Agra: One idea, one
week, one billion lives to change: The annual Design For Change (DFC)
challenge for schoolchildren has begun across India.
This year, the DFC contest has spread to 34 countries. It will
encompass 300,000 schools and will touch 25 million children with
the "I Can" theme, fuelled by passion, belief and a compelling
sense of purpose.
"Design for Change is the largest global movement aimed at giving
children an opportunity to express their own ideas for a better
world and put them into action," the movement's founder, Ahmedabad-based
Kiran Sethi, told IANS.
"Children and adults learn through the Design for Change challenge
that 'I Can' are the two most powerful words a person can believe.
Children who have discovered this are changing their world. This
year, Design for Change reaches 34 countries and over 300,000
schools, inspiring hundreds of thousands of children, their
teachers and parents, to celebrate the fact that change is
possible and that they can lead that change!
"The challenge asks students to do four very simple things: Feel,
Imagine, Do and Share. Children are dreaming up and leading
brilliant ideas all over the world, from challenging age-old
superstitions in rural communities, to earning their own money to
finance school computers, to solving the problem of heavy school
bags - children are proving that they have what it takes to be
able to 'design' a future that is desired," Sethi added.
Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage
Conservation Society, which is DFC's western Uttar Pradesh
partner, had last week released a kit being sent to schools, which
have to register by August 15. Sharma said last year more than 15
schools from the region participated but "this year we plan to
involve more than 50 in the competition which is unique, socially
relevant and exciting for the school children."
Normally schools start organising activities during the Joy of
Giving weekend -September. The final submission of reports will be
by October 8 and the winners will be announced on November 14,
In addition to 100 prizes, Disney will sponsor 20 top stories,
while Amar Chitra Katha will give gift hampers to the top 100
winners. CNN-IBN will showcase six DFC stories from previous years
for their groundbreaking ideas in a special episode to be aired on
Last year, students of Chennai's HLC International School worked
on a project to recycle waste. In the process, they realised that
one man's waste could be another's treasure. Starting with a waste
collection drive, they made decorative articles from plastic
bottles and paper bags from old newspapers which were then donated
to an orphanage.
In Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, students developed a herbal
garden to sensitise more than 2,000 people in their community to
the harmful effects of some allopathic medicines.
Schoolchildren in Dehradun set out to find a design for a burner
that would work on only twigs and dry leaves and in turn reduce
massive consumption of wood during cooking.
Hundreds of other schools all over India put forth various ideas
that would help bring about transformation of their communities in
a meaningful manner and in the process help children to feel,
imagine, do and share.
For details, schools may visit www.dfcworld.com/india