Tag - children

Help Haji Public School get a reliable solar grid.

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Raised Rs. 9,31,000 with the help of 217 supporters.

Thank you for your interest in this fundraiser. We are SauraMandala, a group of like minded people who intend on picking up causes that bring about long lasting change and impact into society.

Find us on Facebook at – www.facebook.com/sauramandala.in

As our pilot project we aim to

‘Provide a reliable solar grid to power smart classrooms at Haji Public School,Breswana’.

Haji Public School is located in Breswana, a high altitude agrarian Himalayan village in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The school caters to the students in the region and surrounding villages and currently educates  about 350 first generation learners in its three branches. The school runs a successful volunteer program to be able to impart education to the students.

Why Breswana and Haji Public School?

– We have been previous volunteers at the school and have faced all the problems first hand. It is also our personal effort to give back to the school and village.

More details at www.hajipublicschool.org

What is SauraMandala?

-SauraMandala is a group of people who want to be the change they want to see.

– Right now it is three people

Nagakarthik – Electrical engineer by education, ex-volunteer at Haji Public School and has experience with solar energy for remote communities and regions for about 2 years now.

Prateek – Computer Science engineer by education, ex-volunteer at Haji Public School and is extremely passionate about societal development.

Keerthi – Mechanical engineer by education, ex-CISCO and is an avid traveler with his heart set on bring about change in society.

More at www.facebook.com/sauramandala.in

What is the scope of the project?

– To provide a solar powered grid at each of the three branches of Haji Public School.

– To setup smart screens with educational content to aid volunteers and local teachers in classrooms.

What challenges will you be addressing?

– To address the lack of dependable electricity to light up classrooms and run labs due to the terrain, weather and power cuts.

– To aid the volunteers to use audiovisual aids in classrooms to explain concepts better to these kids who have had limited exposure to the world outside.

– To introduce the kids to the internet and experiential learning.

What are the challenges you will face?

– Breswana is not connected by road, this makes it difficult to transport materials, all the components will have to be transported on horseback or carried up.

Isn’t it cold there, will solar panels work?

– The region receives abundant sunlight during the months that the school is operational ( March to December)

How will I know where my money is going?

– We believe in complete transparency and will follow the same for the project. There will be frequent updates both from our end and the school to keep us accountable. We are happy to address any concerns that you may have, please feel free to contact us. You can find a rough breakup of costs here.

Is this a one time gig?

No. We plan to learn from this project and replicate it in different regions. We also plan to expand to more community level projects in the regions that we work in.

Why don’t you approach a corporate sponsor instead?

We would love to work with a mix of corporate and individual sponsors for our projects, we believe that joint efforts will have more impact. If you are a corporate who shares the vision and want to get involved, please contact us, we would love to work with you.

We are proud to announce our campaign partner Tespack, from Spain. Do check them out, they have some amazing products and have done some stellar work in different parts of the world.

If you or anyone you know, who is struggling to pay for their education, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.

Help me empower underprivileged girl children

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Raised Rs. 6,53,336 with the help of 154 supporters.

I am looking to raise funds to support the NGO ‘Just For Kicks’ program of imparting life skills through football, for 100 girls in the Dharwad district of Karnataka. ‘Just For Kicks’ in partnership with Enabling Leadership Foundation(ELF) is already running a pilot across 8 villages in Dharwad and witnessing phenomenal results with the girls becoming increasingly self-aware and confident through a game that’s been tainted as being a boy’s sport. With the football at their feet, these girls are now starting to dream big and question the status quo. Inspired by this progress, I am now looking to spearhead the expansion of ‘ Just For Kicks’ programming in rural Karnataka with the vision of reaching 100 more girls by next year.

Program cost for one child over one year: 6500 Rs / 100$. This cost includes: 48 training sessions, Training Gear For Each Child – Studs, Shinguards, Jerseys, Orientation Sessions For School and Parents, Participation in ‘Just For Kicks’ League games, Access to scouting opportunities and scholarships, Individual child and team assessment reports.

My piece in the puzzle:

Long before I fell in love with the cause of Just For Kicks, I fell in love with the beautiful game of football.

