Gopinath

Jan 4,2002

Hats off to you. It was very difficult for me to hold my tears back to see a website pouring encomiums on my beloved country particularly during these days when anything related to India is being looked down by its own people. You have instilled a sense of optimisim in me about India. I work in the US as a software professional. Please do let me know the ways that I can contribute to GoodNewsIndia.

P V Sankaran

Jan 3,2002

I visited your web site today and enjoyed reading many articles and stories. Please keep up the good work and let me know if I can be of any little help.

Ramesh Venkatramiah

Jan 3,2002

I got into goodnewsindia.com from today's rediff article reference. And I have been there for past 3 hours...seem to have read 70% of the site... This is a great effort and a badly needed one during these times. It is amazing to read the stories about people who change the lives of self and oters around them. My hope and best wishes are with you to continue this effort in future. I have been away from india for almost 3 years and reading internet newspapers has been very disappointing.

P K Satheesh, Ca, USA

Jan 3,2002

I read with great interest many of the positive and interesting news about so many unknowns in India who are performing. Thank you for creating such a great site. Please keep up the good work. I will try my best to ensure that I can email about your web-site to as many Indians as possible. I am currently working in Boston, USA. How can I contribute personally to the development of the site? Please let me know.

K P Rajan

Jan 4,2002