"Life" says Oriana fallaci "is such an effort. It is a war renewed each day' and she goes on to say :"To fight is much better than to win, to travel much better than to arrive; once you have won or arrived you feel great emptiness... and have to set out again, create new goals.."
Lettera a un bambino mai nato, Rizzoli, 1975, translation by Shepley published as Letter to a Child Never Born, Simon & Schuster (New York City), 1976.
Often when I am confused, perplexed or unable to explain certain things to myself. i have found grat solace and moorings in the writings of Fallaci and once again I find myself looking for answers..
Five years ago I decided to create project why.. 20 kids some english classes and a journey I could not begin to imagine.. five years down the line .. 600 kids, 100% results, 40 new jobs for people thought unemployable, social barriers overcome, dignity restored for special children, women empowered, three heart surgeries and one on the anvil, a child saved from third degree burns, women empowered.. not a bad track record
And all this at minimum cost, no frills, no unecessary expenses.. so where is the hitch
Simply to get the 130 000 x 12 x 5 Rs that were needed to reach there.. the innumerable refusals, the promises unkept, the empty words of admiration never followed by a simple gesture..
One has lost count of the number of mails sent, lost count of the number of times one had to explain why one did not take the usual road, lost count of the time spent explaining what seemed so obvious if anyone were to take the time to realise that education had to be perennial and endure, and be free of the moods, flavours and trend of the day and thus all resources had to follow suite..
Some did understand and a wonderful network of people from the world over have supported us and infused into project why, a magic that has allowed it to live on .. but these are small islands of hope, little bouts of oxygen and not the lungs needed..
More mails are written, more ideas mooted and then just when you think you have got it, the refusal, the impersonal decision makers who do not want to take a risk... or prefer the conventional options..
Why does project why not want to take the conventional and accepted funding ways.. many reasons but let me just say the following:
Which funding head allows one to educate, care for special kids, repair a heart, reach out when needed..
Were we to accept the conventional ways then all the 'teachers' would lose their jobs as they would not meet the stipulations and yet they are the ones who have got consistent 100% results from class I to XII for five long years..
Were we to accept the conventional way we would have to increase our administrative costs to fulfill the complex paperwork..
Were we to accept the conventional way, project why woud lose its soul and its spirit..
So one has to fight on... and maybe one day... but then if we are to believe Oriana Fallaci, a great emptiness would be waiting..
But we would create new goals...