The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has honored Ekansh Tambe ’22 as a recipient of its 2021 Power of Children Awards. The honor recognizes and rewards students in grades 6–11 across America who are improving the lives of others through a selfless commitment to service and the betterment of their local communities. Ekansh was recognized for his photojournalism project and TEDx talk
called Beyond Borders,
which focuses on documenting problematic border areas around the world so others can better understand the issues and facilitate positive change.
“By sharing stories about the humanitarian crises and highlighting the importance of perspective, I encourage others not to fear the unknown, use their passions to serve the community, and be the change that they wish to see in the world,” Ekansh said.
Nominated by Jorge Correa, St. Mark’s Spanish Teacher and Community Service Director, Ekansh will be presented with the Power of Children Award in Indianapolis on November 12.
“We nominated Ekansh for his outstanding work around the world,” Mr. Correa said. “Promoting awareness of our borders humanizes a growing problem that goes way beyond politics.”
Beyond Borders originally started when, at the age of 13, Ekansh convinced his father to take him to Brownsville, Texas, to learn first-hand about the reality of border issues affecting the public’s perspectives on immigration and border security. He captured countless photographs and conducted hundreds of interviews with immigrants, border patrol agents, and citizens living on both sides of the U.S-Mexico border. His journey has continued over the years to some of the most volatile and notorious borders around the world, including, North and South Korea, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, and Iraq.
“Ekansh is the kind of global citizen that inspires change,” said Jason Lange, Assistant Head of Middle School, who recommended Ekansh for the award. “His photography and experience shed light on those who need our understanding, compassion, and support the most. What’s more, Ekansh’s desire to share his stories with his classmates, the St. Mark’s community, the city of Dallas, and beyond, illustrates his desire to move others to act for justice.”
The award includes a $2,500 grant for Ekansh to use toward his service initiative. “I intend to use the grant to initiate a project to build a playground for children in Boquillas, a small border town in Mexico,” Ekansh said. “Additionally, during my recent summer visit to a refugee camp in Northwest Iraq, I witnessed the consequences of a fire breaking out, which burned down 400 tents and once again displaced hundreds of refugees. I intend to use some of the funding to purchase and donate some fire extinguishers to this camp, where frequent fires have been a cause of concern.”
Ekansh plans to continue his photojournalism work in countries and at borders that are often the least visited and most feared. He also plans to continue small projects like tutoring children in Math and English in the border city of Terlingua, Texas.