Salim Shekh, a boy of 15 years, lives in a polluted slum in East Kolkata, India. Sikha Patra, a girl of 15 years, lives in an Indian slum called Neheru Colony. This dynamic duo has been engaged in eradicating polio from their community, developing a map which they plan to share online with the global audience to make their invisible community visible. Sikha and Salim are child advisors to Prayasam, an India-based NGO that has organized thousands of children in the slum areas to become peer leaders/educators, catalyzing lifestyle changes within their communities. Focusing primarily on preventive health, sanitation, and hygiene, these children are changing the physical and social environment within which they live. Currently they are negotiating with the local government to ward off diseases like dengue. Both Sikha and Salim were speakers at the Skoll World Forum held in Oxford in 2012. They spoke about the active role of the youth as the contributors as well as the change-makers of the society.
After showing a trailer from the feature film Revolutionary Optimists, about how children are saving lives in the slums of Calcutta, TEDxChange host Melinda Gates will then invite Salim and Sikha, who both feature prominently in the film, to join her onstage for Q&A.
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