They make a difference where it truly matters — transforming the lives of the marginalised and the downtrodden. Bringing about change — both behavioural and attitudinal — in this section of society is not easy.

The nominees for the Changemaker — Social Transformation category (listed below) have persevered and tasted success.

One of them will bag the coveted Changemaker — Social Transformation Award 2019 at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi on March 15.

Akkai Padmashali: From a childhood spent being confused about her identity, Akkai Padmashali, 32, grew up to become a champion of gender equality. Once forced to be a sex worker, she transformed herself into a transgender rights activist with the help of Sangama, an LGBT group in Bengaluru. She was a key mover in enabling the repeal of Section 377, and is the country’s first transgender to get a driving licence identifying her as ‘female’.

Centre for Aquatic Livelihood — Jaljeevika: CAL — Jaljeevika, a Pune-based NGO, offers alternative business avenues to agriculture-dependent small and marginal farmers. It encourages them to leverage opportunities in inland fisheries by providing access to credit and markets and by fostering entrepreneurship. CAL — Jaljeevika has transformed the lives of over 10,000 farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences: The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) was started by Achyuta Samanta in 1993 to usher in a social change in the Maoist and Naxal affected hinterlands of Odisha, and to mentor young indigenous peoples.

As the world’s largest school for tribal children, KISS provides quality education — fully residential and free — to over 25,000 students without compromising on their cultural roots and heritage, and placing social responsibility over commercial gains.

Organization for Rare Diseases India: Bringing multiple aspects of rare disease treatment — such as detection, drug availability and clinical trials — under one roof, the Organization for Rare Diseases India (ORDI) is a non-profit founded by parents of children affected by rare diseases. Serving as an umbrella platform, its coordination centre offers free treatment for those afflicted by rare diseases. There are over 7,000 rare diseases occurring worldwide.

Samina Bano: A former management consultant turned Right to Education (RTE) crusader, Samina Bano, 35, has founded the RightWalk Foundation (RWF), an NGO aimed at educating children irrespective of their socioeconomic background. The efforts of Samina Bano and the RWF have impacted more than 90,000 children from economically weaker sections across 75 districts and 10,000 schools in Uttar Pradesh over four years.