17-year-old sets up digital platform to herald Mumbai's unsung heroes

Mumbai: It was just another 'regular' day in the lockdown when 17-year-old Raghav Ruia saw the garbage collector of his housing society in a miserable state as he did not have enough money to treat a kin of his, who needed immediate medical attention. The man went door-to-door telling residents the story of his predicament and by the end of the week, had earned nearly Rs 3 lakh in donation.

This incident brought home to Raghav the impact of story-telling on someone's life and pushed him to create an independent online platform, to provide recognition for such heroes, who would go unsung.

From a bhajan singer, vegetable seller to social workers to daily-wage labourers, Raghav's platform highlights how the good deeds of every one in society go a long way.

Raghav set up www.unsungheroesonline.org and www.thestudenthouse.org, where he specifically pushes students to kickstart their own projects and get their research funded. His website has got 42,000 hits, averaging 3,000 daily.

From helping students chase their dreams to highlighting the unsung heroes of the society, the teen is using his internet platform to motivate his peers.

"There are a lot of people doing good for society. We highlight those unsung heroes and make sure their stories reach the youth, so that it can inspire them to do similarly," Raghav told FPJ.

"Often there are students who want to get their projects started or funded. Through our website, we help them with logistical support to help kickstart their venture," he says.

Raghav is a Class 12 student at the BD Somani school. Apart from helping students with their projects and highlighting stories of heroes in the city, Raghav also mentors junior students. Students seeking counsellilng for their studies and co-curriculars get registered on the website and get expert help.

"At this age, students are often confused and lose their way. So, we connect them with a career counsellor or mentor when they approach us," Raghav said.

However, his endeavours are not just confined to his website. He has also put social media platforms to good use to extend his youth outreach and presently has a dedicated team of 27 working for him.

"I believe that in today’s world, proactivity is the best quality a student/human being can cultivate. With so much changing around us, it is imperative for all of us to be ‘proactive’ in adapting to this change," states the 17-year-old.

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Free Press Journal