Ladies and Gentlemen. Boys and Girls. This is what we call ‘going BACK in time’. Literally. Just look at this picture and tell me if I am wrong.
Call this a sad case of irony or whatever, but the truth is, that despite the fantastic economic growth, India is doing really bad in urban governance. For more than a decade, India has enjoyed unprecedented growth that in many ways is comparable to that of The United States of America years ago. However, the same cannot be said of our infrastructure.
Come on India, we know you can do better. Report some of these issues to the authorities through ChangeBhai and help India move forward.
Team ChangeBhai embarked on a nation wide ‘Ground Engagement Campaign’ for schools and colleges last month. We are covering hundreds of such institutions, small, big, government, private and so on. Have a look at the pictures below from one such campaign.
These are students of Laxmibai Nandgude International School, Pimpri Chinchwad.
We were to take a session on ‘How to use ChangeBhai to report issues” in this school. A peep into the window of the makeshift tin room where the students were seated and my colleague whispered to me “Dude, I bet none of these kids would have access to internet. We need to drop the original plan of educating the kids about ChangeBhai..let’s not throw that whole ‘tagging the issue on a map’ gyan here..no point..why to bug the poor kids…nahi samjhega inko”
I agreed. “Ya..ya..of course..lets chuck it..Plan B is cool here..let’s just speak about some popular social issues…garbage..potholes..and leave”
There were around 60-70 kids from 8th, 9th & 10th standards, girls seated on one side and boys on the other. Around 10-15 teachers were sitting on either side of the small jam-packed room.
I began the session with the general gyan on social issues that we face on day to day basis. As I was about to introduce the portal to the students, I thought of asking the students some questions to gauge their ‘internet awareness level’ so that I can tweak my pitch accordingly.
“So, how many of you use internet regularly?” , I ask, expecting 4-5 kids to raise their hands.
Barring 2-3 girls, all of them raise their hands. Yes. All!
“Ahem..mmm..ok. ..g..gr..great..Ok..so how many of you are on facebook?”
70% hands went up again.
“What about mobile?..How many of you have it?”
50% hands up again.
“Do you use any apps on your phone?”
My colleague looks at me. We know what to do next. We go back to Plan A which was a ‘Spot The Issue’ activity. The activity was super successful. 11 students tied up for the 1st place!! A 1 min on-the-spot extempore competition was conducted to pick two winners.
The students were to speak about the issues featured on ChangeBhai which were close to their hearts.
Reik Khan, 14 said “I want to do something about Child Labour in India. No parent should send their kids to work when it is time for them to study..So, Yes.. I want to use Changebhai to report all such child labour issues that I see on a daily basis in my city”
Pratik Sonawane, 15, Reik’s senior in school, said “We, the citizens are as much to blame for bad civic situation in our country as are the authorities. Educating the citizens to report the issues around them is the need of the hour”
The more we interact with young guns like you, the more we feel confident about the success that awaits ChangeBhai!