Stories of five children who are fighting for larger social causes.
Remember how you wanted to change the world when you were young? With the rise of Internet and the mobile, coupled with an increase in NGOs, social enterprises, and change-makers; many children today are actually creating meaningful impact in the social sector.
We bring to you, stories of five children who have taken up larger social causes, and are walking the extra mile. At an age when most of their classmates spend their time watching cartoons, playing video games, or preparing for exams; these children are leading social change, and filling into shoes much bigger for their size.
Fourteen-year-old Anand Krishna Mishra is a resident of Lucknow. Also known locally as ‘Chota Masterji’, Anand organises his ‘Bal Choupals’ (gathering of children) every evening, where he teaches Mathematics, Computers, and English to over 125 children from different slums and villages in and around the city. Often assisted by his parents and friends, Anand also visits the homes of these children and convinces them to pursue studies, and has assisted over 700 children to get enrolled in schools.
Ananya Saluja is a 17-year-old resident of Noida. In 2015, she got a chance to volunteer in the remote villages of Leh during her summer break, and hasn’t looked back ever since. Every year, she volunteers with 17,000 ft Foundation, a Ladakh-based NGO, and has participated in an range of activities including teaching children and setting up a playground for kids. She makes the best use of her time outside Ladakh, and also helps the organisation with fundraising, and has raised over Rs 10 lakh to build 19 libraries across remote villages in Ladakh.
A resident of Hyderabad, 19-year-old Meghana Dabbara is helping over 50 underprivileged children break the cycle of poverty. She, along with her three co-founders, started Make The World Wonderful, an NGO that runs a residential school in the city. The school, besides the usual subjects, also teaches gender equality, secularism, and equality across caste, class, creed and colour to the young minds. For their exemplary work in the field of education, Meghana represented India at the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, New York.
Eleven-year-old Muskaan Ahirwar started a library for slum children two years ago. A resident of the slums of Arera Hills in Bhopal, Muskaan’s father is a carpenter. Her library, called Bal Pustakalay, has over a hundred books which other children of the slum can borrow and read. Taking on the role of a librarian, she sets up the library outside her house every evening, while the children eagerly wait. They surround Muskaan to listen to her stories and issue the books.
Ridhima Pandey is a 10-year-old who made news for filing a petition against the Indian government for not taking climate change seriously. A resident of Uttarakhand, Ridhima approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to ensure the government starts to take major steps to tackle the adverse effect of climate change. Ridhima's petition prompted the court to seek a carbon budget from the environment ministry, and plan towards reducing carbon dioxide content to 350 parts per million. The ten-year-old has made environmental protection her life's mission, and plans to help reshape the environmental policies of India when she grows up.