‘ Impact Hour ‘ with Manju Kalanidhi

Written By Sahithi Divi as told by Manju Kalanidhi

Manju Kalanidhi , Mother, Indian Journalist, City Editor – The New Indian Express, Founder of Rice Bucket Challenge

When asked about her childhood wishes, purpose, happy quotient, scaling up plans, self discovery and milestones of life journey ….. Here is the impact I collected.

The perseverant curiosity of this 70’s kid foresees what is beyond the drawn lines as a girl child, which transpired a will to cut through the finite awareness and resources available to visualise a dream from a small town Kazipet of Warangal district in Telangana.

She choose journalism as her tool to deliver value to the world although from a science background. While pursuing journalism in Bangalore, she closely tackled the challenges around diversity paired with competence. Balancing herself through the setbacks of coming from a middle class family, which also means that inclusivity was difficult to sustain yet very important for not looking back. Extracting resilience from the setbacks empowered her to be financially independent which in-turn impacts the personal choices too.

” To be useful is a privilege” , she says with a standby smile held up.

The Rice Bucket Challenge is her brainchild. Connecting her dots with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals , while 821 million people are facing food deprivation in the world as of today with rising numbers, Manju profoundly came up with the rice bucket challenge as an effective solution using collaboration to mitigate hunger. Through this initiative she aimed to connect the rice donors to those in need. As a part of this campaign she collected more than 200 thousand kilos of rice as her initiative towards Hunger Mitigation. She is looking for potential partnerships for scaling this to educational institutions for a sustainable and automated operation. She is fighting towards zero hunger using shared economy and collaboration as her key drivers.

Her visit to the United States for a social exchange program encased a brilliant networking stage with a community of common thinkers from across the globe for her.

As a journalist she says that women are the forefront for millennial media. Women of this era create more voice , especially now a days media is playing a crucial role in bringing social intelligence into limelight. Women in STEM , menstrual health, educational / career opportunities, sport attributions are the current affair to socio economic strata of gender equality in media.

Manju defines ; Women as POWER , Democracy as NECESSITY and Love as NECESSARY EVIL.

Dreams became milestones when urbanisation gave her words a loud voice that irrigates change. Choosing her own path provided her the tenacity to remain committed and continue her journey into who she is today. Financial freedom gave resistance to personal challenges, independent risks and a sustainable career. She entitled hope for human centric solutions using Sustainable Development Goals. She proved that Journalism , Shared Economy and Collaboration has the power to make a remarkable change in the world by just one person alone…..Manju Kalanidhi.

Written by Sahithi Divi ( http://www.impactscientist.com )

You Too Have A Role In Rise Of FEMINISM

Written By Sahithi Divi

Sustainable Development Goal 5

Gender Inequality is multidimentional socio economic issue which need both policies in place as well as the personal mindshift of every individual. It is spread across the corners in disguise. Gender Equality cannot be provided as a service or product. It is a change in the way of thinking and more like cultivating a natural habit of treating an other person equally. Rise of words like women empowerment and feminism is a result of dominating outdated beliefs which are unparallel to current social structures where women are breaking the glass shell around them.


image for fictional purpose

Let us look at the Gender Statistics for India

Gender Inequality Index Rank – 132 out of 187 countries

Female Male Sex Ratio – 930 out of 1000 males

No. of childmarriages in a day – 39000 girls

No. of women with NO bank accounts – 80%

Percentage of women in labour force – 28% compared to men which is 82%

Literacy rate of women – 66%

Women suffering sexual or physical voilence – 1 in 3

Percentage of women in parliament – 11%

Working women in unorganised sector – 95%

No. of teen mothers per year – 16 Million

Percentage of girls able to use sanitary napkins – 16%

While navigating the young minds of our daughters, gender roles are centered towards family and wellness. Growing up to certain unreal fascination, childhood remains the most influencial part of everyone’s life. This directly affects the behavioural incompetence and confusion in choosing roles to play. Elimination process is conducted by the parent, partner or children for the women. This is also called Patriarchy !


Unlearning is the factor of importance in tackling gender inequality. Leadership to advocate against constructed bias will influence change. Gender inequality has the power to destroy healthy and sustainable ecosystems. Women who have the gift of being able to reproduce , must not be undermined to emotional duties dictated by someone. Self initiative by each of us will bring a collective movement that will enforce each person to restructure their homes and surroundings.

Fuck Off Patriarchy

Click Here To Take The Gender Pledge


Written By Sahithi Divi

Can You Answer To This Young Boy’s Letter ?

In Feb 2017, I set out on a trip to Sri Lanka to find my answers. After an intense one year of  Masters in Social Entrepreneurship, it was emotionally overwhelming for me to picture my purpose, burning with a restless soul I wanted to find my place in the world. To explore what my heart connects with? way of giving back? the cause that I can take responsibility of and make it the reason for my existence. 


UNDP – AIESEC facilitated voluntouring, training, travelling and hopping around Sri Lanka to schools, churches and village centres. I chose sustainable development goal 5 to teach the locals and create awareness about gender bias related affects ; if possible convince them to break out of the social stigma they are told to live with.  It’s true, that by giving back to the community, things begin to settle down for an other start of what I call my independent introduction to social action !

The boy wrote,” If a girl is in trouble and if I am the only boy trying to help her everyone will think in a different way and society makes up stories, what do you have to do ?”

Sri Lanka is a long long story for a single shot. Hence, I breakdown down my moments of Impact and share about my uniquely special expiriences.  Here is one such story from Sri Lanka of a boy who wrote a letter to me after I gave the session on Gender Equality at school, for the 6 th grade. He was shy to speak out. Yes, even strong boys can be shy to speak up. I call him strong because of what he wrote in the letter. Below attached is the image of the letter from the boy.


What did you feel after reading his letter ? That it is a common teenage ritual which I am exageratting? Instead, lets look at the other side of the most common.

  • The young boy took the initiative to write down his problem. He cares, thus, he is strong.
  • He is feeling scared of being supportive to his female friend.
  • At such a young age he is worried about society making up stories. Who is the society? What are we ignoring while providing education? Peer pressure is unavoidable, but societal pressure for a kid ?
  • He is thinking about his friend’s trouble, dealing with his reputation, confused about right and wrong, holding back to speak up because he knows he might be isolated further and still able to balance himself. 
  • He did not stop helping his friend. He is perseverant and is ready to think about a sustainable solution.
  • I answered him to do the right thing confidently and share with trusted elders about the situation in detail without being scared like how he came up to me.

Society means nobody if we don’t account ourselves into it. Children are continuously learning from surroundings. His letter showed me how it feels to reach your first milestone in life. But there are millions of children confused in the context of contaminating gender inequality.

Hope his letter gives you something valueble too that inspires you to act.

Sahithi Divi
Click on the above video to watch my journey to self discovery

Written by Sahithi Divi ( source : http://www.impactscientist.com)( Feautured image of boy : pexels.com)