This is nanhe, nanhe means small or tiny.. he came to us a year ago, could not walk, was incontinent, and barely spoke... we put in with the creche children were he spent time on a chair looking at others ..
A few weeks back, we decided to 'promote' him to the special section.
Nanhe loved this change as somehow started interacting with his peer group and learning new things: puzzles, hesitant steps, smiles and sounds, sharing his food, anything to say 'main hoon na'! 'hey, here i am, look at me' and of course the unexpressed words only audible if you listen with your heart: please love me!
All seemed well on planet why.. till an ugly incident occured bringing a simple question to my mind: when today is over for nanhe.. what about tomorrow.
One of the daily tasks of the special section is to give manu a bath. Manu, the one for whom project why saw the light.. Manu the child like adult, the child of the lesser god, the one with all the labels saying 'wrong' stuck on his head, and Manu's bath, not a pleasant task i agree, is such an issue, but one that brings out the ugly side of India.
There are those who accept this task with love, those who do it as an act of charity, those that do it because it needs to be done and then recently some that refused.. citing all kinds of unacceptable reasons...
When logic and humanity did not work, the axe had to fall and it has on two persons. For us it was a simple matter of fairness and equality: what is right for one has to be for all..
Threats have ensued, threats of violence, threats of legal action and we will take them head on, as the question does not stop with manu, when today is over.. other boys in need of care and love and help would have grown up.. and the solution does no lie in employing a person of the risgh caste, age, sex, creed to do tasks one does not want to do.. creating barriers that seem to difficult to bring down today..
if tomorrow has to come, then barriers have to be broken with the heart!