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%.”