by Tale Weavers &
The Red Elephant Foundation
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable TALE
Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development, weavers
adopted by world leaders in September
2015 at an historic UN Summit, weaving tales, breaking stereotypes
officially came into force.
Over the next fifteen years, with these
new Goals that universally apply to all,
countries will mobilize efforts to end all
forms of poverty, fight inequalities and
tackle climate change, while ensuring
that no one is left behind.
Stories for Awareness is a collaboration
between The Red Elephant Foundation
and Tale Weavers to engage with
children and build awareness around the
17 Sustainable Development Goals.
This story throws light on SDG 10:
Story: Manmeet Kaur
Illustrations: Diana Castillo
“Sharda and Mehvish were grinning ear to ear when
Abi, their piano instructor came upon them sitting
magnificently in the porch of the house. It was a
beautiful summer afternoon with a lot of kids playing in
the park just beyond the porch.
“Hi girls, what is it that makes you smile so beautifully
this morning? And why are you not out on the field,
playing with your friends?” asked Abi, in a happy,
“They are not our friends anymore Abi, they have no
choice when it comes to people. Would you like to play
with us? Let’s skip the piano lessons today and play!”
replied the innocent Mehvish.
“No good choice of people... ah. I thought they were
the ones who invited you to play along when you came
into this neighbourhood?
“They were smart then. Now they’ve invited a stupid
girl to play with us. We are not going to share our toys
with her, no matter what” said Sharda.
“Oh. Did she say something to you?”
“Me? No! We haven’t even talked.”
“Then how do you know she is stupid?”
“She moved in from Nigeria...”
“Abi, let’s go for our piano lessons. I can sense that
you’re going to start another of your lectures.”
Abi did not say anything, though he was disheartened
at the girls’ first response to their new neighbour.
Nevertheless, he decided to persist in a new way.
Once the girls started playing the keys to rehearse the
previous day’s lesson, Abi interrupted them suddenly.
“Mehvish, I need you to play only the white keys from
yesterday’s piece. Sharda, when your turn comes,
please play only the black ones. I am thinking of a new
piece with colour coded rhythms.”
“But Abi...” Mehvish was
hesitant to counter her instructor.
But he sounded illogical today.
“Colour codes do not define the
rhythm. It will sound awful. How
can we work with half a piano?”
“Ah! Sharda, do you think
that the colours of the keys have
nothing to do with their sound? I
don’t think I agree with Mehvish.”
“But Abi, a piano is supposed
to create music, not colour
combinations. When we play in
front of an audience, they won’t
even be able to see the colours. It’s
the music that matters!”
“Not the colour?”
As soon as Abi uttered
his last sentence, the girls
understood what he was
trying to say.
As their expressions softened
and a receptive glow
came over their faces, Abi
“Girls, do you remember those kittens you got last
month- one of them almost golden, and the other, as
black as the night.
Do you love either of them any less?”
The girls lowered their eyes as their mistake slowly
dawned on them.
But Abi was yet to explain the gravity of such
behaviour, and they sensed that there was more to
“Why do you think you love the cats so?
Because they are your pets: your family, living beings
in need of love and care.
The colour of their fur has
nothing to do with the bond
you share with them, and
you must extend this same
understanding to every
living being around you.
No matter where your
neighbour is from, no
matter what she looks like,
you must remember that
you look different to her
And if you make
her feel unwelcome
in your life, she will
not respect or like you
either. Imagine if she
had refused to play
with you first, just
because of your skin
colour? How would
Like the colour of the piano keys has nothing to do with
the music they are capable of producing, the exterior of
an individual has nothing to do with the immense life
they carry inside of them.”
Sharda was almost in tears
as she had been the one who
had clearly refused to include
Rouble in the sport.
She kissed Abi’s cheek and ran
out to the porch.
Mehvish smiled at Abi and
Abi left the house without
having taught the piece he had
prepared for the class.
The day’s piano lesson had been
quite a success.
Tale Weavers is an initiative that
aims to engage with children and the
youth through stories that challenge
stereotypes and break the barriers in
creating a just society.
We welcome you to our world of stories
where simple conversations, colorful
illustrations, and powerful characters
help break the stereotypes and create
an inclusive learning space which is
free of bias - be it gender, religion, race,
nationality or ethnicity.
The Red Elephant Foundation is an
initiative that is built on the foundations
of story-telling, civilian peacebuilding
and activism for sensitisation on
all drivers of peace - gender, race,
nationality, colour and orientation.
The initiative is titled “Red Elephant”
to stand out as a vehicle that projects
stories that must never be forgotten:
stories that show you such courage that
you should never forget, and stories that
show the world such profound lessons
that the world should never forget. In
doing so, the initiative aims at creating
awareness and opening up channels
of communication towards creating
societies of tolerance, peacebuilding