India's 10 Unsung Personalities
Akhil is a peasant leader and an RTI activist from Assam. Akhil came to national attention after he was awarded the Shanmugam Manjunath Integrity Award in 2008 for his persistent fight against corruption and attempts to bring transparency in the government. He was awarded the national Right to Information (RTI) Award by Public Cause Research Foundation in 2010 for his role in exposing the 1.25 crore scam in Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojna (SGRY) and Rs 60 lakh scam in the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) in Golaghat district of Assam by using the RTI Act. Akhil donated the entire sum of 2lakhs of the Award to his organization KMSS.
Babar Ali is a student and teacher from Murshidabad in West Bengal. He was called the “youngest headmaster in the world” by BBC in 2009, at the age of sixteen. Babar, a student himself, enrolled at the government-run Raj Govinda School in Berhampore. In the afternoons he would teach students in a school he founded in his parents’ back yard in Murshidabad. He began teaching at the age of nine, mostly as a game, and then decided to continue teaching other children. The school continues to be run as an outdoor school and has ten teachers including Babar Ali himself. All of them are students at schools or colleges and volunteer to teach at the school. There are 800 children learning at the school and education there is completely free for the poor. In 2009, Babar won a prize for his work from the programme Real Heroes Award of the Indian English news channel CNN-IBN.