What I learned from football – Grit, Respect, Empathy, Courage, Teamwork, Leadership and most importantly Love. It is safe to say that Football has sculpted my personality in multiple ways. Growing up as a footballer and representing the Indian U-17 squad, I found myself feeling constantly underwhelmed by our facilities, resources and lack of support structures. Injuries bogged me down and I increasingly found myself fighting an uphill battle not just against the structures in place but also the culture around the sport. To that end, I fell prey to our failing sports/talent management system.

Having finished my engineering and working a run of the mill consulting gig for a year – I decided to fight back. I pursued the Teach for India fellowship and then completed my Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University with the hope of coming back to India to ensure that each child has the opportunity to play the beautiful sport and has the opportunity to take up the sport if he/she is passionate about it. As I look to champion the cause that ‘Just For Kicks’ has valiantly taken up, I realise that I need all the support I can get to fulfill the vision of reaching 1 million children by the year 2025 and making sure that no child falls through the cracks of our nation’s faltering sporting system.

Just For Kicks is a school intervention program working towards teaching children through a life skills-based football curriculum invaluable lessons of commitment, confidence, self-awareness, and grit. We work in the 5 Indian cities namely Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Chennai, and the rural district of Dharwad in Karnataka in schools catering to students from the bottom of the economic pyramid. We believe in #EveryonePlays and begin working with children, both boys and girls, as young as 7 years old and continue training with them till the age of 16, through an ongoing collaboration with their schools.

Enabling Leadership is a Netherlands-based non-profit organisation that uses innovative mediums of music and sports to foster valuable life skills of leadership, creativity, confidence and global citizenship among marginalised children who have limited or no access to high quality education systems.

Why Focus on Girls: Football acts as an equalizer where in once you step onto the pitch – gender, socioeconomic background, social class don’t matter. This pitch then becomes symbolic of a free society where in all are equals, thus affording a girl child to express herself, uninhibited by constraints of our society. This expression then translates into various values such as grit and confidence being built up in the girl child that nudge the society to view them as equals and subsequently create a cycle of systemic change led by a mentality shift.

Donate and be a part of the football revolution where girls will play alongside boys, and all students will receive equal opportunity irrespective of their gender and socioeconomic status.

If you or anyone you know, is struggling to pay to get trained in the sport they love, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.

An Incredible Heart (Successful Campaign for Childhood Eye Cancer by Jasmeet Singh Gandhi)

Jasmeet Singh Gandhi cycles to campaign for childhood eye cancer

This is the tale of an ordinary individual who did an extraordinary thing.

As told by Kunal Kapoor, actor and co-founder of Ketto.

I meet a lot of interesting people in my profession as an actor. However, the individual I want to introduce to you is far removed from Bollywood. His is not a face you would have seen on the silver screen. But just like a film, he has a story that needs to be told.

It is common knowledge that in the age of technology and instant gratification, trying to get people’s attention – and holding it – is a Herculean task. That is another reason why this story – and this individual – are so incredible.

His name is Jasmeet Singh Gandhi. He is an ordinary 46-year-old working an ordinary job. What he managed to do, however, is truly extraordinary.

Jasmeet Singh Gandhi profile picture

Jasmeet happened to come across Iksha Foundation, an NGO that works specifically towards the cause of eye cancer in children. He learned about the disease, how easily it could be prevented, and how many children have lost or will lose their lives because of it. And he decided to do something about it.

Since he had come across Iksha Foundation through RBL Bank, the company his wife works for, he began to map out a game plan with them. Jasmeet decided to start campaigning on Ketto to raise awareness and funds for the treatment of childhood eye cancer. Treatment for one child with cancer-affected eyes can rack up a bill of one lakh. So he also decided to draw attention to his campaign by bicycling an incredible 1,000 kilometres from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise awareness and funds. This idea formed because of his love for fitness, and the fact that he wanted a strong motivational factor to help push his campaign. A campaign he named Umeed 1000.

