There is that hopeless grim feeling that grips us when a year ends. We all indulge in contemplation, and in the process, get engulfed with that hopeless feeling, about ourselves and the world in general.

But just like we aren’t all useless, there have been things going around that will actually make you happy and hopeful about the coming year.

1. There have been no reported cases of Polio for 7 years.

Last case of Polio ever recorded was in January 2011 and in 2014 India was declared completely polio-free and there hasn’t been a single case for 7 years! Guess all the Amitabh Bachchan campaigning did work.

2. Government and Supreme Court recognised individual’s right to privacy.

The Right to Privacy bill was passed in 2017 and now citizens are no longer vulnerable to attacks on their privacy.

3. India’s adult literacy rate has increased by almost 10% in the last decade.

The literacy rate in India is 74% according to the latest census in 2011. It has been increasing at a steady rate since then.

4. In India, new HIV infections have been reduced by half since 2001.

This is a great accomplishment considering the fact that we are one of the countries with highest number of patients due to our large population.

5.  There are an estimated 65 crore mobile phone users in India.

Connectivity issues have reduced rapidly as the farthermost parts of the countries have been connected through mobile networks.

6. India’s conservation efforts have brought the tiger population up by 30%.

It is one of the only countries where the tiger population is actually rising. There are 2,226 tigers in India as per a 2014 census.

7. Social stigmas around mental health have come down drastically.

According to a WHO report, 7.5% Indians suffer from mental disorders. This and reports by the National Mental Health Survey have got Indians opening up about mental health.

8. Child labour has reduced from 12.6 million in 1998 to 4.35 million in 2011.

In the last 20 years, child labour has reduced by two-thirds and in fact the child literacy ratio is steadily increasing.

9. Scientists have found a way to successfully re-breed parts of the barrier reef.

Coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate. At this time, such a discovery comes as a wave of relief.

10. The snow leopard has been taken off the endangered species list.

There are many beautiful and powerful animals that have entered the endangered list recently. However, timely caution like this one can save them.

11. Hyderabad has declared the opening up of a dedicated IT park for persons with disability.

In a commendable move, Hyderabad is all set to open up an It park where PWDs will be trained for jobs. There will be residential quarters and delivery centres for domestic and international clients.

12. Indians can take 6 months of paid maternity leave.

A much needed change to a long-standing law that provided only 8 weeks of paid maternity leave. Now like all other progressive countries, Indian working women can experience pregnancy in relief.

13. Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences provides free education and lodging to Tribals.

It is the largest residential institute for the tribals, in the world, housing 26,000 people. It provides accommodation, food, education from KG to PG.

14. Green buildings are a growing trend in India and ranks third among the Top Ten Countries for LEED.

Green buildings are environment friendly and resource efficient. This welcome concept is gaining attention worldwide.

15. Man in Noida feeds full meals 500 people every day for only ₹5.

Dadi ki Rasoi by Anoop Khanna satiates the hunger of people from all walks of life including students, working individuals, rickshaw pullers, shop owners, and passersbys. 

16. Tycoon Mahesh Savani funded weddings of 251 fatherless brides on christmas eve.

Mahesh Savani, a diamond merchant from Surat, feels it his social responsibility to help women who have lost their fathers and find it difficult to cover the wedding expenses. He has been doing it for 5 years now.

17. Businessman organises langars for hundreds of poor people every day since 17 years.

83-year-old Jagdish Lal Ahuja, from Chandigarh, has been organising langars for people since 17 years without fail. On several occasions, he had to sell his property worth crores to keep the noble cause going.

18. Usha Multipurpose Co-operative Society helps sex workers without ID proof to keep their valuables safe.

Usha bank is run by and for sex workers. It is the largest bank for sex workers, which has been growing exponentially and now has a turnover of 30 crores.

19. In a first, a Kerala temple appointed Dalit priests.

A Kerala temple broke stereotypes when it appointed 22-year-old Yadukrishna, among 5 others, as its first-ever Dalit priests.

20. Hyderabad is going to use old train coaches as shelters for the homeless.

Hyderabad state government has decided to use old train carriages, that have been put out of service, as shelters for the poor and homeless. This arrangement will be in place till new shelters are constructed for them in the city.

These definitely show you that there is still hope.