Bengaluru: Students from different schools in the city got together at Inventure Academy on Friday and proposed solutions and prototypes to various socio-economic problems. The second edition of ‘The Changemaker Challenge’ saw teenagers representing different schools taking part in a competition focused on the importance of education in different walks of life.
The team representing Parikrma Humanity Foundation, Sahakaranagar proposed the idea of adapting textbook material from different boards to present lessons in an interactive manner to visually challenged students. Named ‘Voices of Light,’ the team, consisting of Divya Mahesh, Jancy V., Karthik S., Vijay R., Gangothri E. and Gowtham V., is recording various concepts from National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), CBSE, ICSE and government school textbooks to turn them into plays, short stories and presentations with the help of art and music. “We found that the state has over 40,000 visually challenged students in the age group of 10-19. Braille books are available for them, but they are too monotonous and boring. We are planning to make learning interesting for them,” said Divya, an aspiring journalist.
The team said that it is important to reach out to their counterparts in the same age group rather than depending on others. The students have already hosted art auctions, food fests and cultural programmes to raise funds for their project and said that more plans are in the pipeline. Another solution, ‘Interacting, Learning and You’ (ILY), proposed by students of Bangalore International School (BIS), plans to bridge the gap between education and resources available to institutions, especially government schools. “Organisations and individuals want to give time and resources to those in need, but channelising it is not being done effectively. ILY wants to chart a comprehensive map of the city showing locations and requirements of government schools to help volunteers and NGOs reach out to them to provide assistance,” said Yogitha Raghavendra, an eleventh grader and an aspiring civil servant representing her team that also included Joseph Taram and Indraneal Medhi. ‘Project Swapna’, presented by Samyukta Shriv
atsa , Laya Lakshminarayan, Sahit Bangre, and Saankhya Shrivatsa from Inventure Academy aims to create a widespread mentor network for high school students to help them attain proper career guidance and exposure to right opportunities in higher education. “A centralised scholarship portal is also part of this initiative to help students from underprivileged sections get access to such opportunities without much trouble. We are also looking at sharing specialised study materials prepared at well-known coaching centres to help them perform better in entrance and competitive exams,” said Samyukta. The winners of the challenge will be selected by a panel which includes Shehzia Lilani (country manager, Amani Institute, India), Sumedha Godkhindi (leader, Whitefield Ready), and Adhirath Sethi (author and trustee, Agastya Foundation). Cash awards worth Rs 5.5 lakh will be distributed to the winners at a special function scheduled to be held on December 15.
Other ideas that caught attention include ‘Ikhtiyaar’, which intends to educate teenage girls on how to report, resist and be aware of physical abuse, ‘Darpan’, an initiative to directly connect residential communities to orphanages to encourage effective resource sharing (team from The International School Bangalore) and a proposal by students of Sandepani Academy for Excellence, Sarjapur to inculcate healthy food habits among students from pre-school level avoiding junk food.