Project #1594

Design-Driven Stories Teach Kids Skills

by Going to School Fund
Feb 24, 2011

The Amazing Adventures of Phulwa the Mechanic

‘Be! an Entrepreneur’ is a large scale multimedia skills-education campaign (50 skills books each teach an entrepreneurial skill, 10 movies and a 15 part radio series) to inspire millions of young people age 10-16 from low-income groups to choose to become entrepreneurs and to pioneer enterprises that solve the social, economic and environmental problems they face in their lives. From water to waste, energy to housing, Be! believes that young people who have grown up in poverty have the capacity to pioneer enterprises that create jobs, solve problems and generate income, they have just never been given the chance before.

50 Be! Skills Books teach 50 entrepreneurial/employability skills for young people age 10-16 from low-income groups in India – from identifying a problem, to making a plan and a budget to generating resources and building a team to taking a risk. Be! Skills books feature 10 urban/rural business models, in the form of graphic novels, 50-100 pages long that solve issues of water, waste, sanitation, energy, health, transportation, communication, craft, information, agriculture/farming and education. Each Be! book has an in-built activity that children complete once a week. 

50 Be! books each teach an entrepreneurial skill to children age 10-16. 10/50 books teach enterprise models where the skills in the series are explored through graphic novels. Here is a story of one of the graphic novels - 

The Amazing Adventures of Phulwa the Mechanic

Meet Phulwa. She is 19 years old and unlike any other girl in her dusty little village. She works as a mechanic helping her father, Ram Prasad, at his ramshackle garage on the highway.

One dark night, a car breaks down on the highway. A city-wala pushes the car to Ram Prasad’s garage and is surprised to see Phulwa there. “You’re just a girl, how can you fix a car?”

Phulwa stands up for herself. “I’m the best mechanic in this whole village. I’ll show you.”

But Phulwa’s village doesn’t have electricity and without it, she can’t repair the car, not even with her expert jugaad skills. Embarrassed and angry, Phulwa decides that enough is enough. Young men from her village have been leaving for the city in droves. There is no enterprise here and everything shuts down at dusk. It’s time for things to change. She’s going to find a way to bring electricity to her village.

She hunts down information and with the help of Kumar discovers a village a 100 kilometers away with light. This village generates electricity from a biomass gassifier plant. This is Phulwa’s solution, but she can’t do it alone. She needs to get the people in her village to contribute money to construct the biomass plant. But how will she convince Gayatri, the sarpanch (village head) to support her? Especially when Gayatri’s scheming husband is intent on sabotaging Phulwa’s plan? And how will she convince the villagers, who have long since given up on the dream of electricity?

Find out when this graphic novel comes out later this year.


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Organization Information

Going to School Fund

Location: New Delhi - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Lisa Heydlauff
New Delhi, India
$15,265 raised of $75,000 goal
341 donations
$59,735 to go
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