The Revolutionary Optimists

Missing From Google Maps: Children of India’s Kolkata Slum Turn a Void into a Positive Health Campaign

The Revolutionary Optimists


In the slums of India lies a town uncharted by Google Maps. Saddened by the fact that their home was simply an empty space among other neighboring villages and cities, a group of courageous teenagers personally mapped out their town, and later used it for a polio vaccination campaign. Their incredible quest attracted international attention and was documented in the film, The Revolutionary Optimists.


These children living in the slums of Kolkata, India are young community organizers. When they realized their homes did not appear on Google Maps””instead there was a void, a blank space””they worked to count every residence on every street and map their own neighborhood.

They then used the map they created to organize a polio vaccination campaign, making sure every child in their community was protected against the disease.

Not bad for a small group of teenagers, and even more impressive when you consider the odds against them: poverty, lack of access to reliable water, the prospect of early arranged marriage and balancing basic education with generating income and putting food on the table…Continue Reading



kristin kowlackyABOUT THE CURATOR

Kristin Kownacky is a junior at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, where she is currently working towards a BA in journalism and international studies. It is her dream to travel the world, discovering hidden treasures and writing about each experience. Read her articles on her personal blog, Depart We Now.

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