alONE - the week after

citizen one
was the award that a daily paper decided to select me for..

moment of great joy for the younger gang of project why who are still, thank god, simple hearted and honest and thus view life that away, a gang ably led by shamika..

moment of bewilderment and some satisfaction i must confess as i am but human...
and then on 29th April a ceremony with to add glamour and glitterati, a bollywood actor..


to many this would seem to be 'my big moment' .. messages drop by the mail box, for many it seemed one had 'got there'..

but i ask myself 'got where' as the reality stares at me, a reality that becomes scarry...

let me first share what i wrote to the Today Editor on the very next morning

it was wonderful meeting you yesterday
and i would like to thank you for having given me this unique moment
i feel humbled
i hope that this recognition will help in getting the children of
delhi access to meaningful education and this can only be possible if
the people of delhi come forward and help sustain such initiatives
we feel that true development can only take place in a democratic way
when we realise that each one of us have a role to play
we have a small initiative called just one rupee a day which we feel
is very doable
our work necessitates about 4000 one-rupee-day donors ... not 4000 rs
a day but 4000 one rupee donors, therein lies the difference between
'charity' and commitment
i did mention it to vivek oberoi ( who said he might help). mr arun
purie wondered how we could collect the same. well we can as we have
evolved mechanisms we feel would work...
to me it is not a matter of simply getting pwhy to continue, it is
more an approach to community development and empowerment
and Today is the right instrument for this approach
in a country like India no matter how many individuals there are,
numbers will never be reached unless we evolve a model that is steered
and maintained by the very community one wants to reach
the award i received yesterday was great positive stroking (i am but
human) but to me its true vindication is when and if it brings about a
real change in mindsets. our city, which lies too close to power for
its own good, has lost its heart, maybe we can help it find it

any award that carries a name like citizen one is definitely weighty (just like the statue given). one cannot just walk away and do nothing. such recognition does compel you to do something larger and more meaningful... and that becomes even more difficult when most of those who write in, feel that somehow that one event has solved all your problems..

i will have to stay clear of pits in which i may fall, of easy way outs that will take away from project why the very spirit that allowed it to reach where it has.. and walk the planet one day at a time
i feel more alone than i ever was, longing for the comfort of being just one tiny project reaching out to a handful of children, and above all i know that not matter how many kuddos land my way, i have to keep myself together and remember that it is only by remaining humble that i can achieve something meaningful...

it is now that i need the support and goodwill of all those who have walked with me this far..

there are many ways opened to project why, and one will have to chose the right one...

so help me god!