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The Revolutionary Optimists

THE REVOLUTIONARY OPTIMISTS follows former lawyer Amlan Ganguly who empowers children from the slums of Kolkata to become agents of change – battling poverty and transforming their neighborhoods with dramatic results.

Director: Maren Grainger-Monsen, Nicole Newnham
Year: 2013
Time: 95 min

 The Revolutionary Optimists
(2013) on IMDb

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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to be touched and inspired by it.

Consider donating to Prayasam, the organization featured the film. Alternatively, visit their website for information on volunteer abroad opportunities.

Join Map Your World, a global network of young people inspired by the film to make real change.

Consider donating or participating in a fundraiser to help Water, an organisation that is actively working to bring safe drinking water to many Indian communities. 

Help, in any way you can. UNICEF provides many opportunities to help improve educational opportunities for girls in India.

Related Articles and Resources

Interview With the Filmmakers

“We were trying to tell a story of strength and resilience and ingenuity and entrepreneurship. And yet, you had to give people that context to understand the struggle. So finding that balance was really challenging. We would show early cuts to people who would comment, “Well, I am not sure that I understand that they are poor because they are dressed so nicely…”

Read the Cultural Weekly interview here.

A Conversation With Revolutionary Optimists: Salim Shekh and Sikha Patra.

Watch the conversation on Youtube.

An Interview With Amlan Ganguly

Hear Amlan Ganguly talk about his experience from his work in Kolkuta here.

How India’s Urban Boom is Built on Slave Labour

“After children as young as four found working in squalid conditions, NGO launches ‘blood bricks’ campaign to raise awareness of human rights abuses in India’s brick kilns.

All told, India’s brick industry – the second largest in the world after China – contributes around £3bn to the country’s economy every year. Not that the workers see much of that.”

Read The Guardian article here, or explore the Blood Bricks campaign.

Global Health Success: India Free of Polio

“India has been certified polio-free by the World Health Organization after going three years without an endemic case of polio. The eradication of polio in India is heralded as one of the biggest achievements in global health efforts.  Just five years ago, India was home to nearly half the global polio cases and considered one of the most technically difficult places to eradicate the disease…”

Read more about this on CNN.


“We care, because someone must…”

Find out more about the organization featured in THE REVOLUTIONARY OPTIMISTS here.

Treating India’s Wastewater

“The bottom line is this: if India were to widely deploy adequate treatment technology, the country would be able to significantly expand its available water supply, both for potable and non-potable use. Our economy, industry and most importantly, our people, would reap the benefits. The challenge is huge, but not intractable. ”

Read the full article on The Guardian.

Indian Women Push Back Marriage Age

A mindset-shift is in progress in India, the latest demographic indicators reveal that more and more women are exchanging wedding vows late.

Read the full article here.


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