Monthly Archives: March 2011

Before I proceed to discuss the title of this post, I wanted to write a few lines about the action points–how did the idea arise and why is it so important?

When I was at TEDWomen conference, I was intrigued by something written on a delegate’s top: ‘If you ran the world, what would you change?’. I wanted to know more about this initiative and wondered how we could use the answers/outcomes? The familiar face turned out to be Cindy Gallop, who is also a TED speaker and now, a TEDBook author. She told me that ‘If We Ran The World’ was useful for TEDx events to chart out action points; everybody talks about inspiration but how many people do something with it?

I decided that this was a great idea to implement at TEDx Shekhavati. I gave the task to handle this ‘booth’ during TEDx Shekhavati to Jharna Kewalramani who was looking for the right volunteer opportunity during the event. She created informative posters for her booth and her task was to go to attendees and ask them to jot down their ideas or write it for them (since many could not read or write). We got 143 people to respond and most of them had multiple feedback. A shoutout to Monica Tripathi and Devpriya Bajoria who assisted with the booth.

Of course, we had tweaked the question to: If you ran Fatehpur (OR <insert your village name>), what changes would you make?

Below are all the action points/changes people want in Fatehpur and in Shekhavati area of Rajasthan. They are listed in order of priority, as voted by people:

  1. Cleanliness (People throwing trash on the streets, dirty streets, insects, stray animals being dumped in Fatehpur)
  2. Education (Cost, quality of education, quality of teachers, lack of teacher training)
  3. Encourage girls’ education and work opportunities
  4. Construction of good roads
  5. Improve drainage and sewage systems
  6. Water (Cleanliness, cost, excess fluoride)
  7. Abolishing child marriage
  8. Opportunities for the poor (education for children and parents)
  9. Scarcity of electricity
  10. Peace among different religious sections
  11. Install dustbins in the village (Currently, there are NO dustbins!)
  12. Organise more seminars and street theatre performances to educate public
  13. Corruption
  14. Proper medical facilities (good doctors, equipment and ambulances needed)

Other points that were mentioned once or twice: plant more trees, abolish dowry practice, building playgrounds, reducing air pollution, reducing unemployment, preserving heritage, education for special needs people, availability of LPG, change people’s thinking, and reduce inflation.

I am planning to create projects from these action points and more importantly, this also gives me the insight on what topics concern people the most, and hence, choosing speakers relevant to the points to address issues that people should know more about.

So far, it’s been an interesting experiment. TEDx Shekhavati is not just a conference, I want it to become a platform for change. As JR said: changing the world inside out.