Umeed 1000 ran on Ketto for five weeks with the initial goal of 5 lakh rupees. Jasmeet later increased it to 10 lakhs when he realised it was a goal he may well be able to reach. What his campaign managed to raise was 24 lakh rupees. Rs.24,00,100 to be precise.

Jasmeet shares, “Since the awareness of this disease is very low, I had to meet a lot of people and organisations in person and explain to them the concept behind Umeed 1000 and the disease itself. Besides meeting a lot of people, we created a Facebook page and a Twitter handle (#umeed1000) which was used extensively while tweeting and posting on Facebook. We also used radio and press interviews to spread the word to a wider audience.”

“One-on-one interactions were most effective in convincing people to donate,” Jasmeet adds. “I reached out to approximately 200 people either via email, phone or a personal visit.” He also spread the word throughout all the RBL bank branches, so employees became aware of the campaign as well.

The reaction to Jasmeet’s campaign was that of amazement and empathy. “People were amazed that I would dare to undertake a journey of 1,000 kilometres. And there was, of course, a lot of empathy for the kids affected by this disease.”

The sobering facts that had moved Jasmeet to action also moved those he reached out to. What had drawn him to the cause was that children were needlessly affected by it. “Not many people know that Retinoblastoma (eye cancer) affects children between 2 months to 5 years. It is a disease that can be hereditary in nature and can be fatal. The good part is that it can be detected with basic physical examination and, if detected early, it has a high cure rate of 92-95%.”

Jasmeet’s campaign drew in seven corporate sponsors – RBL Bank, HPCL, Goqii, rediff.com, UFO movies, Titan and Hero cycles – and over a hundred individual supporters. “We were extremely lucky to get some tremendous response form a cross-section of family, friends, colleagues, and of course, corporate sponsors,” he acknowledges, adding, “We managed to collect and donate Rs.24 lakhs. It was a very fulfilling experience since this will be used to cure little kids who cannot afford the treatment.”

He continues, “I met the kids when I reached Bangalore and visited Narayana Netralaya, where they get treated. It was a humbling experience.”

He concludes, “I was lucky to have the full support of my family – my wife and daughters who encouraged me throughout. I am lucky to work for an organization like Microsoft that encourages such efforts, and with colleagues who cheered me on whole-heartedly as well.”

The progress of the children’s treatment will be shared by Iksha Foundation with all those involved – and those who want to be involved.

I hope Jasmeet’s incredible story and incredible heart has moved you as much as it moved me.

Below are some facts to be aware of.

Statistics

Eye cancer can be fatal. Statistics show that one on every 20,000 babies is affected by retinoblastoma. Every day, four children are affected by this disease in India, and one in four dies from it.

Prevention

Look for a white reflex in the centre of the eyeball. Visit the doctor right away if you spot something, or even if you find a child squinting one or both eyes. Remember, early detection can lead to a cure. Treatment for a child affected by retinoblastoma in both eyes comes to Rs.1 lakh on average, with the child requiring treatment till 12 years of age.

If you want to do something for this cause, start a campaign or support another cause here.
Thank you.
Kunal Kapoor

An Incredible Heart (Jasmeet Singh Gandhi’s Successful Campaign for Childhood Eye Cancer Treatment)

Child with eye cancer or retinoblastoma

This is the tale of an ordinary individual who did an extraordinary thing.

As told by Kunal Kapoor, actor and co-founder of Ketto.

I meet a lot of interesting people in my profession as an actor. However, the individual I want to introduce to you is far removed from Bollywood. His is not a face you would have seen on the silver screen. But just like a film, he has a story that needs to be told.

It is common knowledge that in the age of technology and instant gratification, trying to get people’s attention – and holding it – is a Herculean task. That is another reason why this story – and this individual – are so incredible.

His name is Jasmeet Singh Gandhi. He is an ordinary 46-year-old working an ordinary job. What he managed to do, however, is truly extraordinary.

Jasmeet Singh Gandhi profile picture

Jasmeet happened to come across Iksha Foundation, an NGO that works specifically towards the cause of eye cancer in children. He learned about the disease, how easily it could be prevented, and how many children have lost or will lose their lives because of it. And he decided to do something about it.

