Changemaker Ideas for 2022-23
In order to brainstorm for ideas to find sustainable solutions in the field of ‘Healthcare and Personal Well-Being’, ‘Education’, ‘Infrastructure’ or ‘Environment’, you may refer to listed resources to begin your research.
Hope you found these suggestions useful and happy changemaking!!
Short Article from the Bangalore Mirror from Feb 1, 2018. Agastya is a well known NGO that has come up with this unique concept LIB (Lab in a Box) to promote science education in schools. Can you think of other ways to help improve your neighborhood government schools? Can you bring in science experiments and explain them to schools or children in your neighborhood? Can you partner with Agastya to help your neighborhood schools?
Short article from Times of India from Feb 11, 2018. One person has scribed 657 exams in 10 years for the disabled. Can you help scribe exams for the disabled? Or does this story spark other ideas of how you can help the differently abled in your community?
The article and associated youtube video are a great story sharing how the kindness of strangers made a difference in the life of one person – Judge Raymond Zondo (who currently serves as South Africa’s Deputy Chief Justice). Additionally, the article on Operation Sulaimani shares how a community has made sure that its poor will not be hungry:
“The team believe that the spirit of Operation Sulaimani lies in the collective responsibility taken by the people to care for each other rather than an act of benevolence by any individual or organization.”
Can you bring a similar “neighborhood pantry” or “feed the hungry” program to the slums in your neighborhood?
Article from The Better India from March 22, 2018. This article discusses how one person has been able to use only rainwater for his personal consumption. Mr.
Shivakumar harvests rainwater for his personal consumption, has found ways to have groundwater be recharged around his home and also ensures that his grey water is properly treated and used. Can you draw inspiration from Mr. Shivakumar and other experts like him to bring similar solutions to your neighborhoods and communities?
Stormwater drains in Bengaluru need better maintenance and interconnected lakes are critical for a better environment. Can you increase awareness about the lakes in your region? Can you create detailed Google Maps that can be used to show the swamp area around your neighbourhood lakes? Can you spread awareness about this information in your neighbourhood through talks at schools, kere habbas or even a mural (like below)?
SUSTAINABILITY & ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS:
Long article in the Hindu from Jan 31, 2018. The article is detailed, well researched and thought provoking. An excerpt:
Indian farmers use antimicrobials as a substitute for good farming practices, according to Professor Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director of the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, based in Delhi.
“If you go to the average poultry farm in Punjab, you see these are all lacking: the nutrition is not there, hygiene is awful. So they are using the antibiotics as a substitute to keep the animals alive,” he said. The reason this is done is because antibiotics are cheap. “If the true cost was factored in — the cost of resistance — it wouldn’t seem like such a good option,”he added.
He believes consumer pressure, rather than regulation, is what will drive change. He points out that much of the poultry consumption in India is through direct sales to consumers rather than fast food chains.
“Consumers [in the West] were previously unaware their chicken was being raised on antibiotics, and once they found out they didn’t want it,” he said. “In India, that level of awareness doesn’t exist. I think it needs social change. It needs leaders, it needs stories, it needs organisation. It’s the same for tobacco. Nobody smokes now indoors, nobody smokes around children. The level of awareness is further on than with antibiotics.”
As discussed above, an expert states that consumer pressure is the key to solving this problem. Are there ways you can raise awareness about this issue, or help solve it? Can you encourage your friends, families and neighbours to think further down their chicken and eggs supply chain and increase demand for antibiotic free chicken farms?
Aabid Surti’s story is powerful in that it shares how one determined person can make a change. Aabid Surti went door to door with a plumber to fix leaking taps. Can you do the same in your community? Can you extend this way of finding a simple and local solution to a global problem to other environmental issues?
Plastic pollution is a concern for all. The articles and links above talk about plastic pollution and there are also some ideas on how to reduce pollution. Can you get a group of people to take the plastic pledge and follow through on it? Are there any other solutions that you can implement to reduce use of plastic?
HEALTH AND PERSONAL WELL BEING:
Several articles that discuss different aspects of menstrual hygiene. There are some extremely varying viewpoints on menstrual hygiene in India and what should be done about it. Can you comb through these articles and come up with an optimal and sustainable solution?
The article and video above strongly make the case for a holistic education and our society’s obsession with exams and grades. Delhi Government schools have been successful in the last few years due in large part to the leadership of Atishi Marlena who is interviewed in the third article above. Do you think a holistic education is beneficial? If yes, why? If yes, can you think of ways to make education more holistic? Do you think its valuable to change the mindset of our society? If yes, why? If yes, how can you go about doing this in your school?
This is a great article with many examples of how students brought ideas around health and wellbeing into their campus (the initiative is called Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) and was pioneered in 2012 at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
The video shares how art changed the life of an entrepreneur. What are you passionate about? Can you channel your passion (like the artists in this video did) to make a positive change in the life/lives of somebody around you? If you are a musician, can you bring music to government school children in your neighbourhood? If you are a long distance runner, can you train children in your neighbourhood to participate in a running event?
OTHER SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
As part of Nature India’s 10th anniversary celebrations, we produced a special issue on ‘Grand Challenges’. (Download your free copy here.):
India is headed towards an astonishing population surge. With 1.34 billion people recorded in early 2018, the country is estimated to add another 100 million by 2024 overtaking China, currently the most populous nation in the world. Therefore, her daunting demographics are integral to any discussion around the challenges faced by India.
The mammoth population coupled with limited resources, and growing urbanization and energy needs are important factors behind many socio-economic issues. Be it poverty, healthcare delivery, literacy, pollution or waste management — each of India’s problems can be directly linked to and are intensified by its teeming millions. Some of the most pressing challenges raised by a large population are in the public healthcare, energy and sanitation sectors. Successive Indian governments have made tremendous efforts to meet public needs and expectations. However, health concerns such as tuberculosis, maternal and infant mortality, vector- and water borne-diseases, malnutrition, hygiene and sanitation remain major problems.
The Nature India special issue on Grand Challenges takes a closer look at some of these hazards, which are experienced across the developing world. What are the grand challenges for the country’s 1.3 billion people? Can science help find solutions to some of the public health problems? Can innovation provide long-term answers? Through in-depth commentaries by subject experts, this special issue looks at the state of affairs in malaria management, maternal and child health, malnutrition and tuberculosis. It also looks at the science-led innovations and solutions already on offer. In a reprint section, we compile some recent articles from across Nature Research publications that highlight the grand challenges and research-based solutions that India and the rest of the developing world have adopted.
The volume also features a special photo section curated from top entries to the 2017 Nature India photo competition, themed ‘Grand Challenges’. These pictures are compelling visual narratives of some deeply moving and familiar circumstances. With examples and case studies of evidence-based solutions, the Nature India special issue on Grand Challenges hopes to be an enlightening read for scientists, policy- makers, business leaders, and societies across the developing world.
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