“The children of today will make the India of tomorrow. The way we bring them up will determine the future of the country,” said Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, whose birthday the country celebrates as Children’s Day. In connection with National Children’s Day, which falls on 14th November, Teach For India, joining hands with Kids Education Revolution, is celebrating Children’s Day Week from 14th November to 20th November, to bring out stories of student leadership across the country.
With more than 4000+Teach For India Alumni reaching out to more than 33 million children – that’s 1 in 10 children in India, the organisation identifies children who stand out as change agents, taking initiatives at various levels of the system from schools, communities to governance and policy. As India faces its own challenges on many socio-economic, and environmental fronts, its youth offer a ray of hope.
Here are two young leaders from Mumbai who are making a difference to an environmental and a social problem in their own ways:
Nabeela – Meet Nabeela from Worli Seaface Mun English Secondary School in Mumbai. In order to to provide mental health support, resolve issues such as anger management, and help others share and express their feelings in a healthy and productive way, Nabeela and her friends introduced Peer Counselling in their class to create a safe and supportive learning environment. They have learnt how to create trust and build relationships, developed the skill of listening without advising, and most importantly, understood the tremendous power and value of empathy.
Aftab Ansari – In a country where mental health and well-being are deprioritised, often stigmatized, Aftab Ansari, a grade 10 student from Mumbai recognised this issue and took the brave step of reaching out to a counsellor and establishing therapy sessions at his school. Although it was very challenging at first to convince his peers to overcome the stigma of seeing a counsellor, and to wait for as long as it took to change their minds, Aftab now sees that with a lot of patience and a little push from a good friend, several of his classmates have now started taking advantage of this resource.
Armaan Gupta – A 7th grader from Mumbai, is extremely passionate about science and robotics. He brought his passion alive by designing the “Dost-Bin”, an interactive dustbin to tackle the problem of garbage management. The dustbin is enabled with a sensor that commands an LCD screen which displays educational content about the waste disposed. He also gave a TED talk about his journey from playing with Legos as a child to exploring the world of robotics.