Since he had come across Iksha Foundation through RBL Bank, the company his wife works for, he began to map out a game plan with them. Jasmeet decided to start campaigning on Ketto to raise awareness and funds for the treatment of childhood eye cancer. Treatment for one child with cancer-affected eyes can rack up a bill of one lakh. So he also decided to draw attention to his campaign by bicycling an incredible 1,000 kilometres from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise awareness and funds. This idea formed because of his love for fitness, and the fact that he wanted a strong motivational factor to help push his campaign. A campaign he named Umeed 1000.

Umeed 1000 ran on Ketto for five weeks with the initial goal of 5 lakh rupees. Jasmeet later increased it to 10 lakhs when he realised it was a goal he may well be able to reach. What his campaign managed to raise was 24 lakh rupees. Rs.24,00,100 to be precise.

Jasmeet shares, “Since the awareness of this disease is very low, I had to meet a lot of people and organisations in person and explain to them the concept behind Umeed 1000 and the disease itself. Besides meeting a lot of people, we created a Facebook page and a Twitter handle (#umeed1000) which was used extensively while tweeting and posting on Facebook. We also used radio and press interviews to spread the word to a wider audience.”

“One-on-one interactions were most effective in convincing people to donate,” Jasmeet adds. “I reached out to approximately 200 people either via email, phone or a personal visit.” He also spread the word throughout all the RBL bank branches, so employees became aware of the campaign as well.

The reaction to Jasmeet’s campaign was that of amazement and empathy. “People were amazed that I would dare to undertake a journey of 1,000 kilometres. And there was, of course, a lot of empathy for the kids affected by this disease.”

The sobering facts that had moved Jasmeet to action also moved those he reached out to. What had drawn him to the cause was that children were needlessly affected by it. “Not many people know that Retinoblastoma (eye cancer) affects children between 2 months to 5 years. It is a disease that can be hereditary in nature and can be fatal. The good part is that it can be detected with basic physical examination and, if detected early, it has a high cure rate of 92-95%.”

Jasmeet’s campaign drew in six corporate sponsors – RBL Bank, Goqii, rediff.com, UFO movies, Titan and Hero cycles – and over a hundred individual supporters. “We were extremely lucky to get some tremendous response form a cross-section of family, friends, colleagues, and of course, corporate sponsors,” he acknowledges, adding, “We managed to collect and donate Rs.24 lakhs. It was a very fulfilling experience since this will be used to cure little kids who cannot afford the treatment.”

He continues, “I met the kids when I reached Bangalore and visited Narayana Netralaya, where they get treated. It was a humbling experience.”

He concludes, “I was lucky to have the full support of my family – my wife and daughters who encouraged me throughout. I am lucky to work for an organization like Microsoft that encourages such efforts, and with colleagues who cheered me on whole-heartedly as well.”

The progress of the children’s treatment will be shared by Iksha Foundation with all those involved – and those who want to be involved.

I hope Jasmeet’s incredible story and incredible heart has moved you as much as it moved me.

Below are some facts to be aware of.

Statistics

Eye cancer can be fatal. Statistics show that one on every 20,000 babies is affected by retinoblastoma. Every day, four children are affected by this disease in India, and one in four dies from it.

Prevention

Look for a white reflex in the centre of the eyeball. Visit the doctor right away if you spot something, or even if you find a child squinting one or both eyes. Remember, early detection can lead to a cure. Treatment for a child affected by retinoblastoma in both eyes comes to Rs.1 lakh on average, with the child requiring treatment till 12 years of age.

If you want to do something for this cause, start a campaign or support another cause here.

Thank you.

–          Kunal Kapoor

 

The Birthday Campaign (Radhya’s First-Birthday Campaign)

Save The Children

These doting parents weren’t just thinking of a big bash for their daughter’s first birthday. They were thinking of something on a much larger scale…

Vasuprada and Pradyumna Dalmia are the doting parents of now one-year-old Radhya. In the period leading up to their daughter’s very first birthday – a momentous occasion for any parent – the couple wanted to do something truly significant. They wanted to make sure the milestone of Radhya’s first birthday – 27th November 2014 – was something that would positively impact not just their own lives and that of little Radhya’s, but many others as well.

