Vivek Garg, 31,
By Deepshikha Hooda
As town commander of Avantipur, Kashmir, Major Vivek Garg understood that force alone would not help better the situation of the place. A stint at Leimakhong, Manipur, in 2008 only added to that belief. “The only thing people in these regions would ask for was employment; they were looking for a window of opportunity,” he says. Garg soon realised this was easier said than done. “Every government agency feels development should start once conflict is eradicated and this has become an alibi,” he adds. “Things should be done the other way around.” Leaving the army in 2009, he started the Business Alternative for Peace Action and Resolution (BAPAR), an organisation that provides skilled women a shot at leading a life of dignity. Starting with small loans, he began by helping six women in Lilong village of Manipur market their handicrafts, a number that has now gone up to 215. Garg’s efforts have given women in conflict-ridden Nagaland, Manipur and Kashmir a platform to showcase their skills, instilling a sense of pride in them. He now plans to bring rubber plantation to Manipur. Not one to look back, Garg aims “to create a reason for people to look away from conflict”.
Garg can be reached at +91 78383 44537