While I was in D.C. with the other Global Issues Fellows we watched clips of the documentary The Revolutionary Optimist. The film shows the amazing efforts of teens to help end polio in India. Earlier in 2014 India celebrated being three years polio free.
Last year the film aired on PBS and the filmmakers, Nicole Newnham and Maren Grainger-Monsen, were asked what they hoped to achieve with the film.
“We hope the film touches and inspires people with its message that community organization and empowerment, and a commitment to slow change — across generations — is necessary to solve the pressing problems of the world.
We also hope that the film will make significant impact in health and foreign policy by showing that the major problems in global health are interconnected to poverty, education, and gender issues — and that when these issues are addressed as a whole, rather than as a silver bullet, then real concrete progress can be made. The youth in our film were victorious in getting clean water for their community and doubling the polio immunization rate by tackling all these issues in this holistic way.”