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  • In India, children may be the best agents of change.

    In India, children may be the best agents of change.

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  • Teaching children to be agents of change in Calcutta

    Teaching children to be agents of change in Calcutta

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  • This multi-platform project puts the power of new technologies into the hands of young change agents.

    This multi-platform project puts the power of new technologies into the hands of young change agents.

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  • Child activists working with Amlan, marching through the streets of Kolkata using megaphones to spread health messages

    Child activists working with Amlan, marching through the streets of Kolkata using megaphones to spread health messages

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  • Kajol, 11-year-old child laborer and budding activist, running

    Kajol, 11-year-old child laborer and budding activist, running

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  • Amlan and the children putting on a puppetshow about the need for clean water in their neighborhood

    Amlan and the children putting on a puppetshow about the need for clean water in their neighborhood

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  • Kajol, 11-year-old child laborer and budding activist, in the brickfield outside Kolkata where she lives and works

    Kajol, 11-year-old child laborer and budding activist, in the brickfield outside Kolkata where she lives and works

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  • Amlan and the children

    Amlan and the children

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The Film

Amlan Ganguly empowers children to become activists and educators, with powerful results. The Revolutionary Optimists follows him as he attempts to replicate his work in the brick fields outside the city, where children live and work in unimaginable conditions.

Using street theater, puppetry, and dance as their weapons, the children in Calcutta's slums have cut their neighborhoods' malaria and diarrhea rates in half, and turned former garbage dumps into playing fields. Now, pushing at the limits of optimism, Amlan is attempting to take his work into the brickfields outside Calcutta, where spend their days making and carrying bricks using methods unchanged by centuries.

The Revolutionary Optimists proposes a workable solution to intractable problems associated with poverty, including preventable diseases and ineffectual governance. Ganguly's story suggests that education and child empowerment are crucial keys to lifting entire societies out of hopelessness.

The Filmmakers

  1. Nicole NewnhamProducer/Director
  2. Maren Grainger-MonsenProducer/Director