They weren’t just thinking of a massive birthday celebration with friends and family. They were thinking of a one-month-long birthday campaign benefitting underprivileged children in India.

The reasoning was straightforward, simple and heartfelt, as Pradyumna stated on their campaign page: “We are fortunate enough to be able to provide a safe, healthy and happy environment for our children to grow up in and would go out of our way to ensure that our kids receive the very best of everything. Unfortunately, this is not true for a lot of children across our country who live a life of deprivation and destitution. So let us provide some hope to these children and tell them they are not alone.”

Vasuprada and Pradyumna began Radhya’s month-long birthday campaign on Ketto with the aim of raising 1 lakh rupees benefitting the NGO Save The Children’s Indian chapter. They also pledged to match the total amount fundraised, urging their family and friends to help them raise a lakh so a total of two lakhs could be donated to the NGO. “This is the best birthday gift Radhya could get from you!” they told their supporters.

Who could possibly resist such a request?! Friends and family came together in strength and support for this wonderful cause. The campaign drew 24 supporters, raising a hefty 85,400 rupees within a month, to mark Radhya’s first birthday.  Adding the matching donation as vowed by Vasuprada and Pradyumna, a grand total of 1,70,800 rupees will be donated to Save The Children, India, going towards various aspects of childcare – maternal healthcare and nurturing for the health of unborn children, protecting children from child labour and child trafficking, ensuring they get a wholesome education, and providing them support during natural disasters.

What a wonderful way to usher in a child’s birthday!

Feeling inspired? Want to start a campaign too? Go for it!

 

Save Our Kids, Save Our Future (Awareness Days for Some Children’s Issues)

Close-up image of 2 underprivileged children for Children's Day

Children are our future. Therefore, it follows that for us – the world – to have a better future, the world’s children need to have one too. And for that to happen, each child on our planet needs to be a healthy, educated, happy child. Here comes the hiccup.

Chronic malnutrition affects 165 million children across the globe (70% of these children are in Asia alone). What starving child could possibly be happy? And how could a malnourished child, battered with illnesses and stunted physical and cognitive development, ever be able to get a decent education?

The future of 165 million children is bleak. Therefore the future of our world is bleak. And unfortunately, this is not the only statistic that impedes our future. There are other issues that harm a child’s growth and quality of life as well. Poverty is a big factor. Disease is another. Physical and sexual abuse also traumatize a child and adversely affect their development.

There are so many factors to tackle, to ensure a safe, bright future for our planet’s children. No wonder we have several assigned days and months to observe these issues, to raise awareness and collectively work towards improving the lives of our children and therefore, our future.

For instance, World Orphan Day is observed in November to raise awareness about the 153 million (approximately) orphans in the world who have lost either one or both parents. Heart-wrenching statistic, isn’t it? Imagine the struggles of a parentless child.

Hold on. There is more coming. World Orphan AIDS Day (in May) observes the struggles of orphans who have lost their parent/s due to AIDS. According to statistics, 17.8 million children across the world are presently struggling through this circumstance.

With the emotional trauma of being orphaned and trying to survive parentless, it’s unsurprising that we have Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (also in May) to try to ensure all children – be they orphaned or not – have the emotional support and guidance they need to help them navigate through the challenges of life.

Don’t think regular kids have anything much to be emotionally strained over? Did you know bullying is such a big factor in schools that there are movements like Anti-Bullying Day/Month (October) that aim to raise awareness of the several faces of bullying and how to put an end to it? Cyber bullying is the new-age avatar of bullying, a worrisome aspect that needs addressing. Other forms of bullying include physical bullying, emotional bullying and sexting. This last involves circulating nude photos or suggestive messages about a schoolmate.

Today, there are Pink, Blue and Purple Shirt Days to help raise awareness about the negative effects of bullying. It is unfortunate that many consider bullying a natural part of childhood, especially considering its disturbing by-product – suicide. The suicide rate among the youth is gradually climbing and needs to stop!

