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7 Unsung Indian Heroes Who Deserve a Biopic Based On Their Lives

Updated on February 22, 2020
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India is a beautiful country with diverse cultural heritage. It is a developing country with its own set of socio-economic problems but Indians are breaking norms inspite of the difficulties and challenges along the way. There is a fighter in each one of us but often we don't explore our full potential. This article honours 10 lesser known inspiring Indian personalities whose stories need to be told more often and who deserve a film based on their lives:

“What's the story of

the hidden daisies among the roses,

& the stars which break at the dawn,

or the littered leaves after the storm.


— Saleem Sharma

1. Anand Kumar - Trains underprivileged students for IIT-JEE

Anand Kumar hails from Patna. His father was a clerk. Cambridge University had offered him a seat but his humble beginnings got in the way and he couldn't attend it. His papers on the 'Number Theory' were published in international mathematical magazines. He would solve mathematical problems during the day and sell paapad in the evening. In 2002, he started Super 30 Programme to train underprivileged students for IIT-JEE, the entrance examination for the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). 15 years later, 27 of the 30 students he trained ended up clearing the IIT-JEE exam. By the year 2018, 422 out of his 480 students had been selected for IITs. Discovery Channel has made a documentary on his exemplary work in the field of education and now a Bollywood movied titled Super 30 is being made on his life.

2. Arunima Sinha - Run over by a train, climbed Mt Everest 2 years later

Arunima was a national level volleyball player and only 23 at the time when tragedy struck her. She was traveling by the Padmavat Express when a gang of thieves attacked her. As she resisted, the goons threw her off the moving train where 49 carriages ran over her legs.The doctors had to amputate her legs to save her life. But she didn't let the handicap come in the way of her dreams. Two years later, Arunima climbed the Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world. She is the first woman amputee to scale the peak. She has climbed many other tall peaks around the world since.

3. Irom Chanu Sharmila - Anti-AFSPA crusader who's the world's longest hunger striker

Irom Sharmila also known as the "Iron Lady" or "Mengoubi" ("the fair one") is a civil rights activist from Manipur. Her story is that of resilience, courage and immense power of the human spirit. Having suffered from insurgency as a kid, Irom began raising her voice against the Arms Forces Special Powers Act which applied to the seven states of Northeast India and granted security forces the power to search properties without a warrant, and to arrest people, and to use deadly force if there is "reasonable suspicion" that a person is acting against the state.She began a hunger strike in 2000 against the repealing of AFSPA which she ended on 9 August 2016, after 16 years of fasting. Having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been "the world's longest hunger striker".

4. Captain Vikram Batra - Pivotal in the Kargil win

Captain Vikram Batra was an officer of the Indian Army. He was posthumously awarded with the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest and most prestigious award for valour, for his bravery during the 1999 Kargil War between India and Pakistan. He led one of the toughest operations in mountain warfare in Indian history. Captain Vikram Batra, who would've been 45 today, was often referred to as ‘'Sher Shah'’ ("Lion King") in the intercepted messages of the Pakistan Army. While saving a wounded soldier, he pushed the subedaar aside saying "Tu baal-bachchedaar hai, hatt jaa peeche (You have a family and children, you go back)" and was subsequently killed in action. His famous last words were "Jai Mata Di".

5. Rukhsana Kausar - Killed LeT militants with an axe

Rukhsana Kausar's story seems too brave to be true. She lived in terroist-hit Rajouri District of Jammu & Kashmir. One evening, Lashkar-e-Taiba militants invaded her home and demanded her family to hand over Rukhsana to them. Watching her family being attacked by the militants, Rukhsana emerged from the hiding place with an axe and hit the LeT commander Abu Osama on his head. She then grabbed the dead militant's AK-47 and opened fire along with her brother at the militants, forcing them to flee the scene. She was awarded the India National Bravery Award. Rukhsana, who had never picked up a rifle before that incident, set an example for others to emulate.

Real courage is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. Doing the unpopular thing because it's what you believe, and the heck with everybody.

— Justin Cronin

6. Mamta Rawat - Saved hundreds of lives in the Uttarakhand flood of 2013

24-year-old Mamta Rawat helped rescue hundreds of people from the 2013 floods which devastated Uttarakhand. She lost her house in the disaster but this did not deter her from climbing extremely dangerous terrains to save the stranded pilgrims and locals. Having been trained in mountaineering, Mamta led a group of 30 school students to safety. She even carried an old woman 3 km up a mountain so that she could be evacuated by helicopter. She also helped in constructing a makeshift rope bridge to get stranded people cross a river. Mamta, a school dropout, had no official badge or government support for this rescue operation.

7. Sohaila Abdulali - Fighting sexual violence

Sohaila Abdulali was 17 years old when a group of four men armed with a sickle raped her while her friend was held hostage for hours. But her indomitable spirit never succumbed to the traumatic incident. She not only overcame the scars but also went on to become an author, penning two books in the process. Her article "After Being Raped, I Was Wounded, My Honor Wasn't" was published in the New York Times and was instrumental in changing the way how people look at rape victims. Her book titled “I Fought for My Life… And Won!” not only sought justice for herself but for the entire womankind. More than 3 decades have passed since that tragic incident, and Sohaila is now an author, public speaker, teacher and freelance editor. She is living in America and continues to be the voice for all the oppressed women around the world. Sohaila's story is exactly the kind of inspiration we need.

Super 30 | Official Trailer

© 2019 Shaloo Walia


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    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      7 months ago from India

      Thank you bLawrence!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      This was very interesting.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      8 months ago from India

      Thanks Chitraganda for your encouraging words!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful article and a great list of the unsung heroes of India. I am sure your article is already a first step to acknowledge their commitment and contributions towards the society. Wonderful and inspirational information.

      Thanks for sharing this excellent article.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      8 months ago from India

      I am glad you liked it, Dora.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      8 months ago from The Caribbean

      What great commendable bravery on the part of each individual! Thanks for sharing their story and inspiring us with examples of power in the human spirit.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      8 months ago from India

      Thank you Bill! Yeah, may their tribe increase!!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      A wonderful list and I so agree with you. Good people deserve recognition and we need more of them.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      8 months ago from India

      Thank you Eric!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting and well done as always Shaloo. I just love the positive of life.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      8 months ago from India

      Yeah, Venkatchari ji...a biopic on Capt. Batra's life is also in the making with Siddharth Malhotra in the lead role. I am happy that filmmakers are finally making biopics on inspiring figures instead of making all those films on gangsters.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      8 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very great article about the heroic deeds and sacrifices made by these unsung heroes of India. A biopic on Vikram Batra is also in the offing besides that of Super 30 on Anand Kumar's life. It is very nice to see that our cine field is recognizing these great people and coming up with their biopics.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      8 months ago from India

      @DreamerMeg Super 30 is expected to release this year. I am also looking forward to see the inspiring story of Anand Kumar come alive on screen. It's people like these who make the world a better place.

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      8 months ago from Northern Ireland

      I look forward to being able to watch super 30. There are brave people all over the world, striving to improve themselves and help others. You have chosen true heroes.


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