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 5:
Karthik and Akhila were sitting and talking in low
voices when their father entered the drawing room.
Almost immediately, both of them stopped talking.
Their father understood that something was definitely
He waited till after dinnertime to talk to the children
over a cone of strawberry ice cream.
“It’s been so many days since I had this flavour! It
tastes so good.
Papa, why don’t “Oh I would love
you try it too?” to take a bite from
Akhila said as both of you, Akhila.
she excitedly But if you both
took her first agree, would you
bite.” also like to share
the secret drawing
room talk with
Both kids looked
at each other with
a naughty smile
playing on their
their father was
never the one to
scold, or dismiss a
of them decided to
narrate the school
story while relishing
“There’s a new kid in Akhila’s class, papa. She...” he
chuckled and Akhila joined in the laughter. Their father
waited patiently for the kids to continue.
“We don’t really
know what to call
that kid. She is a
girl but some also
say that she is a
boy. Our teacher
told us that she is a
But how can you become a girl?
I can’t suddenly say I am a boy
today.” Karthik started laughing
hysterically as he heard the last
“Why not?” Akhila and
Karthik were stunned to
silence as their father looked
“Oh no, Karthik, Principal
Ma’am has arranged a
separate washroom for
her. And her uniform
has also been designed
specially. Ma’am said that
we all might have the same
“That’s a wonderful way of making your new friend
feel welcome, don’t you think Akhila?” their father
tried to explain.
“You see, child, the purpose of any school is not
to check on a child’s uniform, or to supervise which
washroom they use, but to impart a good education
complemented by strong moral values.
As long as your friend is able and willing to get that
education, these minor obstacles should not be raised
unnecessarily in their way. What if I told you that you
are born to be a doctor?
And as you grew up, you felt like you wanted to be a
painter instead. Should I let you paint or should I force
you to study medicine?”
The faces of the children relaxed a little as they began
to understand their father’s point of view.
“Similarly, a lot of people might feel that a particular
gender identity does not do true justice to their inner
What is the harm in changing that? Isn’t it better to be
true to yourself rather than sticking unhappily to
what you were born with?”
Isn’t it better to be true to
yourself rather than sticking
unhappily to what you were
Akhila nodded, but she was
looking rather sad. “Papa, a lot
of students in our class were
“Now I wish I had stopped
“It’s okay Akhila, it is
good enough that we
have understood it
now. Be sure to extend
a hand of friendship
towards your new
It is better to correct your
mistakes than to keep thinking about them.
And do invite her for your birthday next month along
with all your other friends.” Karthik joined in, with a
smile on his face.
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