City Pulse

Muskaan Rezdan: Change-maker at 13

February 10, 2015 By Team ICMYC

13-year-old Muskaan Rezdan embodies the spirit of active citizenship that not many others of her age are even aware of. While this eight-grader’s dynamism is inherent, the Bala Janaagraha civics classes were only an impetus that enabled her to take ownership of the various issues she set out to fix.

Muskaan, a student of Delhi Public School, Pune has done it all- from conducting surveys on citizens who didn’t vote during the elections to carrying out clean ups to organising stray dog vaccinations, this little champion of change has set an example that most adults should take a cue from.

Bala Janaagraha’s applied civics classes motivated her to become an informed and active citizen in her neighbourhood.  She carried out various civic awareness drives that have shown visible results.

The initiative to change ones practices must from come within the citizens, believes Muskaan. Despite carrying out various awareness drives, there still exist some citizens who continue being apathetic towards the idea of being proactive and informed citizens. It is important that the mindsets of these people change before expecting them to change their neighbourhood, opines Muskaan.

Ask her how one can do that and she responds through her actions.

She, along with her family and neighbours carried out a litter picking task and also painted dustbins after seeking permission from the corporator. The result of this was remarkable- shopkeepers and residents took this seriously and cultivated a habit of keeping the area around their shops and houses clean at all times. Yet, Muskaan notes that there are some people who continue to litter garbage with impunity.

Unfazed, Muskaan continues to believe that the more awareness you spread, the more number of people will realize the imminent harm their practices will lead to.

At a tender age of 13, Muskaan has thoughtfully dealt with far too many civic issues that even many adults fail to comprehend or notice. Parthenium grass was cleared in and around the neighbourhood as part of the Carefree Breath initiative that Muskaan undertook, to relieve asthma patients of breathing problems that the weed causes.

 Besides which, she even carried out stray dog vaccination drive. Her neighbours were instrumental in fetching contacts of various veterinarian doctors and other government resources to vaccinate the canines in a humane manner. She also organised and took part in a tree plantation drive wherein 500 saplings were planted around the neighbourhood.

Once out of school, Muskaan sees herself continuing to be as active as she is today. “Motivating people is the main purpose behind what I am doing. I want to show that it is important for everyone to take a step towards changing their country”, she says.

By Juwairia Mehkri