This week’s spots of cheer.

A heritage walk in Chennai is uncovering a forgotten world of books, libraries and publishing houses

The strong links between publishing houses and the freedom struggle also became more pronounced as we continued along the walk. Mylapore isn’t exactly a modern day urban hub, but a fair amount of imagination is needed to erase the modern fixtures out of these scenes and visualise them as sites of pre-Independence history.

Video: This five-year-old Kashmiri girl has taken on the mammoth task of cleaning up the Dal Lake


Tired with people’s habit of littering, Jannat has taken matters into her tiny hands.

How a former SAI coach is making Nashik the hub for long-distance running in India

It is now etched in Indian sporting folklore that Kavita Raut, easily the most accomplished of Singh’s graduates, used to do carry buckets of water from her village’s nearest water resource several times a day. Raut went on to become India’s first Commonwealth Games medallist in athletics after Milkha Singh when she landed gold in New Delhi 2010.

Video series: The story of Dakshayani Velayudhan, one of the women architects of the Indian Republic


She was the only Dalit woman to be elected to the Constituent Assembly and one of the 15 women to have left their imprint on the Indian Constitution.

‘Plastic is poor man’s friend’: Padma Shri winner Rajagopalan Vasudevan uses waste to build roads

In 2002, Vasudevan came up with the idea of spraying dry, shredded plastic waste, made up of pieces as small as 2 mm in size, over gravel or bitumen heated to 170 degrees Celsius. The plastic melted and coated the stones with a thin film. The plastic-coated stones were then added to molten tar. Since both plastic and tar are petroleum products, they bind well. Vasudevan first tried out this technique to pave a road on the college campus. It yielded twin benefits: it reused plastic waste and built durable roads.

Vasudevan is delighted at receiving the Padma Shri. “The award is recognition for socially-relevant work,” he said. “It is not a very advanced technology, it is actually a very simple way of ensuring better roads.”

Watch: This cyclist stopped to give a drink of water to a thirsty koala bear on a hot day

Australia’s heatwave has caused temperatures to rise up to over 42 degrees Celsius this season, causing extremes dryness and leaving animals helpless in their search for water. Sully recalls it being so hot that he wrote on his Facebook page, “The koalas were flagging us down to give em water”.

Sully’s bottle was emptied out, but he probably didn’t mind.

By performing Bharatanatyam in Delhi’s streets, these women reclaim the dance form – and the city

Traditionally, the codified classical dance form, considered to be sacred and divine, emerged from the temples only to be safely escorted into the auditorium. Through time, experiments that have dared to take the form out of the auditorium have been met with mixed reactions both from practitioners and the audience.

Video: Artist transforms people into animals with just water-based paints and some yoga


Emma Fay transforms her models into realistic animals, including a caterpillar, a crocodile and a cobra.

‘A very, very special victory’: Twitter rejoices after one of India’s finest overseas Test wins

It is first time that an all-pace attack has fashioned victory for India on overseas soil. Overall, the four full- time seamers shared all 20 wickets in the match, which ended on the fourth day.  

Watch: Children in the United States have some very cheeky opinions of Donald Trump


One shy boy in the video thought Trump had a great year in office, because he “saved the world from harmony”, while a girl expressed disapproval of his plans to “put a wall between Mexico”. Another one denied that Trump was smart, because “he treats people badly”.

In photos: When Gandhi met Charlie Chaplin and recommended a diet with salads to Netaji Bose

Pramod Kapoor, the founder-publisher of Roli Books, has managed to find a host of rare, even unpublished, photographs from the life of the father of the Indian nation. In his book Gandhi: An Illustrated Biography, Kapoor shies away from the big questions about Gandhi’s life – he concedes, in fact, that the book contains material that “historians considered irrelevant”.

Watch: This woman is walking 3800 km across India to make the country safer for women


Going by the banner CrossBow Miles, this “modern day Dandi March” is, according to the website, “an on-foot journey through the spine of India to mobilise communities to make the country safer for girls and women.” In case you’re wondering how one woman walking across the country is going to accomplish this, well, she’s not.

Watch: Short film ‘Toffee’ is about a friendship that defies class barriers


The privileged Tania (Sammaera Jaiswal) is visiting her maternal grandmother in Jalandhar during her summer break. The yearly vacations give the child the opportunity of reuniting with her friend Ritu (Syna Anand), who lives in the slums and helps her family eke out a living. The two girls find that their worlds are further apart than they remembered.