Design For Change (DFC) is a programme conceived by the Shree Niketan Group of Schools, Chennai, which addresses social issues. This year the students worked on a project titled “Saaindha Tharasu – Fighting Gender Imbalance” (Saaindha Tharasu in Tamil means Skewed Scale).
One evening, when I was at office a bit longer than usual, a Facebook message request pops up on my screen. I accept it and am pleasantly surprised to receive an invite to give a talk on gender equality at a school in Chennai. Mr. Vishnucharan Panneerselvam, the Correspondent for Shree Niketan Schools, a group of schools based in Chennai and its surrounding towns, had heard that I am a stand-up comedian and is intrigued to know the prospects for women in this highly male dominated field.
Chintan Girish Modi
Are human beings capable of achieving great feats? Can a heroic act be attempted by ordinary individuals? How can we nurture heroism in the classroom? Heroism is an attitude , the act of heroism is being able to take the jump into the unknown, to take a stand, to ask why or even to challenge the status quo. Can these attributes or heroic habits be developed ? Can a teacher be a hero by willing to take risks in terms of the pedagogic choices she makes, by her presence in the classroom, in the way she relates to her students? Answers to these questions can help decide whether we are all heroes in waiting.
Can anyone become a hero? Even if he or she does not have the necessary skills or knowledge? Or does he or she have to train like a sports person trains in his specialized sport? Do children need to practice being heroic everyday in subtle ways?
“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies but just as much to stand up to our friends,” said Dumbledore in the famous Harry Potter books making a young Neville Longbottom a hero amongst his friends. This perfectly defines what real heroism is about.
Heroes are regularly celebrated as special people. They’re different to you and me. We see the fearless and selfless acts of famous heroes throughout history and say, “I could not have done that. What an extraordinary person!”