EntertainmentSocial Good

The Revolutionary Optimists: Children Who are Changing their World

While some only dream about making the world a better place or  just talk about it, others make change happen with their actions. In Kolkata, India’s most notorious squatter’s colonies, a group of kids known as “area health minders”, have organized a movement to improve the quality of life in their community. The area doesn’t even appear on a map, can you imagine that?

The Revolutionary Optimists is a film that documents the story of  Amlan Ganguly and his work with three children: Kajal age 12, Priyanka 16, and 11 year old Salim. Instead of directly assisting the children, Amlan decided to approach the problem differently by empowering the children instead. These children refuse to accept their fate and are working hard to facilitate change.

Revolutionary Optimists are Changing the World

The children record and track information about issues impacting their villages like water, sanitation and diseases. They have taught dance, performed street theater, and learned to use technology like GPS devices to achieve results. Vaccination drives organized by the children has brought them a step closer to eradicating polio (As of Jan 2013, India has gone 2 years without incident). They’ve reduced waste contamination by converting garbage dumps into playing fields, and worked to educate the community about disease prevention. Their efforts have produced a significant decline in malaria and rotavirus diarrhea infections in the community.

Revolutionary Optimists are Changing the World

Amlan has enabled the children to have some control over their fate by empowering them to make decisions and changes that improve their circumstances.

 “As a girl, I’m always told things happen because of fate. But its the things I do, not luck that determine my fate. So we must forget about fate, and move forward. ” -Priyanka

The movie aims to draw attention to health problems in the developing world that are preventable and treatable, and demonstrate how education and child empowerment are a critical key to positive change. “The Revolutionary Optimists” is an amazing, eye-opening film that shows strength of community amidst poverty and opens in theaters March 29, 2013.

Learn more about the children and their efforts on The Revolutionary Optimists Facebook page or join the conversation on Twitter @RevOptimists.

Jeana Shandraw

Jeana Shandraw

Rarely caught without a camera, Jeana is an adventurous traveler with a passion for people, cultures and food that has led her to 38 countries in 5 years. When she's not using her powers for social good, she enjoys photography, cooking and building LEGOs with her son. On occasion, you may also find her crocheting cute things to hide in her husband's underwear drawer.

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  1. Lily Kwan
    March 4, 2013 at 2:35 am — Reply

    This movie looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  2. addibrae
    March 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm — Reply

    That’s so inspiring.

  3. Marcy Strahan
    February 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm — Reply

    I would love to see this. SOunds very informational & inspiring.

  4. Debbie Corbin
    February 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm — Reply

    it is up to the children to change a lot of things that the now adults have done to the world good for them

  5. molli vandehey
    February 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm — Reply

    i love this idea and now it’s definitely on my list. thanks so much for making this more visual for all!

  6. Maria Iemma
    February 28, 2013 at 6:40 am — Reply

    It is sad to think that many children are not able to receive vaccinations. Nations need to get together and find a solution to this problem

  7. Maria Iemma
    February 28, 2013 at 6:31 am — Reply

    Children are out future and it is sad to think that many children are suffering – we must do what we can to help them be the best that they can be

  8. February 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm — Reply

    What a great idea for a film! Kids truly are our future and it’s great to see them being empowered.

  9. Lori Thomas
    February 27, 2013 at 4:55 pm — Reply

    Kids are so amazing with the things they can do

  10. Erica Barnes
    February 26, 2013 at 8:03 am — Reply

    This sounds amazing!

  11. Joni Mason
    February 25, 2013 at 9:27 am — Reply

    I’m definitely going to see “The Revolutionary Optimists” now that I’ve read your post. It’s amazing what theses kids have done! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Alicia Keen
    February 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm — Reply

    sort of depressing but important to know

  13. Nancy Bowers
    February 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm — Reply

    Fascinating concept and full of hope for an area so deprived!

  14. February 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    The Revolutionary Optimists: Children Who are Changing their World

  15. Margaret Smith
    February 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    What an amazing story. If only there could be more people in this world who empowers others.

  16. Donna Evans
    February 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    What a thoughful read

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