Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” This is particularly true in the story of the young boy hailing from the village of Machlikala, Punjab.
When the world was hit with a crisis, he managed to lift himself up from the dark clouds of gloom and shone the light of hope with his inherent compassion and zeal to serve.
Himangshu Rana is a 7th grader in a government school, but his age belies his ability to see the big picture. His passion to bring about a change in his community shone like a bright light during the dark times of the pandemic. He wanted to be a changemaker in every term of the word.
When the schools shut down because of the lockdown, Himanshu Rana was one of the many volunteers at an RGF center as a Changemaker. Like many others, he learned how to operate computers, use the search engine on Google, start Zoom meetings, use WhatsApp, MS word, open emails, etc. But one thing separated him from the others. He said, “ I will remain a part of the center as long as it lasts.” His willingness to learn and serve was apparent, and if not anything, it shone in his very eyes. Soon, with sheer enthusiasm, he learned to take charge and lead from the front. On his own, in the absence of a senior Changemaker, he would start the computer and set up the entire thing all on his own. He was a huge helping hand to the ‘Changemakers’. That’s not all.
Along with his friends, he made small skits to raise awareness on various pertaining issues. One such is a skit on Covid that went viral on FB. But for him, the motivation was altruistic. According to him, he has seen on FB and YouTube how people around the world were doing different things in their respective areas to create awareness, whereas no such measures were taking place in his small village. Taking inspiration, he took it upon himself to create his own. In one skit, they had someone play a nurse and another student played the role of a patient.
In another one, they raised awareness of the values of trees in our lives. In the skit, the woodcutter one day decides to cut a very big and old fruit-bearing tree. During summers, when he doesn’t find a patch of shade to shield himself from the scorching sun, he regrets his act of chopping the tree down. The storylines are great, but the good bit doesn’t end there.
We get a glimpse of his matured and sensible mind in everything he does. A show requires costumes. He recycles to suit a character in a skit. It’s a skill that he picked up at the RoundGlass Foundation center. They recycle and use old clothes, scraps, used chart papers, and stuff they just find lying around.
As for scripting out the skits, Himanghu puts to good use another skill he learned at the Center. MS Word. With a little help from the Changemakers to make the storyline tight, they roll it out to the world to create an impact. Speaking of impact, when children learn to solve problems of their own and take matters into their own hands, things are bound to change for the better. The life skills that the young of Punjab, like Himanghu, learns at the RGF centers help them solve real problems on the ground.
A case in point is the problem of dirt and garbage lying near one of our centers. The kids from the Center raised the issue with the head of their village and requested big dustbins so that the trash could be thrown there instead. Furthermore, the kids worked together with RoundGlass Changemakers to transfer cow dungs littering the roads to the nearby farms where they can be used as manures.