How Kabir Lived Up To His Name
Meet this exceptional boy, Kabir Parikh. He is not a celebrity; but I will not be surprised if he eventually becomes one. The tell-tale signs are clearly there for anyone to see.
Kabir is just 11 yrs. old and will soon move to the 6th std. And he has embarked on a project which will directly impact two hundred lives. Yes, two hundred lives!
His school (Bombay International School) mentions on their website, ‘Through its inquiry-led, trans-disciplinary framework, the Primary Years Program challenges students to think for themselves and take responsibility for their learning as they explore local and global issues and opportunities in real-life contexts.’
Long and short of the story – Kabir took up a project on one of the SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals. He chose the Goal 6 ‘Clean Water and Sanitation.’ Why did he choose this goal out of the seventeen SDG? Because his family owns an organization which makes and sells UV air and water purification systems.
Kabir began researching how to make safe, clean water available. And technology interested him, in particular. His research took him to the Hamza Farrukh’s Ted Talk video ‘Solving The Global Water Crisis in 7 Minutes‘.
And Kabir stumbled upon an article; it mentioned Aroehan’s work. Aroehan is an NGO working in Jawhar-Mokhada blocks of Palghar District since 2005. You are invited to read more about Aroehan which is acronym of Action Related to Organization of Education, Health And Nutrition.
The enterprising young boy contacted Dr Shubalakshmi Iyer, COO of Aroehan. Soon Kabir and his mother were on the way to Suryamal and Mokhada where he visited a solar powered installation which purifies water and makes it available to the villagers. Kabir decided that he also would like to put up a plant which purifies water.
Aroehan supported Kabir’s initiative, and drew up a project plan for installing solar powered water plant. Kabir on his part made a video and (Solar Water Plant Saves Lives in Mokhada) appealed to people to donate generously for his project. And he yearns to see his project ‘go live’ by the time his 12th birthday arrives which is just two months away. Amazing, how young persons harness technology and set larger goals.
The newspapers have been carrying very disappointing and disturbing news. We read more about the ‘word wars’ than reports of constructive work. Development has hardly touched the people in villages.
And we tend to lose faith in this country’s future – till we meet Kabir, and feel there is hope! The word ‘Kabir’ means ‘Great’ – Do you really think it is a coincidence?
Vivek S Patwardhan
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” **** “Aroehan: Creating Dream Villages in Mokhada by 2025: “No Malnutrition Deaths, No Child ‘Out of School’, Reduction in migration by 50%.”
Inspirin. May we have many more Kabirs
Three cheers for Kabir and many other young children like him. We can look forward to a better world thanks to their effort.
Kudos to Kabir’s teachers and parents for supporting and encouraging him.
Thank you Vivek, for writing his story.
Thank you for sharing the inspiring story of Kabir . I am sure that Kabir would complete the project within 2 months before his birthday. Young generation is hope of the future.
Thank you for this wonderful blog and we have so much respect for organisations like Aroehan which are implementing such projects. We are grateful to the school and teachers too – their guidance and patience in helping him see the project through has been incredible.
Ms Biraj Parikh whose comment appears above is Kabir’s mother.
Kudos to Kabir! My observation is that a people-centric and community-centric curriculum at schools can foster a culture of innovation even in young children. Schools must promote such contributions.
Both Kabir and Aroehan inspire us to be the change we want to see.