Inspiring young minds in India

Superheroes against Superbugs (SaS) is an inspirational project run by a volunteer team of scientists and healthcare professionals in Hyderabad. They teach young people about superbugs through activities that are hands-on, creative, and fun! Following a series of popular workshops that were piloted in Hyderabad and were taken to other cities in India with the help of volunteers. They’re now hoping to reach thousands more children across India by making the project available online. But to do that, they need a hand…

Not all heroes wear capes

Superbugs are a big problem in India, with drug-resistant infections killing more people there than anywhere else in the world. Among the most vulnerable are infants, with an estimated 58,000 dying every year. The reasons for the high levels of resistance are complex, but are likely to include environmental pollution from antibiotic manufacturing, and over-the-counter sales of antibiotics from community pharmacies.

Thankfully, there is hope….

SaS is led by three scientist turned science communication/Engagement professionals Dr Ponnari Gottipati, Dr Sarah Iqbal and Dr Somdatta Karak. The team provide various formats of free workshops that focus on the scientific concepts linked to microbes, infections, antibiotics and resistance through games and activities – before encouraging participants to reflect on antibiotic use in their own families and communities.

Once equipped with knowledge and understanding, students are encouraged to design and make their own art work, through different mediums, most popular being the comic books, a process Ponnari says can be life-changing:

“By harnessing the inherent enthusiasm and creativity of children and enabling them to spread awareness through their own work, we aim to make children a key participant in addressing this global health crisis that concerns their future.”

What we need

While the team are doing a great job, COVID has made physical workshops difficult to run. That’s why they’re looking for help to:

  • Create a suite of digital resources based on their workshops, enabling children to keep learning about superbugs even if they can’t physically attend a session
  • Develop and promote their website, so it can be a resource hub for children across India
  • Undertake an external evaluation of existing resources to ensure they’re of a high standard
  • Fund a paid member of staff. Superheroes against Superbugs is staffed by volunteers currently, but they’re seeking funding so they can employ a full-time member of staff to help them take the project to the next level.

Lend a hand?

We’re desperate to help SaS reach more children. It’s a great project, run by passionate local professionals, who are making a genuine attempt to address the issue of superbugs in India. That’s why we’re looking for people who can volunteer their time and experience to help them out. If you have skills in the following areas and can spare few hours a month, let us know and we’ll be in touch with more details:

  • Web design
  • Bid writing/grant applications
  • Social media/marketing

    Would you like to be added to the Stop Superbugs Mailing list?