“My life changed after involving with the missions of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. A visit to Rameswaram and interactions with his family gave me the blueprint to the road ahead. It was an eye-opener coming to Aero India specifically with the task of meeting unsung heroes,” says Anupama Jaiswal.

Anupama, a software professional with Infosys, along with Aditi Patwardhan, a second year Computer Science engineer student from Nagpur, caught the attention of Aero India organisers when they sought permission to interview unsung heroes of Indian Air Force, CISF and even Special Forces.

“We came with the task of identifying the unsung heroes of the show. Since the air base and the rules were new to us, we sought the help of IAF officials. We managed to capture the untold stories of many unsung heroes, who actually the make the show more meaningful. We also gave away some badges with Kalam Sir’s caricature on it. Their happiness meant a lot to us,” says Anupama, who hails from Varanasi.

Anupama along with Aditi are the National Student Coordinators for Dr Kalam’s e-paper Billion Beats, a publication dedicated to ordinary Indians. Aditi is a popular activist on social media and she has already over 5000 followers on Twitter.

“Anything to do with armed forces inspires me. So, when I told my dad that I wanted to come to Aero India, he was initially bit skeptical. This is the first time I travelled alone to another city. I am delighted that along with Anupama, managed to meet many back room boys of the show,” says Aditi.

Aditi says her mission in life is to put spotlight on the lives of the common man.

“Today common man is the most neglected section in the society. Kalam Sir always wanted youngsters to be the ambassadors of this nation. If India needs to march ahead, then the young India has a big role to play. I am heading back to Nagpur with many lessons from air show. It was touching to see how people sweat it out behind the scenes,” says Aditi.

Anupama

Anupama says she has already been travelling to villages spreading the teachings of Dr Kalam.

“It makes sense to do your work silently. The stories of Indian villages need to be brought out. They are inspiring. We are on a mission spreading the teachings of Kalam Sir and we are guided by his family in Rameswaram,” says Anupama. She also doodles for a cause.

Her signature creative work ‘Doodle Delight’ caught the attention of the Special Forces at Aero India, with whom she had a brief interaction.

“Priceless moments meeting some of the Special Forces members. They are our heroes,” says Anupama.

Patting Anupama and Aditi for their silent work at the show, Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd) said he was so moved to see their commitment.

“Fantastic work by both. I have been following Aditi’s thoughts for some time now. She is a nationalist and pro-armed forces. India needs more of Anupamas and Aditis to carry forward the legacy of President Kalam. We are proud of them,” says Air Marshal Chopra (Retd).

Aditi says the dedicated website for Billion Beats that’s being readied will give more opportunities for the unsung heroes.

“We are planning to create a network of unsung heroes. And, everyone is invited,” she adds.