I Change My City Challenge

Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (www.janaagraha.org) was founded by Swati Ramanathan and Ramesh Ramanathan in December 2001.  It is registered under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.  Janaagraha’s mission is to transform quality of life in India’s cities and towns.  We work with citizens to catalyse active citizenship in city neighbourhoods and with governments to institute reforms to city governance (what we call “city-systems”).  Civic Learning, Civic Participation and Advocacy and Reforms are Janaagraha’s three major strands of work to accomplish its mission.

Civic Learning

India is the world’s largest democracy and also the world’s youngest country. Good citizenry is the key to building healthy and vibrant cities. Our goal is to Empower and Enable Every Child to be an Active Citizen.

Since inception, we have engaged 3, 20,232 students from 6th to 8th grades across 600+ schools in 28 cities. As part of this program, we deliver the NCERT Aligned Lesson Plan, Karnataka State Board Aligned Lesson Plans and Civic Lite models, which focuses on practical civics in a city, and convene as a project activity – I Change My City Challenge. As part of the civic project activity, students form teams, identify an issue that concerns them near their home, school or neighborhood, ascertain all the quality of life challenges and through a survey, engage stakeholders on the street such as residents, shopkeepers, traffic police and others and come up with a model solution to improve the quality of life.

The program design and construct has been planned to enable 21st century skills, such as critical thinking and reasoning capacities, collaboration, multidisciplinary thinking, deliberation and bridge‐building among others. While the content promotes activity based and experiential learning, the civic project activity aims to make children think beyond symptoms and about root causes, engage with their local communities and feel empowered to be a change maker, while also building in students critical skills for their future.

Strands of activity | 2019-20

  • School teachers imparting civic learning using lesson plans (aligned to curriculum State and NCERT) designed by Civic
    • Delivery of 18 lesson plans aligned to content of the NCERT curriculum across 6 chapters of 6th – 10th grades by school teachers through activity based.
  • Schools delivering a Civic Learning Lite Model using activity based learning.
    • Delivery of 4 sessions (Active Citizenship pledge, Experiential Classroom Activities, Experiential Field Visit) thereby providing exposure to an abridged version of Civic Learning.
  • I Change My City Challenge – A nationwide experiential project activity for students
    • ‘I Change My City Challenge’ is an open civic project that provides students from Classes 6th and 12th from any school from any city in the country an opportunity to engage with a civic issue , social and environmental issue that affects them, their school or their neighbourhood.
    • The I Change My City Challenge culminates in the I Change My City Civic Fest, an expo to celebrate active citizenship. At the I Change My City Civic Fest, finalists will get a chance to have stalls where they can showcase their civic projects to larger audience to share and inspire others to be an Active Citizen.