The 73rd Independence Day of India this year was celebrated with a unique burst of social change ideas from across India inspired by the change mantra of Mahatma Gandhi. GSDS in association with the Kochi based non-profit LetterFarms launched a unique campaign ’73 hours of Handwritten Change Ideas for the Nation’ inviting students across India to handwrite one social change idea that they passionately want to see, on simple postcards, inspired by the timeless change mantra of Mahatma Gandhi: Be the change that you wish to see in the world. Personal invitations were emailed to over 1500 educational institutions all over India requesting them to organize CHANGE150 workshop – an hour long session during which students will come together to articulate their social change ideas on postcards - at their respective institutions in the 73 hours leading up to the Independence Day of India.
The campaign got a resounding support with CHANGE150 workshops organized by institutions across the length and breadth of India, from rural to the urban, cutting across caste, creed, religion and economic status.
As of now, change ideas have come in from 35 cities spread across 15 states of India. Right from the Navodaya Vidyalayas , Kendriya Vidyalayas, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawans & Delhi Public Schools to the IIMs, IITs and Sainik schools, the enthusiasm to be part of this unique sesquicentennial year celebration has been extraordinary. In fact, due to an unprecedented shortage of postcards in several post offices, many of these educational institutions re-scheduled their CHANGE150 workshops to a later date and many even created postcards on their own using chart papers.
Even as the timelines were very pressing, GSDS and LetterFarms worked hard to invite over 1500 educational institutions spread across the country, through emails and personal letters, thereby engaging them to be part of the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi and transform his timeless change mantra into action points. Even as change ideas continue to pour in, collaborations such as this successfully adds a phenomenal gush of energy to the 150th birth anniversary celebration of the Mahatma by engaging the youth in different parts of the country simultaneously. Their effectiveness can rise manifold with more resources and meticulous follow-ups.
CHANGE150 project, by Kochi based non-profit organization LetterFarms, began on 2nd October 2018 and has been on a people-powered mission to mobilize handwritten change ideas on postcards by ordinary citizens from 150 cities across states of India, identify 150 compelling civic change innovations from the tens of thousands received thus transforming Mahatma’s change mantra into action-points, and engaging young India to think for the greater good of our society and the nation.
Partnering with prestigious organizations such as India Post, National Gandhi Museum Delhi, National Rail Museum Delhi and the Kochi Muziris Biennale, CHANGE150 Postcard Display has been inspiring thousands of ordinary citizens to pick up a simple postcard and take their first steps to being a social changemaker inspired by the change mantra of Bapu.