Young World

Let's make a difference

Smile: We can do it. Photo: Special Arrangement

Smile: We can do it. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Kids decided that it was time to do something, and it was up to them to do it. So they got together and made a change!

“I Can!” was the uniform exclamation by children gathered at Odyssey, Adyar, for the “Be the change” day observed on October 2, by Bhumi in association with Design For Change.

The children from homes like Sevalaya and a couple of others rightfully exclaimed so because they have proved that they have the ability to initiate change.

Over the last month, Bhumi volunteers, mostly young working professionals and college students, coordinated with different homes and took the children through the various stages of Feel (…the problem), Imagine (…the solution) and Do (implementation). On that day they were present to undertake the last stage — Share, their ideas with others to inspire them.

The stories shared dealt with issues ranging from personal hygiene to the use of plastic. Subashini, a government school teacher, shared a “design for change” story that she along with the children of her class undertook. Realising the need to raise awareness about personal hygiene and habits like cutting nails, washing hands before eating and closing the mouth while sneezing, Subashini along with a group of students set into action.

The enthusiastic bunch targeted the primary classes and each of them chose to mentor a group. “Nothing works best like peer influence. When children hear it from someone like them, they take in the message easily,” she said. Post this exercise, the change was visible to all, even to the visiting school authorities.

A coordinator from Sevalaya, a home for destitute children near Thiruninravur, shared a story about farmers' children urging their parents to use organic fertilizer and other eco-friendly methods of farming.

The children viewed videos of other kids involved in similar change-initiating activities undertaken in neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bhutan. This was followed by the launch of Amar Chitra Katha's book I Can, which is a compilation of 20 Design For Change stories from last year. The book is priced at Rs.150.

What they said:

M.D. MASOOM, IGCSE ‘O' level, Crescent MHSS, Vandalur: Global warming is like a fever that earth's got. We can detect something is not okay with us when our body's temperature goes up. We go to the doctor who prescribes medicines for us. Similarly, when the earth's temperature goes up who will be the doctor and help earth recover? We have to do it! Even a gesture like each student planting one sapling will help towards reducing global warming.

K. DAMODARAN, X, Sathya Murthy High School, T.Nagar: There are vendors near our school who sell cigarettes and pan. There are also people selling illegal drugs. As a result, children from our school have fallen prey to it too. We have planned to get them out of the habit and highlight the dangers of it through awareness posters and a drama that we are working on.

SUBASHINI J. and M. RATHNA, VII, Pudiyador NGO for underprivileged children, Ramapuram: On a trip to the zoo we saw a deer eating plastic that was lying in its enclosure and we saw it suffer because of that. That's when we realised the dangers of plastic and we thought that something had to be done. There are so many newspapers that go unused. We decided to use them to make paper bags with maida for glue. We went around to different shops in our area and gave them the bags made by about 40 of us at the home. At first they did not see the need for it, but when a girl refused to take her purchases in a plastic bag, they too realised its importance.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 9:01:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/kids/lets-make-a-difference/article2525624.ece

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