A programme to move privileged children to concern and action

The world of today's privileged children is a self-centric universe, stunted by their limited exposure to life's complexities and challenges, fuelled by an overdose of biased media influences, and devoid of any heartfelt values towards parents, society or country.

It is to sensitize these citizens of tomorrow towards the 'realities' of life - especially disparities in society - and stimulate in them a measure of concern for their less fortunate counterparts, that Smile has conceived the path-breaking 'You Can Make A Difference' project.

Through this programme, it hopes to encourage the more fortunate children to take positive steps, no matter how small, to 'help' their challenged friends. By extension, it also hopes that the attitudinal changes brought about by a sense of 'caring' and positive action will also transform these children into mature and understanding adults : better equipped to face life and more conscious of their values and responsibilities towards family and nation.

The programme is to be launched as a pilot project in Mumbai schools during the 2007-08 academic session. Subsequently, it will be extended to schools countrywide. A year-end gala event will be held to recognize notable efforts by individual children, and by schools, in the conduct of the programme.

Project kits are currently under development - keeping the children's already pressure-prone academic life in mind. The idea is to generate optimal impact through ease of compliance and understanding.

Activities related to disseminating information on the project will include the following:
• Publishing of a Best Practices booklet for schools.
• Online project page with updates and chat-room, linked to the parent Smile website that already receives over 3 lakh hits a month.
• Radio programmes on premier FM channels.
• Coverage in mainstream media, besides children-specific TV channels and publications.