Teach For India organised its fifth annual Revolutionary Retreat, a one-of-a-kind space for like-minded and passionate student leaders to come together as a community and dream about a better world. The recently concluded event was attended by 100 national and global student leaders at Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini in Bhayander, Mumbai. The three-day retreat explored each student’s understanding of their generation’s most pressing global challenges and empowered them to identify individual and community-level solutions for change. At the event, students showcased their talent through art creations focusing on a personal leadership journey, challenges faced by the education system, changes they wish to advocate, amongst other activities.
Shaheen Mistri, Founder and CEO, Teach for India, led a workshop that enabled the students to articulate their aspirations for a more equitable future – and creatively represent it in the form of a mandala. The Retreat ended with an inspiring session by Nimo Patel, a musician and humanitarian who founded ‘Empty Hands Music’ mission to use the art form as a vehicle for change within marginalized communities at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat.
The retreat witnessed expert facilitators from diverse social impact organizations like Slam Out Loud, Reap Benefit, Young Leaders for Active Citizenship, and Snehagram, who worked closely with the children on building foundational twenty-first-century skills to strengthen the impact of their projects. Hajeera Farheen, one of the student mentors said, “The last three days have been great! A lot of students came up with new ideas to solve the problems we see around us. The connections we are building here have given me a sense of belonging. I also learned that education can be different and that you can learn not just from your teachers but also from your peers.”
Pritee Singh, one of the revolutionaries at the retreat, shared, “The last two days have been inspiring. I am motivated to do something of my own, something big and create a change in the world.” One of the remarkable achievements of this programme is the various success stories of change makers like Shivani and Thamannah, two tenth graders from Dharmaram, Telangana, who are passionate about improving health and hygiene outcomes in their town. Having observed the poor quality of medical advice their community received, they sought to improve the quality of life for the visually impaired, uneducated, and elderly through regular and accurate consumption of medicines. They designed an environmentally sustainable and inclusive medicine bag with individual compartments that visually represent the time of the day that their medicines need to be taken – including instructions in braille. The project was awarded first prize at the Telangana State Innovation Challenge in 2021 for its positive impact on the health of members in their community.
Teach For India, a nonprofit that places the country’s best young leaders in underserved classrooms, launched the Kids Education Revolution (KER) in 2017. This innovative programme is founded on the premise that the path to a reimagined education that unleashes every child’s potential lies in educators working with – and not for – the country’s 250 million children. The programme empowers students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to grow as agents of change. This platform provided students with the opportunity to experience diversity, embrace inclusivity and evolve as leaders as they collectively identified paths toward a fairer, kinder, and more just world.