Want to do your bit to raise awareness in support of children? Support a campaign for children today! 

Want to do more? Start your own campaign and change the world for the better.

 

From Rural Fields to Football Fields! (YUWA campaign’s superb success)


front-yuwa-thumbnail1Ketto helped raise a whopping INR 50 lakhs (INR 51,86,460 to be precise!) for the YUWA India Trust campaign, to send a football team consisting of 15 underprivileged tribal girls from Jharkhand to the 2014 USA Cup.

Founder and CEO of Ketto, Varun Sheth, stated: “623 funders backed the campaign that closed in 30 days flat through June. Star Sports came on board with us to help promote this campaign as our goal was on a higher side and we needed them to promote the initiative across television and power it online too.”

That’s the power of crowdfunding for you!!

Check out the super-successful campaign! 

Read what the media says about the YUWA campaign and your very own Ketto! 

Revolutionising Learning: Reniscience Education

reniscience education blog picThere are a lot of opinions regarding the standard of education in India and the efficiency of teaching methods in schools today. Reniscience Education is an education consulting firm that has its finger on this pulse and is attempting to revolutionise the Indian education system. They work with teachers, children and schools to bring highly engaging, self-directed learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

“Reniscience Education LLP is an education consulting firm born out of a desire to promote learning that is empowering, joyful and relevant to the learner,” states Founding Partner Purvi Vora. “We believe that all teachers are capable of teaching in this manner, no matter what their constraints. Our goal is to encourage and support these efforts at every level – classroom, school and curriculum. By empowering, we mean practices that foster choice and voice, that free the learner from ONLY one way of knowing, that create an emotionally-safe culture, that support meaning-making, that allow learners to feel successful and bring a high level of engagement through the learning process.”

Reniscience Education was founded in 2011 by two veteran science educators – Purvi Vora and Sangita Kapadia – who are determined to take science education in India into the 21st century through every opportunity that comes their way.

The City as Lab conference (being crowdfunded on Ketto) is one such attempt to provide children from marginalized communities an opportunity to participate in authentic research about their city. In true Project-Based Learning fashion, students will generate their own research questions, collect and analyze data, write a research paper that will undergo blind review and then present it in front of an authentic audience of educators and scientists.

“We have followed three basic criteria in selecting students for our first City as Lab Research Conference,” explains Purvi. “They must be from 5th to 9th Std, they must be enrolled in a government school or an NGO-supported programme, and they must be willing to work in groups of two to four.”

City as Lab is a three-month long research project that culminates in a day-long event on Sept 20th at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai. Students are guided by their teachers in generating research questions relevant to their lives and their city, collecting quantitative or qualitative data, analyzing the data, understanding the implications of their research, writing a research paper, revising it post-feedback from the panel and finally presenting it to an authentic audience. Since the teachers are continually supported through training and on-going coaching, the hope is that they will be comfortable and enthusiastic enough about the pedagogy to continue using it in their classrooms post the conference.

“Teachers undergo an initial day-long training programme that takes them through the process they will subsequently take their students through,” Purvi clarifies. “They then regularly submit their students’ work to us and we provide immediate feedback and suggestions. In addition, our coaches also conduct demo lessons in their classrooms to model the process, as many teachers struggle with setting norms, facilitating group work, differentiating, pushing student thinking without imposing their own ideas, etc. We have a team of five coaches who are in charge of certain schools and are always available to answer questions that teachers may have. In addition, we have created detailed lesson plans for every step of the process. These lesson plans span about 40 hours of teaching time. These are made available for free via G drive or hard copies.”

On the subject of making learning more effective, she states, “We need to invest in our teachers’ on-going professional development. For too long, the focus has been on teaching and we need to start thinking about LEARNING. In the 21st century, learning no longer means completing the syllabus, covering content and doing well in standardized tests. If anything, this is a huge disservice to our children. Students need to be equipped with skills like critical thinking, information fluency, effective communication, creativity and a problem-solving attitude. The purpose of schooling should be to develop resourceful, ethical citizens who have a high degree of agency.  To do this effectively, we need teachers who meet the same criteria, and to achieve that we need professional development that is effective, backed by research and models best practices.”

