Last week at TEDxChange 2013: Positive Disruption, Melinda Gates brought to stage Salim Shekh and Sikha Petra, two of the children featured in the Stanford-produced documentary "The Revolutionary Optimists." The award-winning film, which was co-directed and co-produced by Maren Grainger-Monsen, MD, and Nicole Newnham, tells the story of a lawyer-turned-social entrepreneur who worked to empower children living in Calcutta’s poorest neighborhood to become leaders in improving health. As described on the film's website, the youth have "painstakingly track[ed] and collect[ed] data around health issues that impact them – water, sanitation, and infectious diseases" and then made improvements in each of the areas.
The TEDXChange video was recently made available on Facebook (log-in required); scroll to the 1:20 mark to view the movie trailer and to 1:22 to meet Salim and Sikha, who are embarking on a U.S. tour to talk about their work. An amazing figure from the talk: Before the group began promoting polio vaccination, only 35 percent of children in their community were vaccinated. Now 85 percent are.
Previously: Stanford documentary wins award from the Sundance Film Institute, A story of how children from Calcutta’s poorest neighborhood became leaders in improving health and Stanford filmmakers to debut documentary at TEDxChange