Good News

Some positive stories that came our way

Tim Hulse and Rini Barman  


Donor banks save babies Milk Banks
Donor milk banks were never an option for Indian mothers, but they are now. After the success of 'Jeevan Dhara', the first state-run human milk bank,in Rajasthan's Udaipur, more such facilities have been planned across the state. 'Amaara', Delhi's first pasteurized human milk bank set up by Fortis La Femme in collaboration with Breast Milk Foundation, a non-profit organization, is a similar initiative.

Breastfeeding infants under the age of two can save up to 13 per cent of the developing world's children (under five) with its immunity power, according to The Lancet. Children who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months are likely to survive six times more than those who miss out on breastfeeding. Malnourished infants who have been deprived of breast milk can now hope to have access to it.

We hope these banks are replicated across India and monitored closely. This will empower mothers and spur the growth of future generations of healthy babies.

Teenager's life-saving design invention

Irish teenager Emily Duffy learnt just what it's like to be homeless when she spent a day "living rough" on the streets of Dublin as part of a charity project. And the experience inspired her to invent a new sleeping bag for homeless people.

Deciding that traditional bags are potentially dangerous and hard to keep dry, she came up with so-called 'Duffily Bags', which have a fire retardant and waterproof shell made of metallic bubble wrap. Instead of zippers, Velcro straps allow users to get in and out more easily.

"It's lightweight and designed to last," says the 15-year-old Duffy, who lives in Limerick. "It will last many years and much longer than a conventional sleeping bag."

Appropriately, the bags are produced by former homeless people at the Mendicity Institution charity in Dublin.


Reviving Chipko in Delhi

Nature-loving folks in the capital have yet another reason to look forward to their weekends. Verhaen Khanna, 27, from Delhi has started organizing tree- climbing workshops for people between the ages "five and 150". New Delhi Nature Society (NDNS), which he has set up, encourages the community to participate in green activities such as camping, planting trees, tree-hugging and yoga classes. Khanna wishes to create an "army of ninja environmentalists" who can help protect nature and fight pollution. The NDNS YouTube channel, where he uploads interviews and videos on nature conservation, is helping spread the word.

Large banyan trees will now get the love they deserve, thanks to this new version of the Chipko movement. "We make adults feel like children. Many senior citizens come for our workshops and they are always very happy. Some say that they had not climbed a tree in 50 years," says Khanna. More power to green warriors like him.



Nobel nomination for migrant rescuers

It started as just an ordinary day for army sergeant Antonis Deligiorgis. But it would end as one of the many stories of heroism that has led to Greek islanders, on the frontline of the refugee crisis, being nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Sitting at a seafront cafe on the island of Rhodes, Deligiorgis saw a tragedy begin to unfold. A boat packed with Syrian and Eritrean migrants had struck the rocks offshore and was sinking. "It disintegrated in a matter of minutes," says the father of two. "Without a second's thought, I did what I had to do." Along with others, he plunged into the sea and brought 20 of the 93 migrants to shore, among them 24-year-old Eritrean Wegasi Nebiat (pictured with Deligiorgis).

Deligiorgis says there was nothing brave about fulfilling his duty "as a human being, as a man". But he says the memory will always be with him. "I will never forget her face," he says. "Ever."