Purvi continues, “We need to stop viewing professional development through a workshop model, which is often disruptive, discontinuous and expensive. Teacher education needs to be turned on its head, no matter the board (SSC, ISCSE, CBSE, IB…), to make it completely relevant, joyful and empowering for the teachers!”

On girl child education, the educator comments: “Even today, and especially in India, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics  (STEM) remain male-dominated fields, not because of a lack of talented women but more often than not, because of the expectations from family, peers and society about what it means to be a girl. When I told my parents I wanted to be an educator, their response was ‘that’s a great career for a woman.’ I fail to understand, to this date, what makes it so ‘appropriate’ for girls. As if our girls don’t face enough pressure already to look, dress, eat, walk and behave a certain way, the hidden messages in the everyday, ‘harmless’ things we say to them (sometimes with the best intentions) further limit their aspirations, passions and  potential contributions to the STEM fields.”

Having led a charter school in Mumbai for three years, admission time has always provided Purvi with first-hand evidence of the bias that parents have. “Daughters were happily enrolled in our school while the boys were sent to ‘better’ private schools that demanded fees,” she shares wryly.

But the current state of affairs has not dampened the educator’s spirit nor diluted her vision for the future. “Our vision is that we start viewing education as a serious profession that requires thorough training, expertise and on-going professional development; that it becomes a profession that attracts talented, intelligent young people who are passionate about teaching and learning; that we accept the fact that today’s children and tomorrow’s adults need to be critical thinkers, participative and empathetic citizens with a high sense of agency… and that all of this has to begin in our schools. Our vision is that schools become places where the true LEARNING is the focus for every child, and the PROCESS of learning is empowering, relevant and joyful for every stakeholder. Our attempt is to contribute to this change in our own way by partnering with organizations, schools and individuals who are ready for change.”

Are you ready for change? Come, be a part of it!

Seeds of Change

4. Seeds of ChangeA lot has been said and quoted by influential figures and the government as well. A lot has been promised and vouched for. However, the laws and measures that are put out by the government seem fair on paper. It’s easy to believe that things are rosy. But the fact is to the contrary – the implementation of the words is yet to be had..

There are loopholes in every system. Some can be filled out while some are smeared out but to what extent are we as a public willing to forgo such mistakes? A lot of this leads to discussions and debates while a very few lead to actions. This very act of bringing about a change in society was brought out by a lady named Beena Rao. A woman who is a staunch believer in the bringing about of change in the lives of the underprivileged, she transformed her vision into reality.

She started out by beginning a free coaching institute for slum children where the turnout was more than 1,200 students wanting to learn and attend these classes. She realized that in spite of the introduction of RTE’s and educational schemes, there still remained a huge dropout from schools. To fix this, she started her own non-profit organization that employs over 34 volunteers across Surat, Gujarat.

She simply states, “My satisfaction is immeasurable! It’s wonderful to see positive change in these children.” All of her hard work was done voluntarily just on the basis of a vision she wished to follow. Her strong determination has not only led to bringing her personal satisfaction and sense of achievement, but it has also led to the education of over 5,000 underprivileged children. All of them waiting to learn and grow.

The Graphic Extreme

1. Mortal Kombat XA while ago, technical limitations made it easy to mask some of the more sadistic reaches of the imagination. Today, however, things are different.

Mortal Kombat video games have been violent for ages, having pioneered the art of digital gore years before contemporary titles like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty were even on the minds of video game engineers.

Back then, we thought this to be unspeakable carnage. But it was 1992, and times were simpler. Today, that would hardly get a blush.

Play enough video games and it’ll ruin your posture. But no amount of orthopedic furniture can cure having someone’s fist thrust into your abdomen, breaking your spine in two before doing the same with the rest of your body.

It makes you wonder about the darker side of human nature.

Nobody can say for certain whether or not video games teach kids to be violent. But with brutality enhanced by computer technology’s quickening realism, you’ve got to wonder if the “line” has been crossed once and for all.